Music / May 8, 2023

Nealo Takes Aim At The Catholic Church in ‘Forest’ Music Video

Image Credit: NIcholas O'Donnell
Music / May 8, 2023

Nealo Takes Aim At The Catholic Church in ‘Forest’ Music Video

Words: Dray Morgan

Nealo has returned to the mic in his new heartfelt track ‘Forest’ featuring Morgana with an accompanying music video.

Dublin rapper Nealo took the path-less-travelled in his rise to becoming one of the capital’s most earnest voices. Having played in hardcore bands for years, he switched mosh pits for heartfelt rhymes and made a name for himself as an artist highlighting social inequality and challenging stigma around male vulnerability. The result, was his debut album All The Leaves Are Falling, which earned an RTÉ Choice Prize nomination. Last week, he revealed his first single since that era ‘Forest’, and we’ve got the first look at its music video.

“I think it was just time, I haven’t released anything since 2020.” Nealo explains. “When I write a song like that, it justifies my existence in some weird way. I feel worthwhile and needed. I feel valuable to myself” he says about ‘Forest’, which emits an intrinsic frustration with the imperfection of the world and with himself.

To produce music once again, Nealo has to revisit a what it means to be vulnerable and become comfortable with the level of energy it takes to be that exposed. This single is also a culmination of a musician’s battle to be recognised for their art. ‘Forest’ comes after a tumultuous journey, interacting with labels and dealing with false hope and rejection.

“It was a bit soul destroying and consumed me after a while.” Nealo said, “I had a lot of interested labels which just didn’t work out.” This forced the Irish rapper to embark independently on this project.

‘Forest’ builds upon itself, starting with the peace of vocalist Morgana and finishing with a powerful release of intense emotion by the Dublin 15 native.

For Nealo, the creation of this track has intertwined with growing as a human, accessing certain realms of the mind necessary for making such striking music. “I’ve learned that I’m better now, I’m more confident in my art and I find it easier to express emotions.”

Nealo brings up the age old issue ingrained in Irish culture to not acknowledge negativity “I think we would have a much healthier society if we were more open about the macabre stuff.”

Forest’ marks the start of a new era for Nealo, “I would love to release my album later in the year” he says. Fingers crossed for that, in the mean time, check out the video for ‘Forest’ below:

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