Dean: Beyond Borders

Dean PhotoMusic is the universal language; it touches millions around the world, connecting emotions and experiences until the spaces between the oceans meet. One of spaces the music of Kanye West, Nirvana, N.E.R.D. and others reached was South Korea, specifically the home of a young man who simply goes by the name Dean. More than the music, he was attracted to the optic presentation of his favorite artists, the way they translated their music visually and the attitudes they projected. This was the connection Dean needed to veer from the pack of young Koreans dreaming of pop music stardom. His natural rebelliousness found a home in the music he loved and inspired him to create in a way that made him distinct, a style that brought him to the attention of Universal Music Group.

Merging his influences, a love for ‘70s soul lyrics, and his burgeoning confidence, Dean began writing and producing for other artists throughout Korea when Universal reps decided they wanted to meet the man behind the music. He played some of the music he’d been working on and a deal was offered, then signed. He’s still working on his English, which will improve his songwriting and also his appeal to an American audience. In the meantime,Dean works through the barrier with melodies and a co-writer to ensure the words are pieced together correctly. The first singles released feature Eric Bellinger (“I’m Not Sorry”) and Mila J. (“Here & Now”) ,and give very little hit of English being a work-in-progress or difficulty communicating with the guest artists.

Music is the universal language.

It was a language his parents encouraged him to pursue, through their love of listening to music and singing or dancing along. The itch was in him as a youngster, but watching the way audiences reacted to performers pushed him to dream of being in that spotlight, driving the crowd wild with his songs and dance moves. Dean is the first person in his family to pursue the arts as a career and has already opened many doors for others to walk through in the future.

He’s working hard on his debut album, working to craft an album that’s uncompromising and introduces himself in a way that people connect with, much in the way Kanye or Kurt Cobain resonated in his heart. The music he writes is intended to bridge gaps, cultures and bodies of water, in hopes of making it easier for people to learn about one another and ultimately, love each other better. To some, it’s an impossible dream, but wasn’t his first one as well?

To stay current with Dean, visit his website or connect with him via social media (@deantheofficial).

–Al-Lateef Farmer

Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find Al-Lateef Farmer; Black man, husband, social documentarian, and slinger of Soul by the pound. His brand of social commentary, rooted in independent thought can be found at and on Twitter @wrldacrdng2teef.

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