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McKeesport's Neal to seek musical career in Los Angeles

| Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, 2:26 a.m.
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McKeesport Area High School graduate Rahmel Neal will perform on Saturday night at the Rex Theater in the South Side before heading off to Hollywood to pursue a music career.

A McKeesport Area High School graduate will perform a farewell show at the Rex Theater this weekend before heading off to Los Angeles to pursue a music career.

Rahmel Neal will take the stage on Saturday around 10 p.m. at 1602 E. Carson St. in the South Side. Doors open at 6:30.

“People should expect to see a great show,” Neal said. “I hope to inspire someone to go after their dreams and inspire someone to stand up for themselves.”

The 21-year-old McKeesport singer graduated in 2011. He plans to incorporate an anti-bullying discussion into his set.

“I hope a lot of people can walk away from this more motivated than they've ever felt before,” Neal said. “I think a lot of people view McKeesport as a dangerous city. McKeesport has a lot of negativity that surrounds it. It has totally made me want to be the best role model I can be. A lot of people don't believe they can follow their dreams and make it out of McKeesport. It has totally made me a humbler person and gave me a huge perspective just graduating from here.”

Neal's music is a heavy mix of R&B, alternative, pop, and a splash of something else. He said his musical influences are Michael Jackson, Prince and John Mayer.

“I try to get inspiration from a lot of different genres,” he said. “I don't think I sound like anyone else.”

Neal's love of music began at an early age.

“I've been singing since I was 3 and recording music since I was 9,” he said. “I've been blessed to know what I've been born to do at such a young age. A lot of people don't get to (know) that. I always stuck with (music). I always knew it was something to do as I got older. It kept me around positivity. I didn't get into gangs or the streets because of my music. It saved my life.”

Tickets to Saturday's show are $10. Opening act is KG Dynasty, a Pittsburgh area dance company.

Call 412-245-6625 to purchase tickets or for information.

Neal leaves for Hollywood on Aug. 31 to develop a showcase next year. More information about the artist is available online at www.facebook.com/rahmelneal.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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