Neill Solomon

Undoubtedly, Neill Solomon is one of the finest composers in South Africa – with his distinctive vocal style and musical agility, fronting his bands Neill Solomon and the Uptown Rhythm Dogs and Neill Solomon and the Passenger adding his indelible mark on music. He continues to shine lyrically and musically, mesmerizing and influencing audiences through his musical talents.

A renowned award winning composer for a large number of television, film and theatre productions, Neill plays an integral and valuable role and remains a visionary and legend in the creative realms of music platforms contributing his style, versatility and depth to projects, which has lead him on a musical journey around the world working with many musical talents, delivering fearless quality and range.
With his beginnings as a solo performer in the late 70’s playing the ‘Persian Room’ to touring with American Singer, Janis Ian, he released the critically acclaimed album The Occupant which was reviewed as one of the best albums of the year in the top American music trade magazine “Billboard”.

Performing in numerous plays and films, many of which he wrote the musical score for such as the cult status production The Angel, the Bicycle and the Chinaman’s Finger, saw him scooping a MNet Film Award for Best Music Score. Neill has since scored many internationally recognized films and theatre productions such as the acclaimed Gavin Hood’s –A Reasonable Man and the award winning production; Nothing but the Truth by John Kani.

Acting in the award-winning play Kwamanzi in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival, Neill followed on to compose the music for, and act in The Trophy Hunters on international stages. He musically directed and composed the music of the production for Gathering of the Beasts, which later saw the release of the environmental album itself, enjoying much success.

Playing in the band on the Rodriguez Tour in London and supporting Joe Cocker, Neill forged ahead co-composing the song Crocodile Smile for Durban City for the 2010 World Cup, combining all musical cultures of the city, featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The TV series Woestynblom, saw Neill composing hauntingly beautiful music resonating the sounds of his humble Lebanese roots and being awarded a SAMA for his memorable contributions.

Collaborating in creating his fifth Production music albums for the KPM/EMI platform which has achieved much deserved success internationally, he further composed music for the daily South African soapie, Isidingo . the film Met Kind and the critically acclaimed local film Joko Ya Hao, the brainchild of Mmabatho Montsho, telling the story of the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela which was nominated for Best Short Film for a SAFTA award and was featured in the Africa Rising International Film Festival (ARIFF)
A sought after visionary in the creative realms of music he has further scored the music for uBettina Wethu, a 52 part TV series and South African adaptation of the Award Winning Ugly Betty, an 8 part documentary- Legends & Legacies: The Story of a Community, based on the Jewish Community in South Africa as well as composing the music for the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day campaign anthem.

Composing the scores for various Market Theatre productions- We Are Ancestors in conjunction with PAST, which serves to preserve and promote Africa's rich fossil heritage and to fund palaeontological research and education across the continent., Neill also composed the music for the play Nine Lives that ran at The Market Theatre, an incredibly written story about fleeing from Zimbabwe.

Outside of his rich tapestry of musical scoring for films, Neill has also been busy in studio. His love for music inspires his enthusiasm in mentoring, developing, producing and recording for various platforms in his own capacity as well as for artists at his studio-Passage One Music, which also doubles as a music publishing house.

He remains active in his studio working on various Film, Television and theatre projects and albums with local & international creatives joining experimental skills and visionary composition – instrumentally blending lyrical talent influenced by the cross culture and unsurpassed talents.

”Looking back to just over a year with everything that has gone on in the world, it is incredibly rewarding to have watched this project coming together and develop with contributions in so many ways from everybody that has given a piece of not only their unsurpassed talents but their spirit to the project which is essentially what has made the song what it is.

There is no question that this project will inspire both communities and leaders worldwide to accept and integrate refugees better.

In reality, we are all refugees, displaced in some ways, looking for a better life”