Prolific Gold Coast performer Richard Neill is ready to drop his passion project, a single and debut video made possible through partly through funding from the government’s 2020 stART grant program.
Richard Neill is no stranger to the stage, having carved out a career as a professional musician in venues across his home country of Ireland as well as USA and Europe, before establishing himself as one of the Gold Coast music industry’s most reputable live performers.
But just like many artists, Richard’s primary means of income took a massive nosedive in 2020, thanks to the pandemic shutting down gigs across the world.
Undeterred, and spurred on by being one of several successful Gold Coast recipients of a round of funding designed to keep the music industry alive during the coronapocalypse, Richard has taken the opportunity to finish and produce his debut video release: ‘You’ll Never Fall Asleep Alone Again’, a heartfelt alternative folk ballad with a stunner of a clip that makes the most of Burleigh’s natural beauty.
We recently caught up with Richard about his grant funding and latest project, where he explained how one of the worst times in live music’s history actually turned into an unforeseen opportunity for him.
“My original plan was to record a few videos of me playing cover songs to help me acquire work,” said Richard. “I decided to shoot at Studio One/16 in Burleigh. However upon arriving at the beautiful studio and seeing the highly impressive production of the videographer, I decided I didn’t want to use this opportunity on covers, so opted to record an original piece instead.”
That original piece ended up being ‘You’ll Never Fall Asleep Alone Again’, a warm and intimate song that can best be described as modern folk, with shades of Americana and even a tip of the hat to Richard’s Irish roots.
“The production [of the video] was so impressive that I felt the audio required more work to bring it up to the same standard,” said Richard. So he hopped into the studio with local musician and audio engineer Benny D Williams and got to work on developing the song further. Initially an acoustic ballad, the single ended up turning into a rich and multi-textural piece, with layered vocals, multiple guitars and even violin and double bass making an appearance in the final cut. After many many hours of re-recording, editing and mixing the track was finally ready for Paul Blakey at 12th & Vine to master.
In an ironic twist, Richard and Benny had now worked so hard on perfecting the song, that Richard felt the video now required re-shooting, and brought the videographer down to Burleigh beach to have another crack. And the rest, as they say, is history.
To celebrate the project, Richard is organising a video launch party on 15 August at a secret location, with only 25 tickets available.
“The party will begin with complimentary food and drinks being served up by local business Cali Chic Events alongside live music provided by Daneel & The Feel,” Richard said. He wants fans, musicians and people from various walks of the Gold Coast music industry to socialise and network with a “party feel” vibe.
Following this, the main music video will be premiered, and Richard will give a live performance himself, with the Drunken Midnight Choir, who performed on the track, joining him on stage for his performance of the single. Finally, Gold Coast’s own digital caveman Benny D Williams will see the event out in style with a set of his own.
The event will be completely free for all in attendance, Richard explained.
As the Gold Coast has given me so much opportunity over the years and ultimately allowed me to fulfil my dreams of becoming a full-time musician, I wanted to give back to the community that has given me so much. Thus I was happy to cover the expenses for this entire project and event.
Richard is incredibly grateful for the opportunity given to him by the government funding.
“I was overjoyed to learn that Arts Queensland and QMusic shared in my enthusiasm for this project and wanted to help fund it,” he said. “The primary outcome I hope for this project is to bring together various members of the music community to celebrate music and art. It is also with tremendous satisfaction I look forward to seeing what began as a simple idea many months ago climax on 15 August for what has a hugely educational and rewarding experience. I also hope that this project will elevate my profile as an artist within the community and open the door to further creative opportunities.”
Richard Neill’s single and debut video for ‘You’ll Never Fall Asleep Alone Again’ will be released via his website and socials at 5pm on 15 August. If you’d like to attend the launch, check out the event on Facebook for more information and get in touch with Richard to check ticket availability. And if you miss out, never fear! Throughout the duration of the event a live video and audio recording will be taken and released online a few days after the event for those who were unable to attend to watch in person.
In the meantime, you can warm up with the sneak peek below!