‘I’m gonna have to get rid of the lockdown belly, it’s gonna be extra big this year’

Dublin rapper Nealo on New Year’s resolutions and who’s on his naughty list this Christmas

Nealo: ‘I love Fairytale of New York, because even though it’s overplayed, I have good memories of my dad singing it with my mam cringing in the background.’

Nealo: ‘I love Fairytale of New York, because even though it’s overplayed, I have good memories of my dad singing it with my mam cringing in the background.’

 

Are you a Christmas fan in general?

I’m a sucker for Christmas, yeah. I just kinda love being surrounded by people that I like, drinking pints and giving each other presents.

Where will you be spending Christmas this year?

We always used to go to my mam and dad’s house and do a big family thing there – but since me and my wife had our son, for the last few years we’ve just kind of been hanging out and doing our own thing. He’s one now, so he kind of has a bit more of an idea of what’s going on.

What’s #1 on your Christmas to-do list every year?

I suppose presents are first for everybody, aren’t they? But I always leave them til the last minute. I’m so bad. Some people have them done in November, but I’m walking around Stephen’s Green on Christmas Eve, scratching my head with all the other men. So I’d like to get that sorted first, then get the food in.

You recently released your debut album – is it the sort of album you could put on during Irish Christmas dinner?

No, definitely not. Your granny might be raising her eyebrows. But it’s a great Christmas present – buy it for everyone in your family, and then my Christmas will be even better (laughs).

What’s your favourite Christmas song or carol?

I love Fairytale of New York, because even though it’s overplayed, I have good memories of my dad singing it with my mam cringing in the background. It’s not really Christmas until that happens for me.

Who’s your fantasy Christmas dinner guest?

That’s a tough one. I think Damien Dempsey would be a good shout. He’d put away a few Guinness with you and might get a sing-song going. He’d be good craic.

Who’s on your naughty and nice list this year?

Oooooh... I could get in trouble with this! I’d probably put Micheál Martin and Phil Hogan on the naughty list, anyway. There’s no way around that. I think I’ll put my wife on the nice list, because she’s had a tough year and she’s just an amazing person.

How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?

I think it’s a good time to start afresh, because Christmas is a time to throw caution to the wind and eat what you want, drink what you want, generally not do as much exercise. So it’s good to start the year with a newfound lust for health, even if you lose it after a week. Plus, I’m gonna have to get rid of the lockdown belly, it’s gonna be extra big this year.

Nealo’s All the Leaves Are Falling’is out now.