Inspired By Music: Dominic Neill Interview
Inspired By Music is an interview series that was created to shine a bright spotlight on the music and entertainment industry, creative entrepreneurship, and Africa-based music professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes. The first instalment of the new weekly series, features an interview with fast-ring SA-based singer/songwriter, and Idols Season 8 Top 7 contestant, Dominic Neill.
+ How did it all start for you as a recording artist in the music and entertainment industry?
+ Is there an interesting story behind your name?
A lot of people ask me what my “real” name is. But Dominic Neill is my full birth name, so unfortunately the interesting story stops there.
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+ What does house music mean, to you?
What first drew me to house music early on in my life with music was the fact that it all seemed so seamless. You could put the latest Black Coffee, Kent or even a compilation on and listen to it front to back without even noticing. I think that is the true power of the identity of house music.
+ Any thoughts on the current state of local music in a digital age?
Ah man, the digital age is such a blessing for artists because we are more empowered than ever. There are literally 100s of platforms now for music to be shared and sold to the masses.
I think in our country, we as artists still struggle with a listenership that has not been able to fully embrace the digital music world as much as other countries across the globe. But we as artists definitely don’t have anything to complain about, it’s definitely a time to embrace and champion all the benefits of the digital age and try and encourage the masses to do so too.
+ How do you think the listening public has been receiving your work?
I’ve been extremely fortunate because I’ve been able to build a voice off the back of two features, “Better Day” and “Love You Still”. Both those songs helped me really establish a presence, particularly on radio.
The next step now is to build on the positive feedback I’ve received from everyone and hopefully with the release of my new solo music, the positive feedback and the reception will continue.
+ Given the opportunity to rework one classic song from the 90’s, which would you choose? Why?
It’s a tough one but it would have to be “Waterfalls” by TLC. Firstly, it’s one of my favourite songs of all time and secondly, I think it really is a sound and a message that is timeless. Timeless records work in any space and that’s why I feel there’d be room to do the original justice, even if I attempted to bring it into 2017.
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+ Can you list at least 3 lesser-known recording artists that you think we should be listening to? Why?
(1) Dagny, (2) Loyle Carner, and (3) Kevin Garrett: All these artists are putting a fresh spin on sounds that we know and love. It’s the way they tell stories and the unique voice they have within their respective movements.
Danny is also smoking hot and Kevin Garrett has enough tone to paint the town. I just think there’s so much beauty in people being completely themselves in a world where nothing is really new and these three artists do exactly that.
+ Let’s talk social media and the interweb. How has social networking benefited your brand?
I think there are two very different ways to be effective on social media: (1) You can build something very specific using social media to create a “brand” or “presence”. (2) Social media can be used as a very genuine and honest portrayal of the artist.
I’m very much a fan of the second option where my social media is literally a window to my world, no more and no less. For me it really is the first point of contact for people who have heard my music and I just try and give an insight into the person behind the music and that person is just me.
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So you’ll see posts of my dogs and my friends and sport etc because those are the things I love and those are ultimately the elements that drive me to write the music I write.
It just empowers us artists to create content aside from the music that people can relate to, follow and be intrigued by.
+ What can we expect from you in the near future?
Well, my EP/Album “Out Of My League” is out this Friday the 14th of July so expect new singles and a real drive to have my music heard across the country, the continent and hopefully the world. I also have more collaborations on the way and an international release that I can’t talk too much about just yet. But music, music and more music, also live shows, I hope!
+ Any advice for aspiring producers?
Just work hard and strive to be the best all the damn time! That’s what I really try to do. I try and learn and grow every day in whatever way. Being switched on and being able to listen is always more important than anything you have so [to] say.
You can stream Dominic Neill‘s forthcoming EP ‘Out Of My League’ & the title single featuring his Universal Music label mate and Nigerian singing songstress, A’rese on Apple Music, and Deezer, among other notable digital stores. You can also checkout his Facebook + Twitter + Instagram for regular updates.