Sweet Neon Dreams are made of this. The Halifax-based band is on a major roll these days. On the heels of summer time hit "Marching Bands" (featuring Kardinal Offishall) they've just released a Christmas-themed song, “Christmas Without Snow,” that has rocketed to the top of the Yangaroo Most Active Indies chart.
Last week they blew away a room of music industry heavy hitters in Toronto with their short set at the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class winners showcase. As one of the three winners (alongside Youngblood and The Lytics), Neon Dreams receive invaluable support for their burgeoning career. A full week of workshops with artists and industry experts included a session with Lights at Canada’s Music Incubator at Coalition Music in Toronto.
The group's manager, Daryl Flood of Sure Fire Entertainment, told FYI in an e-mail interview that "The band members benefited tremendously from the Master Class workshops and people in the music industry took notice."
Fresh from the Master Class show, Neon Dreams played a hometown concert in Halifax at the Cunard Centre on Saturday and are now set to begin a major 12-city national tour this month. It kicks off Nov. 3 in Chilliwack, BC, concluding in London, ON, on Nov. 26.
The Halifax show on Saturday night was a major success, reports Flood. "It was inspiring to see how much work the guys put into promoting and executing the event," he says. "We took a big risk headlining a 3000 person venue, and luckily the fans responded. It was a great night for music in Halifax.”
Flood explains, “I took over managing the band in January of 2016. This is my first time managing a band, so I don't have much to judge it on, but it certainly seems like the stars are aligning.”
He explains that the group’s upcoming tour “will be our biggest outside of the Atlantic Canada region. We've had tremendous success touring all markets, big and small, here.”
Neon Dreams are booked by Jason Soulliere at the Feldman Agency. He told FYI that "we began working with the band early spring 2016. The trajectory on this act has been incredible. Over 2.5 million Spotify streams on their debut single and cracking top 40 charts on their first attempt. A great story developing for some of the hardest working musicians I have ever met."
"With the traction and attention they are receiving nationwide, we are getting them out to more major cities and music hubs across Canada. Larger tours are planned for 2017."
He notes that "10 sold out shows in September is a good sign. 2017 is what we are really looking forward to. I think it could be a breakout year for them with some exciting tour packages planned."
They may just be making a splash nationally now, but Neon Dreams have been tipped for stardom by East Coast observers for a while now. In 2015, Halifax alt-weekly The Coast dubbed the group Best Electronic Artist, and Band Most Likely To Make It Big. They scored East Coast Music Award and Nova Scotia Music Award nominations last year, and were also included on CBC Music's list of 25 Musicians Under 25 You Need To Know.
Early to the Neon Dreams party was hiphop star Waka Flocka Flame, who signed them to his management imprint 36BRICKHOUSE last year, but that arrangement is no longer in place.
The group members are lead vocalist Frank Kadillac, DJ Corey LeRue, guitarist Matt Gats and drummer Adrian Morris, and all contribute to the writing and production of their tracks. The Neon Dreams style is an eclectic sonic hybrid, described by FYI's Jason Schneider as "a fresh electronic pop sound that combines EDM with live instrumentation." It is showcased on their recently-released debut EP, The Last Of Us, one featuring guest turns from WakaFlocka Flame, JRDN, and Kardinal Offishall.
Last year their breakthrough track “Love Experts” reached the Top 40 on Billboard’s CHR chart, and made the Top 10 on iTunes’ Electronic chart.
Noted for a high-octane live show, the group has shared stages with the likes of Diplo, Flosstradamus, Keys 'N Krates, and Grandtheft.
In a recent FYI Five Questions With.. interview with Schneider, Corey LeRue explained, "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." Read the full interview here