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Interview: Neon Dreams

Neon Dreams “This Is It” (pop)


Here they are – the feel-good philosophers, the spiritual ciphers, the good-vibe guys – known as Neon Dreams. Formed by a group of self-proclaimed high school dropouts in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Neon Dreams is now an international sensation. With complete disregard for the bounds of genre, frontman Frank Kadillac and drummer Adrian Morris freely swim through waters of alternative, pop, folk, funk, hip-hop, and reggae. The only thing that matters to this team is truth-telling; whether communicating feelings of romantic love or transcendence through trauma, each of their songs shines with a gleam of freedom and clarity. With the release of their latest album Love Child Baby Dolphin, the dynamic duo is poised to continue spreading their signature vibes to all who will listen on their seemingly endless world tour.

Released on Love Child Baby Dolphin, Neon Dream’s cathartic bop “This Is It” may cause sudden tears of joy and release amidst compulsive dancing. At the top of the track, Kadillac cooly strums his uke while singing a simple tune that cuts straight to the heart. The message is equally simple and poignant: we love not for wealth or fame or feelings but because love is our truth. Morris pops in with jovial drums to get our bodies on the same level as our feels, and the production crescendos to an irresistible call-and-response that’ll have you singing along—whether in your car or in the crowd.

For an extra boost of sunshine and take-it-easy vibes, look no further than the music video for “This Is It,” directed by Daniel Cole. Serving as the band’s travelogue for the past year or so, we see just how far a life lived in love, light, and art has taken Morris and Kadillac. Scenes leap from live shows to encounters with elephants, high-fives with fans, and quiet moments of togetherness backlit by South African sunsets. Paired with the sound and ethic of the song, the series of joyful scenes makes a casual and compelling argument that if there’s any ideal way to live life, “This Is It.”

Can you walk us through the formation of Neon Dreams as a group?

Adrian and myself met in high school but had been in bands before Neon Dreams.

At the start of Neon Dreams, we were just DJs because we started to fall in love with producing and making EDM. There was a day that a mutual friend of ours reached out and asked us a favour. He was a promoter on a show and a band dropped out. He asked us to take all the music we produced and play it as a band at his show and we would save him from trouble.

We decided to do it and we didn’t even have the name Neon Dreams until the day before the show, haha. After we played, we were met with a loud roar from the crowd and it was something we’d never experienced before in our past bands. We all felt like this was what we should be doing.

Eventually, it got to where we are now going – from a 4-piece to duo through trial and error and people discovering their true purpose, but I’m so thankful for that day. To think, we started the band just as a favour to help a friend – and all this has happened since.

Why was it important to include clips from live performances for the “This Is It” music video? What has been your favourite live performance, and why? 

There is a breathtaking scene of you with an elephant! What was it like filming that scene and how did it come about?

Haha yes, the elephant is such a beautiful spiritual animal. Honestly, we went on a guided tour and I had brought my ukulele with me so I asked, “Has anyone ever sang for the animals before?” – they said no, so I started messing around and I think they enjoyed it, especially the one I was next to.

How would you describe the Neon Dreams’ album Love Child Baby Dolphin to those who have yet to hear it?

Sunshine music for the soul. A warm hug, the kind you don’t want to let go of, haha – it’s a bottle of sunshine for your soul with one goal to bring positivity and serve you on your path.

What was the main intention when creating “This Is It”? What inspired the track’s concept?

Honestly, watching my friends be in love helped me make this song. They are such different people and I realized that no riches can make this type of love, no material thing can create this type of love. When your heart chooses someone you know before you even speak your first few words to them. You love her cause your heart said “this is it this is true love”

What are your hopes, plans, and dreams for Neon Dreams in 2023?

I hope for this music to spread further into the world, not for my ego but because I think of music like spiritual medicine and it would make me happy to see people all over the world experience Neon Dreams.

We are currently getting ready for our Sunshine Tour with another Canadian, Colemen Hell, and local Joburg artist The Saxby Twins. The goal is to do this once a year ,bring an international artist to South Africa and show them how beautiful this country is.

But other than that we already started working on the next body of music and it’s incredible we found a working formula that’s going to make this family a lot bigger!

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