Mark Graham Interviews NEALO
Date: 23rd October
Rapper and performer NEALO joins Mark Graham of the Irish Music Industry Podcast to talk about his career, process and what inspires him.
NEALO is a rapper cut from a different cloth. Taking influence from Jazz Rap, Conscious Rap and R&B, his lyrics blend deeply rooted personal philosophies with classic Dublinisms in a manner that is equal parts emotive and compelling. All of this floats on a bed of smooth, jazz-infused instrumentals and vocal harmonies from a free-flowing line-up of some of Ireland’s most renowned artists. At the core of Nealo’s live show is the dynamic and love that the people on stage share, resulting in a metamorphosing experience that seeps into the fabric of any venue they happen to occupy.
Emigration, break-ups, drug and alcohol use, the loss of friends and the death of loved ones have all been an integral part of Ireland, and of the wider world, for generations. In Nealo’s hands, they are not just lyrical themes, but also catalysts on his path to becoming the man, and the artist, that he is today.
His 2020 debut album, ‘All The Leaves Are Falling’, was his way of channeling as much of his emotions as he can into a piece of music.
Since its release at the end of October 2020, ‘All The Leaves Are Falling’ has been praised by press and fans alike, with The Irish Times commenting that “Nealo wins by tapping into the disillusionment he shares with so many peers”, The Sunday Business Post calling it “hip-hop that tips the hat to the coolest and most instinctive neo-jazz rhythms you'll hear outside New Orleans” and Earmilk writing that “one of Ireland's most soulful hip-hop artists, Nealo, delivers on every level” with his debut album.
‘All The Leaves Are Falling’ is Nealo’s journey through the seasons of life in the form of ten tracks.
Mark Graham is a lecturer in the Department of Arts at Waterford Institute of Technology by day, and performs with the band King Kong Company by night. Mark has previously worked for Today FM and RTE Radio. His book, A Year of Festivals in Ireland, documented his quest to attend three Irish festivals per week for an entire year. He ended up attending three Irish festivals per week for three years, while writing his Festival Fit column for The Irish Times. A Year of Festivals in Ireland won Travel Book of the Year at the Travel Writers Awards 2015. The associated Year of Festivals blog won Best Popular Culture Blog at the Irish Blog Awards.
In early 2019 Mark launched The Irish Music Industry Podcast, which has gone on to become essential listening for anyone who makes music, anyone who makes a living from music, and anyone who’s interested in what happens around music.