Introducing DEAN, the new face and sound of K-pop
When did you start dabbling in music – what and who were your early influences?
I started making music when I was 16 years old. It was mostly rap back then, and my earliest and biggest influence was Kanye West.
You went from working behind the scenes as a producer/songwriter to becoming a full-fledged artiste. How has the early experience of collaborating with big name US producers such as Mr. Carmack and Esta influenced your current sound?
I was really into the sounds that were popular on Soundcloud. I liked hybrid genres such as chill, futurebass, and soulection house. Those sounds helped make me into the artist DEAN. That’s where the “direction” and “colour” of my music came from.
Where and what were you doing at the moment when you realized you had a #1 hit on the Apple US kpop chart?
I think I was in the middle of a tour somewhere when I found out. That was a cool moment.
You’ve described James Dean as the inspiration behind your moniker. In what ways do you relate to him?
I liked the rebellious side of him and the philosophies he lived by. The fact that he was an actor also played a big part in my desire to create songs that have a strong cinematic feel to them.
What emotions or mental images do you hope to evoke in your listeners through your music?
I want my listeners to feel the rawness of my music and I want them to be pleasantly surprised by it.
How would you summarize your personal style?
If you could collaborate with any brand on a fashion line what brands would you choose?
Supreme, Undercover, neighborhood, Prada, Junya Watanabe
Whose wardrobe do you covet - and why?
I like Luka Sabbat’s style. He favours the same street brands I like, and he has some seriously cool shoes.
As a performer do you change your look often? What are your go to pieces?
I don’t change my looks intentionally. Comfort is really important to me. My go-to pieces these days are shirts.
What were the last 5 pieces you bought?
Recently I bought a Japanese style shirt, Prada shoes, a silver ring, a cap, and Supreme underwear.
3 words your friends would use to describe you
Sensitive. Thoughtful. Thoughtless.
Dream holiday destination?
Somewhere in Europe.
Last thing you Googled?
Supreme 16F/W release.
A guilty pleasure?
Anything for a midnight snack.