South Korean R&B singer Dean (styled as DΞΔN) surprised fans by releasing the music video for his song “bonnie & clyde” today (March 21).
The song is without a doubt one of the best R&B songs I’ve heard this year. The beat is trippy, hypnotic, and has a strong American R&B-inspired sound. Unfortunately, Dean has received criticism for sounding “too Western”, but it’s also one of the reasons why Dean is so beloved in the world of Korean R&B.
Dean, real name Kwon Hyuk, got his start at 15 as a rapper for the group Keith Ape. At 18, Dean found his talent for singing and songwriting, and soon started composing songs K-pop idols. Dean joined Joombas, a Korean music production agency with an office in Los Angeles, when he turned 20. With Joombas CEO Hyuk Shin as his mentor, Dean would write songs for idols like EXO (“Unfair”, “Black Pearl”) and VIXX (“Voodoo Doll”, “Eternity”).
Dean made his US debut July 2015 with the single “I’m Not Sorry” featuring Eric Bellinger. He debuted in South Korea a few months later in October with “Pour Up” featuring Block B rapper Zico, which won “Best R&B and Soul Song” at the 2016 Korean Music Awards.
Dean was the first Asian artist to perform at the Spotify House concert for SXSW this year, and also performed at K-Pop Night Out at SXSW.
Dean will be releasing his first EP, 130 Mood: TRBL on March 30.