Neon Dreams – ‘Say It Out Loud’ (feat. Mthandazo Gatya) 

Juno Award-winning Halifax, Canada alternative pop duo Neon Dreams found themselves a big hit in South Africa with their 2019 single, ‘Life Without Fantasies’. They’d never been there, but their irresistible melodies and high energy got them to the number 2 spot in the what is arguably the most distant country from their homeland. The duo, comprising singer Frank Kadillac and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Morris, knew what to do. They hightailed it onto a plane, played a series of sold-out shows, ensured a Platinum classification for ‘Fantasies’, and legitimately became stars. One person stood in the way of them reaching the top spot however: Mthandazo Gatya held the top spot for several weeks with his sensational Ubuntu anthem, ‘Senzeni’. Neon Dreams figured, if you can’t beat them, then join them, and ‘Say It Out Loud’, their heartfelt new single, features Mthandazo Gatya himself.

The new single combines Kadillac’s effortless and electrifying, hopeful, bright and beautiful, singing style, with Gatya’s soulful and direct, pained and impassioned vocals. The result is equal parts beautiful and wounded, the pair singing together in an international dialogue designed to resonate with everybody who believes in self-expression. They sound like they’ve been singing together for a lifetime, which essentially, they have. Although they’ve worked on different projects, a world apart, they nonetheless have had the same desire to communicate, along with the same optimism, hope for a better future.

Adrian Morris has matched these two performances to exceptional music. Neon Dreams sounds big, but they are never imposing, remaining on a human scale. The music video, shot by Kyle White, sees the duo in Johannesburg, performing on a rooftop with the South African city’s unmistakable skyline behind them. Halfway through Gatya joins them, and the video takes a turn – the almost prayerful song suddenly becomes a party. There’s an unmistakable chemistry between these musicians, and they’re all searching for the same thing: music beyond borders, beyond genres, expression without restrictions, life and love without fetters.

Find Neon Dreams online on their official website.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com

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