Friendship, tragedy, love, emigration, drug use: not just lyrical themes but all also catalysts on the path to Nealo becoming a hip-hop artist.
Having spent 10 years in the hardcore punk scene, touring and singing with the band Frustration, after their split in 2015 vocalist Neal Keating found himself at a creative loss. “As Dublin changed and bandmates emigrated, I found myself creatively stifled. I knew the words were constantly swirling around in there, I just needed a medium to get them out, and rap music has given me that," he said.
In the 10 months that followed Frustration's disbandment, Nealo spent wrote over 50 songs. His debut EP release ‘October Year’ is a sample of four of his favourite and most cohesive tracks from this period. ‘October Year’ is a short run, clocking in at 10 minutes, but it is both the beginning of an artists life and the culmination of a years work with friend and producer, Arbu.
Since releasing 'October Year' and marking it with sold-out record release show in Dublin, Nealo has played support to Californian rapper YG in the Olympia Theatre Dublin and has received praise from prominant music sites like Nialler9 ("remember the name"), District Magazine, Hot Press, Soul Doubt, Golden Plec and more. Nationwide radio play, widespread festival bookings and further sold-out headline shows followed, making Nealo one of the hottest new hip-hop acts in Ireland today.