The South Korean entertainment scene is saturated with many talented young people who work as musicians, actors, models or television hosts with some of them working in all the mentioned categories. Kwon Hyuk, who is mostly known by his stage name, Dean is a musician who churns out songs that fit the alternative R&B genre and he is one of the most successful R&B singers from the country. However, he does not belong to the mainstream K-Pop scene that is prevalent in the country. Learn more about the South Korean crooner in the following paragraphs.
Biography of Dean, the South Korean Singer
Kwon Hyuk was born in the country’s capital, Seoul on the 10th of November 1992 and his childhood was spent in Hongeun-dong. As a child in middle school, he had an interest in the music of American musicians particularly hip-hop and rap. When he began to write songs, he was skeptical about telling his parents as he was not sure how they would react, but upon discovering their son’s passion for music, they chose to support him.
His career as a performer started when he was sixteen and the first person he worked with was Keith Ape, who is also a hip-hop artist. Dean’s first contact with fame came when he started to write songs for K-Pop stars, he was doing this when he was eighteen and from writing their songs he got more recognition for his talent and gifts. Two years after he started to write for K-Pop stars he began to work for Hyuk Shin, who is the CEO of JoombasMusic Group where he also works as a producer.
When he worked with Shin, Dean wrote songs for the Chinese-Korean boy group EXO and Justin Bieber, songs where he was credited for his songwriting. His work with this group was his entry into the American music scene. Kwon Hyuk’s professional debut as a musician happened in 2015 and it was in the United States when he released his single I’m Not Sorry. The song featured Eric Bellinger a Grammy winner. This American debut was a defining move for his career for a musician from Korea.
The norm for Korean musicians was to have their debut in their home country but Hyuk’s decision to release his first song in the United States set him apart from his contemporaries. Anderson Paak and Mila J are two other American acts he worked with before he made his debut in South Korea. This debut took place in October of the same year and it was with Pour Up, another single of his, this time he featured Zico, a South Korean rapper.
In the course of his career, he has only released one EP, the EP had seven songs on it and is called 130 Mood: TRBL. The bulk of his discography is his twenty-five singles.
Facts You Need To Know About Dean
- When Kwon Hyuk had to pick a stage name, he initially chose to go with Deanfluenza. This name is a mix of the surname of the actor James Dean and influenza. The influenza part of the name is because of his desire to go viral as a musician. He decided to use the name of the actor James Dean, because of the late actor’s rebellious reputation.
- When 130 Mood: TRBL was released, it held the 10th position on the Gaon Album Chart, which is the music chart of the country while it was the 3rd album in the Billboard World Album charts.
- It is not uncommon for brands to want to capitalize on the fame that musicians have, this way they can be sure that fans of the musician will be compelled to use the brand that had the face of the musician they like. This is why he was part of a Kolon Sport campaign, Dean has also worked with Puma and Kakaopay.
- Dean participated in the 6th season of Show Me the Money, a hip-hop competition that has aired in the country since 2012. On the show, he competed alongside Zico and their duo won that season.
- Dean is the first Korean musician and the first musician from Asia to have performed at Spotify House.
- In reference to his style of music, he has been called a young Usher.
- Dean is the recipient of a number of awards, all of which speak to the talent he has which he has combined with hard work.