The DEAN’s list
Seoul, South Korea—At Greenplugged Seoul, DEAN is a headliner—and hours before he even occupied the music festival’s Sky stage, the crowd on the standing zone begins to thicken, waiting for him to take the reins from his fellow hip-hop and rap artists. As DEAN begins his sound check, fans start cheering, while some are even close to crying.
The sun usually sets late in Korea, and as it melts on the horizon with hued streaks of orange and pink, the stage’s screen replicates the psychedelic colors, cueing the alternative R&B artist to start serenading the hyped crowd as the hour finally enters the night. The clock turns to 7 o’clock, and DEAN’s music begins to play.
“Greenplugged is not only a performance, but a place where I can interact with my fans. The songs I prepared for them to hear will sound different from the usual, how it is on the album. It will have a fresh sound, a different feeling, especially with a live band,” DEAN promises us days before his Greenplugged performance. MCA Music Inc. flew Super to Korea for the show.
And DEAN is true to his word. He starts the set with his songs “And You?” “Pour Up” and “Put My Hands on You” to get the tempo rising. He also performs his newest single “love” for the first time before a huge audience.
While the song is introduced with the prerecorded vocals of Syd from the Los Angeles-based soul band The Internet, DEAN takes absolute control on the next stanzas. It is an upsurge of energy and funk rock beats.
“Youth is love,” DEAN tells Super. The collaborative track “love” speaks of the uncertainty and vulnerability of young romance, and revolves around the idea of the unique feeling and experience of falling in love for the first time.
The all-English single comes after DEAN’s Eskimo Tour in the US early in May, and he shares it was the fans who made the production happen.
“The fans asked for it,” he says. “After the US tour, we (me and Syd) wanted to collaborate.”
“Like a normal person, I have artists I personally like and I work with them because I want to put out the best album for the market,” DEAN shares.
He also reveals that the single “1+1=0” with singer-songwriter Suran is his favorite composition to date.
DEAN’s live set transitions from an irresistible dance groove to the slow modern ballad of “What 2 Do.” The singer lavishes the song with smooth ad-libs and swooning notes, showing off his vocal range.
Next on DEAN’s list is “21,” his favorite song to perform live. The song leaves his audience high on spirit, and they let out their loudest screams as the first notes of “D (Half Moon)” play.
He lets the crowd sing most of the song’s chorus. DEAN feeds off their vibrancy and enthusiasm, drawing energy to help him sing the next lines— creating a powerful moment shared with the audience. But that doesn’t come off as surprising after revealing that among all his songs, “D (Half Moon)” is the most dear to him—and he is able to let the festival crowd feel it.
“Each one of my songs has an aspect of me in it, but ‘D (Half Moon)’ is what I’m most personally attached to,” he tells Super.
The contemporary cynical tunes of “Bonnie & Clyde” and one of his earlier tracks, “I’m Not Sorry,” then blast from the speakers. Before he bid the crowd goodbye, he goes offstage to greet his fans, and it remains a moment for every festivalgoer to remember.
DEAN’s hour-long Greenplugged set list leaves everyone wanting more, and the crowd undoubtedly wishes for more songs to be played. But don’t worry, this guy will have more aces on his sleeve come his next live performance—he is, after all, coming out with at least 10 songs for his newest album very soon.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.