By Keith Sharp
When you’re a burgeoning EDM band from the Maritimes hitting the new music charts with a follow-up EP to an already promising debut album, it doesn’t hurt to have the likes of Kardinal Offishall place his seal of approval on your latest single release.
Such is the case with Halifax quarter Neon Dreams who are launching their new seven-track EP `To You’ with a 10-date Maritime tour following a national 40-date radio tour which also included six showcase performances at locations like Toronto’s Velvet Underground.
Fuelling all the excitement is the band’s lead off single “Marching Bands” which features a vocal contribution from Kardinal Offishall.
“We had the song written but we left the second verse open because we knew it would be perfect for Kardinal,” explained DJ/back up vocalist Corey LeRue, on the phone whilst still in Toronto before he and band members Frank Kadillac (lead vocals), Matt Gats (lead guitar) and Adrian Morris (drums/live sampling)) headed back to Halifax to kick off the Maritimes leg of their tour.
“We had no idea how to reach Kardinal but we started playing the tape for people and one contact in Halifax worked for Universal Records and succeeded in getting the tape to him,” LeRue acknowledged. “Kardinal heard the tape, loved the song and invited us to Toronto. Then he put his seal of approval on the song by singing the second verse and that caused a major buzz within the industry”.
Obviously, having such a noticable contributor as Offishall, has attracted serious radio attention but the band has been succeeding on their own merits since recording their debut album, “The Last Of Us” which was released in September 2015.
Formed initially through high school connections, LeRue was the legitimate DJ,following in the footsteps of his father, but the rest of the guys were originally into hard rock. “They were into stuff like Sum 41, Blink 182, Billy Talent and even Coldplay but as we started writing and performing our sound kind of evolved into an EDM type of direction.”
The band’s big break was when they signed with local rapper Waka Flocka Flame’s 36 Brickhouse Management operation. They remixed a couple of Waka’s tracks; “50K” and “Hard In The Paint” which led to their debut album which enjoyed success with their “Love Experts” single.
“Between our album and our new EP, our sound has continued to evolve, there’s a much more mature progression in our songwriting, it’s a lot more structured,” LeRue allows. “When we sit down to write, we don’t think about recording albums or EP’s, we just write songs. Between our album and our new EP, we must have written about 50 or 60 songs but there’s only seven on the EP.
Classified maybe the Godfather of Maritime rap music but LeRue notes that the city of Halifax is a happening place in general and that people like Classified can succeed in a city that boasts four area universities which provides a youthful musical audience.
“At one point Halifax was getting ignored.” allowed LeRue. “It was kind of like the entire music industry ended in Montreal. “Yes we had East Coast music and Sloan but it wasn’t until the internet came along that Maritime musicians could let themselves be heard. And now we have a great scene happening here that’s quite diversified.”
Following the conclusion of their Maritime tour, Neon Dreams plan to head out on another national jaunt this Fall before turning their attention Stateside in the New Year. “We’ve done the ground work with our radio tour,” notes LeRue. “Now it’s time to pull an audience and get people to our live show.”
For further information on the band and their future tour dates, link to neondreams.ca
[styled_box title=”Neon Dreams – Marching Bands ” color=”black”][/styled_box]