INTERVIEW: Dominic Neill releases debut album, Out of My League

Photo: Canton Parker.

Passionate singer Dominic Neill is always striving for greatness in his music. We spoke to this talented artist about the release of his debut album, Out of My League.

You recently released your debut album, Out of My League. How did you experience the recording process for this album?

Above all else it really is a privilege to be able to have done what I did during the process of creating Out Of My League. I worked with some of the most talented people here in SA, Australia and in Germany as well and I think the gratitude and raw excitement of being able to record an entire album is really what laid the foundation for what the album eventually became.  In terms of the practical side of things, the album was initially supposed to be an EP but we had so much material that we felt it would be better to just move forward with it as an album and I think that also typifies what an amazing, natural process it all was for me and everyone who was a part of it.

Do you have a personal favourite song from the album?

It’s just too hard to choose. Each song has some sort of meaning and importance to me for completely different reasons so I’m going to chicken out and pass on this one.

The album’s title track features A’rese. Did you enjoy this collaboration?

Yeah, it was amazing! I actually wrote the song with Shekhinah and really wanted her to feature on it, but the world just wouldn’t have it our way and she couldn’t be on the song. But the super cool folks at Universal suggested A’rese and she absolutely nailed the performance on the record, so it was a real treat having her on the song.

Would you say that the album has an overarching theme, or does it draw inspiration from different places?

I write a lot about love because I think you’re at your most happy and vulnerable when you’re in love, but you’re also at your deepest and darkest when you have your heart broken. So there are so many emotions, situations and reactions to tap into when writing about all things love. I’d say that’s the overarching theme, but I really tried to tell a multitude of different stories within that sphere.

You recently worked on the track “Running Away” with Jesse Porsches. How did you find this experience?

Jesse and I met when he was out in SA and the guys at Universal suggested we had coffee. We connected instantly and promised each other we’d do some work together even if it meant it was over email. He sent me a few beats and then I got the instrumental to what eventually became “Running Away”. Jesse is great because not only is his production of the highest quality, but he strives for that one little thing in every song that can make it something special and he also pushed me to find that too. I’m super chuffed with the feel of “Running Away” and it’s definitely one of my favourite tracks from vocally on the album.

How do you prepare for live performances?

My band and I have worked really hard on trying to create a value add experience in the sense that we give people something special and extra when they come see any of my shows live as opposed to listening to the album. There are some tracks in the set that actually never made the album that we felt work so well in the live space, so that’s cool too. I am a real stickler for rehearsals, no matter how well I think we know the set. I try and get it to the point where I can do the sort backwards in my sleep and before every show I run through the set and make sure I’m completely switched on to giving the best possible performance.