Five Questions With…Corey LeRue of Neon Dreams

Halifax’s Neon Dreams is bringing something new to the party with their fresh electronic pop sound that combines EDM with live instrumentation. After signing last year with WakaFlocka Flame’s management imprint 36BRICKHOUSE, the quartet comprised of lead vocalist Frank Kadillac, DJ Corey LeRue, guitarist Matt Gats and drummer Adrian Morris released its debut album The Last Of Us in September.

They’ve now just put out a brand new single, “Marching Bands,” featuring Canadian hip-hop legend Kardinal Offishall, which expands upon the sounds the group has already become known for.

Since emerging in 2013, the goal of Neon Dreams has been to put a different spin on the live-band-plus-DJ concept, with each member contributing equally to the both the writing and production sides of the creative process. It amounts to a sound that draws heavily from many sub-genres of the EDM world, but with the single-minded goal of turning on the largest possible audience.

That was proven when their breakthrough 2015 single “Love Experts” landed in the Top 40 on Billboard’s CHR chart, as well as the Top 10 on iTunes’ Electronic chart. At the same time, album tracks such as “Shadows” displayed the group’s darker and heavier side, while notable guest appearances on the album by WakaFlocka Flame and JRDN reflected Neon Dreams’ ease at incorporating hip-hop and dance elements.

Corey LeRue took some time to talk the new direction taken on “Marching Bands,” and the rapid rise of Neon Dreams overall.

 

What sets “Marching Bands” apart from what you’ve previously done?
“Marching Bands” is a vast departure from the sound that people are used to hearing from Neon Dreams. Instead of the raging, hard-hitting electronic sound, or the melodic over the top big choruses, it's a laid-back summer song that shares a bit of our love for music and life. Then to have Kardinal come in and do such a great verse that complemented the vibe we wanted to reach with the song was just the perfect collab for the first single from our upcoming EP.
 

How did you hook up with Kardinal and what made him right for this track?
It was the perfect mix of luck and hard work. We were working on new songs for our upcoming EP and had the base of “Marching Bands” that you hear today, but with an empty second verse. Since the moment we had the chorus, we knew there would only be one feature that would make the song sound complete. Through connections we have made in the music world, we were able to get the song in his hands. He loved the vibe that we created and the next step was to fly out to Toronto to meet with him at his office at Universal Music. We both shared the same vision of the song and passion to create a great track that could be played all summer long.

 

What has been the biggest change in your life over the past year?
I feel the biggest change in our lives this year has been the way we write music and what we write. We started out as a group who took all of our influences and brought them to the EDM world. The root of us will always reflect that electronic sound and energy, but when it comes to our music today we've been focusing on writing great songs rather than worrying about the genre it fills.
 

What has been your most memorable experience while touring in Canada?
One of our most memorable experiences is when we went on tour with Down With Webster in Ontario. We had a crowd of 7,000 people, who had never heard the name Neon Dreams before, jumping and going crazy from the time we started to the time we got off stage. It proved two things—we can be put in front of a crowd that knows nothing about us and leave with great positive feedback, and that our live show kicks butt.
 

If there were anything you’d like to change about the music industry, what would it be?

We have learned a lot fairly quickly when it comes to the music industry. It's a very interesting and exciting one, that's for sure. It seems the further you get into the business, the more things start to be determined on stats and numbers, and not necessarily about great music. Now, this makes sense since this is the music business, but as creative individuals sometimes that can be frustrating. I guess it's all about balance. Either way, we love it. 

 

 

 

 

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