Originally a key part of Dublin’s hardcore and punk scene, when Nealo split up with his band in 2015 he had an artistic void he was looking to fill. He says that Dublin changed, and bandmates emigrated, leaving him “creatively stifled”, but hip hop buoyed him. His migration to the genre was one that a lot of contemporary artists have made, from Beastie Boys to Ho99o9, but for Irish artists, it was a relatively new move.
Off the back of ‘October Year’ Nealo sold out The Underground, following that up with a sold out Whelan’s gig.
He’s just shared a new track, featuring God Knows of Rusangano Family, about mental health and the intense nature of overthinking.
“I feel like many of us walk around with a million questions floating around our heads at all times,” Nealo says. “These can be both positive and negative. Am I good at my job? Why did that person say that weird thing to me? Am I going for pints later? What time are the Garda coming to arrest me?
“I tried to write a song that captured the feeling of being inside your own head. I’m having a little boy in July, so some of the feelings I talk about in the song are related to that. Will I be a good father? Is Dublin a good place to raise a child? Is there a higher power listening to me? It’s just my stream of consciousness from brain to paper, and then edited into poetry so I can rap it over a beat.”