I’ve been busy. I am busy, but I have just been loving this person’s album so much, so much that I just had to write an article tell you all about him.
DEAN (stylized as DΞΔN), real name Kwon Hyuk, is an R&B singer-songwriter and producer. Specifically, his work can be classified as alternative R&B but I’m not an expert so I don’t know the distinction. DEAN worked as a producer under the handle DEANfluenza, and was behind jams such as:
An interesting fact about DEAN is that he actually debuted in America first, doing collaborations with Eric Bellinger (I’m Not Sorry) and Anderson Paak (Put My Hands On You). DEAN was the first Asian artist to be invited to perform at the SXSW Spotify stage. He debuted in Korea in October 2015 with the song Pour Up (ft. Zico), which gained some traction. By “some traction”, I mean he won Best R&B Soul Song at the year end Korean Music Awards.
Yeah. Did I mention he is just 22 years old?
DEAN’s name stems from the actor James Dean, whose rebellious image DEAN took a liking to. Rather than just being on top of the trends in the ever-changing music market, DEAN aims to be the trendmaker. He’s very conscious of his own musical style and strives to make it unique rather than just being “another generic R&B artist”. In fact, he points to legendary artists such as Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson, noting that their music brings you instantly to their time and is truly representative of an era. That’s what he wants to do.
And he has made a very good start with his first album, 130 Mood: TRBL, which dropped on March 24th, 2016. I’m in love, everyone. Again, I’m really no music critic. But the whole sound of the album is so cohesive and distinctive that I think even I would be able to tell a “DEAN” song apart from the crowd.
Give it a listen, everyone, and let me know what you think!