It’s not often an artist comes along that is as filled with passion as he is with talent. Dominic Neill is one of the artists that has managed to not only remain relevant since his ‘Top Seven’ Idols appearance back in 2012, but progressively elevate 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. Out Of My League is the product of many years of “striving to be better”. An honest musical moment in the life of a young, ever-evolving, ever-learning artist, it is a stellar moment that will do nothing but elevate this star to the heights he hopes for. We had a chat with Dominic about the new album and more… How has the reception been on your debut album? I think it’s been really cool. I’ve yet to hear a bad thing. I think the people around me are just really proud to have seen me produce something like this and there have been a lot of people who seem pleasantly surprised. It really just is about the music doing the talking and I hope it can continue to do so. What makes “Out of my League” so special to you? Honesty in life and as an artist is so important to me and this album is packed with honest from my performances vocally to my writing and to the stories I’m telling. So I think in the same way a chef puts himself or herself onto a plate, “Out Of My League” really is the most accurate reflection of me as an artist and also as a human being. How difficult/easy was it to record, master and mix “Out of my League” for you? I’d be lying if I said it was a piece of cake, but it also was just a really natural project in the way it progressed. I set out to record an EP and ended up with an album and I think that just shows what kind of project it was. I am really lucky to have incredible people around me from my label, to the producers and even my family and friends who made the process incredibly rewarding. Which festivals, or shows, are you keen on playing at in future? I try and always live by the principle that no stage is too big or too small. So I’m keen to explore places like Oppi and Rocking The Daisies but I’d also love to play some shows off the beaten track and continue to test myself in different places in front of different people. Who has been your biggest influence in your musical journey? There are so so many. I listen to EVERYTHING and try and take what I think are the best bits of each of them. For this album in particular, I spent a lot of time listening to Dua Lipa’s debut album and also Jon Bellion, so they’ve been a massive part in influencing this project. Take us through your songwriting process? How do you create a track from scratch? Each song on the album had a completely different journey so there really is no blue print or how to guide when it comes to writing from me. But the one thing that is always at the centre for me is the story. The story can be born from one line that becomes the chorus or even the first line of the first verse of the song. I always try and tell a new story or an old story in a way it has never really been told before. How would you describe the South African music scene in one sentence? Heaps of talent but not enough professionals. How can people get hold of you? The good folk at my label have made it super easy by making everything “iamdominicneill” so the details are: Facebook: www.facebook.com/iamdominicneill Instagram (my personal favorite): iamdominicneill Twitter: @iamdominicneill What is next for you? I spent a lot of time in Europe earlier in the year writing for the album as well as other people so I’m headed back there again pretty soon. The music video for “Out Of My League” will be out really soon and we are busy deliberating the next single. But who knows what else might be on the way. Thanks for the chat, be sure to get hold of him through his social media channels and listen to the album! Photos by Canton Parker.