­Spreading some ­sunshine

Music for the soul
Michelline Nawatises
Canadian alt-pop duo Neon Dreams continued their 18-day international tour with a gig at Sound Garden in Swakopmund.

According to band members Frank Kadillac (singer) and Adrian Morris (drummer), who kicked off their trip on 8 April with a performance at Brewers Market in Windhoek, the tour experience was “so far so good”, as people showed up and they would like to come back sometime. “It feels right to be here, as the people are welcoming,” said Kadillac. Morris added that they feel at home in Namibia and South Africa. “We came to find our fans. We saw that people in Namibia listen to our music. They showed up and we returned the favour by spreading a little bit of sunshine, as the music we make is for the soul.”

Kadillac had an unpleasant childhood and wants to use his music to make the world a better place. His mother gave birth to him when she was 17 years old and while growing up he never stayed in one town long enough to form friendships. He also attended 10 different schools. This made him an obvious target for bullies, but he persevered, and today he devotes his life to ensuring that others can succeed as well.

Kadillac and Morris mix rock with pop sensibilities, and at times Kadillac raps. He also gives a nod to the hip-hop community by referencing other artists’ lyrics in his own. “I like triggering people’s memories when they hear something that’s familiar to them,” he says.

During the performance he shared that his mom was a cancer survivor and because of this, he dedicated a song titled “Turn Back Now” (which was released in 2020) to people facing struggles. “The music we produce is based on the hardships we endured while growing up and on what we experienced and overcame in life. We write music from our hearts without being concerned with genre, and incorporate everything from EDM to reggae in our sound.”

Kadillac said he realised he was sad and lonely when his mother’s boyfriend taught him how to play the guitar. “I had no pals at the time and in this process I met Morris. I learned to play the guitar for a year and then saved up enough money to buy my first instrument. Friendship taught me that when you are surrounded by wonderful people, great things will always happen.”

The duo moved on to South Africa where they performed at the Splashy Fen festival, South Africa’s longest-running and oldest music festival, on 16 April.

Awards

Online streaming numbers for their single “Life Without Fantasies” spiked in South Africa a year after its initial release and the song went platinum. They are also known for their hit songs “Survive”, “Marching Band” and “High School Dropout.” The duo also won the Album of the Year-award for Happiness of Tomorrow at the East Coast Music Awards last year.

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