South by Southwest is in full swing out in Austin, Texas. The decades-long running tech, film and music conference is buzzing with new and emerging talent from all over the world this week. While the VIBE team checked acts at the Spotify House, we saw a young singer by the name of DEAN, hailing all the way from South Korea. Currently linked to Universal Music, DEAN has a smooth sound that reminds you of 90s era Usher to this year’s Bryson Tiller flow.
The 22-year-old even spits some bars that will shock and amaze. The epitome of humbleness, he took time to take pics with his fans after his set and then sat with us for an interview through his interpreter. With his English already pretty good, when he gets it all the way down, cats out here stateside better watch for their thrones.
What’s the big difference between South Korea and the U.S. music scene?
Well the weather is different [laughs]. The music audience…like how people take in music is so different. They kind of vibe with you different [here].
Who has inspired you musically?
Anderson .Paak and Miguel. I have a single with Anderson .Paak titled “Put My Hands On You.” [And] Kanye West.
Comparison wise, your first song at Spotify House had an Usher vibe to it. The last one I felt was more Bryson Tiller. Who does the production for your music?
I was inspired by Bryson Tiller for that one. Me and other producers. I’m a singer, songwriter and producer. I do some production and writing for big K-Pop acts in my country.
I know that G-Dragon is huge for K-Pop. Have you been inspired by his career?
I used to listen to him, yes. Mostly I’ve been listening to American urban and hip-hop…since I was 16. I grew up rapping and writing lyrics.
A video posted by deantrouble. D??N (@deantrbl) on
I can see you playing New York spots like Irving Plaza and SOBs to a good sized crowd…
I haven’t been there but would love to go. Invite us! [laughs]
What do you want people to get from your music? A message, express themselves, etc.?
My music is open for all, however they want to perceive it. My job is to make the music. If you want to party with your friend, or cry to it, however your emotions are, I leave that open to the audience.