They may be from Canada, but talented duo Neon Dreams have captured the hearts of South Africans with their hit single Life Without Fantasies, which is topping the charts.
Released in July 2019, the single enjoyed only moderate success. However, more than a year later and without officially releasing the song in South Africa, the award-winning duo noticed a spike in comments from South African fans on their YouTube page.
Official South African release
They subsequently noticed a significant organic increase in streams 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. Naturally, the group is thrilled to hear that the song has had a resurgence in South Africa.
What do they attribute the success to? Lead vocalist Frank Kadillac explains, “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.
“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.”
No strangers to success
With more than 40 million total streams, Neon Dreams are no strangers to success. They’ve won a Juno Award (often referred to as the Grammys of Canada) and have toured the US and Canada extensively.
“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? “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,” Kadillac explains.
“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.”
Life Without Fantasies dominated South African streaming charts, spending over a month on Spotify’s Viral 50 peaking at #2 and is currently on a number of Apple Music and Spotify playlists as well as the local Shazam.
The single has received exciting feedback from South African media and has recently peaked at #1 on the Ofm Central South Africa Top30 as well as regular daytime play on 5fm.
It is included on Neon Dreams’ Sweet Dreams till Sunbeams – an album comprising nine uplifting songs about not fitting in and overcoming adversity.
Watch the Neon Dreams’ Life Without Fantasies video on YouTube here.