The single’s success has followed an unusual trajectory, having been released in July 2019 with only moderate success. Over a year later, without having been officially released in SA, the band noticed an increase in comments from South African fans on their YouTube page.
Not long after they noticed a significant organic spike in stream, prompting an official South African release in October 2020. The fan feedback began snowballing and South Africa, seemingly overnight, became their biggest fan base after their native Canada.
Thrilled about the massive impact the song has had on Southern African soil, this is what lead vocalist Frank Kadillac had to say: “Life Without Fantasies” is one of my favourite songs that I’ve written. It’s uplifting with a world sound vibe to it so I’m not surprised it caught on in South Africa.”
He adds: “Fans in Johannesburg, Durban, Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Pretoria began reaching out to us over social media saying the most beautiful things. We connected with as many fans as possible performing on Instagram live feeds, sending personal videos and private zoom concerts. We are extremely grateful for the love we are experiencing. Sometimes music just needs to find the right home.”
Neon Dreams meteoric rise to the top of South African music charts
Neon Dreams is a Canadian alt-pop duo consisting of vocalist Frank Kadillac and drummer Adrian Morris. They write and produce their own music and defy genre pigeonholing, as they draw freely upon pop, rock, folk, EDM, hip-hop and reggae elements.
The band was originally formed with four members in 2013, and has since released two studio albums, starting with their 9-track debut, ‘Sweet Dreams Till Sunbeams‘ in July 2019, followed by their second studio album, ‘The Happiness of Tomorrow’.
No strangers to success having accumulated over 40 million total streams, they’ve won a Juno Award (often referred to as the Grammys of Canada) earlier last year (2020) and have toured the US and Canada extensively.
Their mega hit song ‘Life Without Fantasies‘, from their fiirst album, has since gone viral in South Africa, having spent over a month on Spotify’s Viral 50 peaking at number two and is currently on a number of Apple Music and Spotify playlists as well as the local Shazam.
The single has also received exciting feedback from some of South Africa’s radios, and has recently peaked at number one on Ofm Central South Africa Top 30 as well as regular daytime play on 5fm.
“We never thought our first success out of North America would be South Africa! It seems so far away, but the warmth and love we’re getting from fans there has blown us away. South Africa has never felt closer,” says Kadillac.
What’s the song about?
‘Life Without Fantasies’ lyrics reads in part: “When you don’t fit in, it’s like you’re forced to see the world differently. These are the fantasies of a very uncool, unpopular kid. These fantasies were sparked from years of being picked on and desperately wanting to fit in. I realised fantasies about money, girls and luxury are fun to think about but in reality, those things don’t make you happy. All I want is some happiness and a little bit of pain to know what’s real.”
Watch the ‘Life Without Fantasies‘ video here.
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