Cape Town – Dominic Neill released his first music video on Friday for his single, Out Of My League.
The single also features A’rese, winner of The Voice Nigeria 2016, and is the title track from Dominic’s debut album.
Making a Top Seven Idols appearance back in 2012, Dominic progressively elevated his game year by year, until his reputation in the industry was one that preceded him. After working with the massive DJ/producer DJ Kent on his album Evolution X, the twosome released a single that would have enough success on national radio to make people sit up and start asking who this talented vocalist was.
Check out his brand new music video here:
We chat to Dominic about his new album, the best advice he's ever received and why he took a break after Idols.
Check it out here:
Hey Dominic, how are you and what are you up to?
Hi, I'm good. Just preparing for a couple of shows coming up and planning a pretty cool trip to Europe to do some writing in Berlin, so lots going on and lots to look forward to. I hope you guys are well too.
You recently released your debut album, Out Of My League - what was the highlight for you of making the album?
Wow, the whole process was super cool. But I think the week-long trip to Berlin in-between it all to write and record with producers over there. Not only because I wrote a couple of the tracks on the album over there but it was a trip that gave me such perspective and allowed me to take a step back and really look at the project from within a whole different music scene halfway across the world.
You took a break from music after ending in the Top 7 on Idols in 2012 – what did you do during that break, and looking back, are you glad you did it?
During the 4 year break I went and studied marketing and graduated with honours in June this year and while I studied I also worked at a small record label and management agency in various capacities, so I really just went about learning the ins and outs of the industry. I'm so glad I did it, not only because I wanted to study but also because I didn't feel I was ready to pursue a career in music straight after Idols. I had a lot of growing, learning and improving to do and I feel like the time I took away from being an artist allowed me to just improve to the point where I could take the right opportunity when it came my way.
What’s been the best advice you’ve received about the music industry?
Developing a thick skin. I think it goes beyond just being able to take criticism and it's also not about being ignorant and naive to the point where you ignore constructive criticism either. It's really about developing the staying power and taking things in your stride. There's no formula, there's no blue print and that means a lot of times it's a hit or miss scenario and having the thick skin to move onwards and upwards no matter what is crucial.
Your new album features a few collaborations – if you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
It's so tough because I listen to so many different people for so many different reasons. But if I had to choose, right now, it would be Anne-Marie. She's relatively new but she's so damn fresh and I think she is the perfect combination of a great singer and a great songwriter, so it would be her. But ask me in 3 months’ time and that answer would probably change.
What do you do when you’re not making music?
I love sport, every single kind of sport. So I'm either playing football or watching football, rugby, cricket and golf. My two first loves in life are music and sport.
What inspires your music?
I really just feed off of the experiences I live through and the people around me. I think there is something so beautiful in writing about what it means to be a human being and that's what I try and do. You'll see that the one theme on the album is love, and my mates tease me about it but I think as people we are at our happiest and highest when we are in love and at our lowest and darkest when you fall out of love or have your heart broken, so that creates a playing field that is so diverse when it comes to writing.
Which local artists are you currently listening to?
Craig Lucas, Sun El Musician and AKA are the three stand out artists for me right now. I look forward to seeing where they go from here but at the moment, they're on repeat.
What’s the one thing no one knows about you?
Not a lot of people know that German is actually my first language. My mom is of German descent and she brought me up speaking the language.
What’s next for you?
A Grammy! Nah I'm kidding. My focus is always just to keep working hard and looking to improve. Actual, set goals are always good but I like to think a good grounding and a really great work ethic will lead to all the things that any artist would aspire to. I'm keen to keep growing a presence in SA but also build the right network and relationships to keep working in Europe and really broaden my horizons as a writer and an artist.