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Neon Dreams: High School Dropout

The Halifax pop meets EDM duo shines on a catchy new single inspired by singer Frank Kadillac's real-life experiences and enlivened by his warm vocals.

Neon Dreams: High School Dropout

By Kerry Doole

Neon Dreams - "High School Dropout" (Dreaming Out Loud/Warner Music Canada): This Halifax group broke through with 2016's gold-certified track "Marching Bands," and has since trimmed down to a duo comprising singer Frank Kadillac and drummer Adrian Morris.


Following two EPs, To You and the conceptually-ambitious Wolf, Princess & Me, Neon Dreams is readying the release of a debut full-length album early this year (release date TBA). The ND sound is an eclectic mix of pop and EDM elements, spearheaded by Kadillac's warm vocal style, and this new single has a decidedly radio-friendly disposition.

There is an interesting backstory to "High School Dropout," a song that a press release explains "is dedicated to all of the creators and dreamers out there facing the same challenges Frank Kadillac once did. During his teenage years, Frank struggled with his grades and often felt ashamed of his academic shortcomings. Believing he was a failure, he dropped out of school and searched for an education outside of the conventional institutions."

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In the fall, Kadillac posted his feelings on the situation on his Instagram account, and the strong response to the post inspired him to write "High School Dropout." He stresses that "it is not a song telling kids it's okay to quit, it's a song encouraging them to explore all of the options to make their dreams come true."

The tune is co-written by Nathan Ferraro and co-produced by Michael Wise, the team behind Bulow's "Not A Love Song" and Johnny Orlando's "What If." It's an upbeat track with a catchy chorus on which Kadillac reflects on success being the best revenge: "Just a burnout, tell me who's laughing now."

The duo plays five shows in Western Canada, Feb. 17-21. Details here

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Jay-Z and Alicia Keys perform onstage during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 13, 2009 in New York City.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys perform onstage during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 13, 2009 in New York City.

Awards

Alicia Keys and Jay-Z to Perform ‘Empire State of Mind’ on 2024 Tony Awards

The song always packs a special jolt of excitement when performed in New York City.

It was too perfect an opportunity to pass up: Alicia Keys and Jay-Z will perform “Empire State of Mind” during the 77th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 16. The show is set to air live on both coasts from the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City (8:00-11:00 p.m. ET/5:00-8:00 p.m. live PT) on CBS, and to stream on Paramount+ in the U.S.

“Empire State of Mind” is featured in Hell’s Kitchen, the musical based on Keys’ early life and music which is nominated for 13 Tony Awards. That put it in a tie with the play Stereophonic as this year’s most-nominated production.

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