In 2012, two paths converged when New Zealand born Matthew McNeilly met Kempsey girl, Amelia Richards in Tamworth. Their musical passions aligned at the CMAA Academy, resulting in the formation of the contemporary country music duo NeillyRich
“Music makes me tick, so meeting Amelia and discovering that music had the same effect on her was so fulfilling. There was little doubt from our first performance together that this was our path.” - Matt McNeilly.
With diverse musical inspirations from Lyall Lovett to Keith Urban, these two artists combine to form a unique flavor of Country Music grounded in tradition, but embracing a polished, modern, Nashville-styled sound. The pair are also dedicated songwriters. Hailing from the birthplace of the iconic Slim Dusty, Amelia has always had a focused approach to storytelling through music in the vein of some of the pioneers of the Australian industry.
“We pay homage to our traditional roots by taking classic country meaning and giving it a modern sound.” - Amelia Richards
To Matt and Amelia, authenticity and musicianship are the most important facets of their performance. They practice tirelessly and are always aspiring to be better at what they do. Both can carry a song on lead vocals with ease, but it is the long-studied harmonies that make this duo stand out in a crowd. As well as singing the duo play a range of instruments. Amelia plays rhythm guitar and mandolin, while Matt is often referred to as a gun guitar player from fans who witness his prowess. He also plays drums, bass and harmonica to round out this act’s almost-complete musical range. Their capabilities as musicians have already been acknowledged by Tomkins Guitars who offered the pair endorsement in 2015.
Through to January 2016, the partnership between these two emerging artists has resulted in the release of one recording, as well as three singles that have all seen chart success. This success was highlighted by the single Sure Feels Good To Me. This stand out track off the debut recording reached number five on the Australian Country Tracks Top 40 at the time of release, while also being ranked 39th position for the entirety of 2015 on the same chart.
2017 saw the release of NeillyRich’s first ever studio recording entitled Here Now Forever, the 7 track EP exceeding expectations by reaching number four on both the ARIA Australian Country Album Chart as well as the iTunes Australian Country Album Chart. The success of the release led to bookings on both the Norfolk Island and Broadbeach Country Music Festivals, as well as support slots on tour with Travis Collins, Amber Lawrence, The Viper Creek Band and a return to Kirsty Lee Akers’ tour schedule.
Their new album is slated for release in early 2020, with the first single, Hey You, released in April.
The second single from the album, Firewood, hit the airwaves in July 2019.