In this world, anything can happen. Just ask Neon Dreams, Halifax's EDM four-piece that recently signed to Atlanta trap god Waka Flocka Flame's new label, 36Brickhouse. The band's engineer Corey LeRue hit it off with the rapper at his Halifax show last January. Since then, Neon Dreams has released remixes of Waka's "50K" and "Hard in the Paint," their own chart-topper, "Love Experts," and are producing tracks for Waka's upcoming EDM album, Turn Up God, at Patchwerk Studios in Atlanta. On Friday, Waka returns for his first Halifax show with his new Neon buds and it's a match that was made in the stars.
"It's a funny story about Neon Dreams. We got randomly selected for a government-funded trip to the moon, but we ended up on Mars," LeRue explains. "On Mars, we met two Martians who wanted to give us something to remember them by. They filled our dreams with a neon glow that hasn't left us since."
In reality, the band met in high-school music rooms, each with their own strengths and sonic interests that led to forming Neon Dreams in mid-2013. LeRue's focus on production was a complement to drummer Adrian Morris's command of music theory. With multi-instrumentalist Matt Sampson and the vocals of Frank Kadillac, "we just kinda fit," says LeRue.
The group began backing-up other local acts and LeRue became one of the most active local hip-hop producers, working with artists from JRDN to LL Cool J.
When the chance to meet Waka came up, LeRue jumped on it, and it made sense from day one. He says Waka's energy "easily relates to what we're doing," both as a recording artist and as a live performer. "People can get all music for free. But the only thing you can't duplicate or download is the interaction of a live show," says LeRue. "I think Waka's been able to hybrid both rap and EDM because he's so extremely hype in both genres, and the whole creative mindset of his live show is how we wanted our live show to look, too. I mean, Waka is turned up to the max. His dreads are flying, he's going nuts."
Since Neon Dreams is all about creating memorable performances for the audience, adding Waka into the mix will make for an entirely unique experience: "I've never seen a rapper jump in the crowd and mosh like Waka does," says LeRue. "I think more than anything, the people who love electronic music also love the culture around it. It's not like anything else. It's such a rapid-fire of new sounds that are constantly evolving. Literally every single week you have new technologies and new ideas."
LeRue says that EDM is an ever-changing musical collage that appeals to the fast-paced modern mind, and their collaboration with Waka speaks to the versatility of EDM, as well as success: "It's amazing. It goes to show that if you truly commit to what you're doing and have the right attitude, it's possible."
Waka Flocka Flame w/Neon Dreams, J-Bru, GQNUMBERONE, Shevy Price, DJ IV
Friday, February 13 at 10pm
The Marquee Ballroom, 2037 Gottingen Street