Dean (South Korean singer)

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DEAN, Joombas Music Group artist.png
Dean in January 2016
Background information
Birth nameKwon Hyuk
Also known as
  • Deanfluenza
  • Deantrbl
BornNovember 10, 1992 (age 27)
Hongeun-dong, Seoul, South Korea
OriginSeoul, South Korea
  • Singer songwriter
  • rapper
  • record producer
  • music video director
Years active2013–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGwon Hyeok
McCune–ReischauerKwŏn Hyŏk

Kwon Hyuk (Korean권혁; born November 10, 1992), better known by his stage name Dean (딘), is a South Korean alternative R&B singer-songwriter, rapper and record producer. On March 25, 2016, he released his debut EP, 130 Mood: TRBL, as well as multiple collaborations with both American and South Korean artists.[2][3][4] He is currently working on his upcoming debut album, 130 Mood: RVNG.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Kwon Hyuk was born and raised in Hongeun-dong, Seoul.[2][6] He developed an interest in American hip hop and rap in middle school,[7] and began singing in high school.[8] At that time, he considered music as an "escape from studying,"[7] rather than an occupation.[9] He initially wrote songs in his room, which he kept secret from his parents at first.[6] Although he was the first musician in his family, his parents enjoyed music and supported his decision to become an artist.[8]

He began his career at the age of sixteen, performing with hip-hop artist Keith Ape.[10] By eighteen, he was writing tracks for K-pop stars,[10][11] under the name 'Deanfluenza'.[12] The name originated from actor James Dean, whose rebellious image appealed to him, and the word 'influenza', signifying his desire to make a "viral" impact on the music industry.[12]

At the age of twenty, he was under the tutelage of Joombas Music Group CEO and producer Hyuk Shin, employed with the songwriting team of the Los Angeles-based company whose works include EXO's "Growl" and Justin Bieber's "One Less Lonely Girl".[2][7][13] He was credited on tracks including Exo's "Black Pearl" and VIXX's "Voodoo Doll".[2]

2015: U.S. and South Korean debut[edit]

Dean debuted in the United States in July 2015 with the single "I'm Not Sorry", featuring Grammy winner Eric Bellinger.[3] This set him apart from other Korean singers who had collaborated with American artists, the vast majority of whom began their careers in Korea.[9][14] FACT UK magazine's Claire Lobenfeld subsequently referred to his work with Bellinger, when listing him as an R&B artist to watch for in 2016, noting that artists like Justin Bieber and Chris Brown had also worked with Bellinger.[15] That year, he also collaborated with Mila J on "Here & Now" and Anderson Paak on "Put My Hands on You".[2][14][16][17]

He debuted in South Korea in October that year, and his second single "Pour Up", featuring Block B's rapper Zico,[13] was named Best R&B and Soul Song at the Korean Music Awards on February 29, 2016.[18][19][20] He also collaborated with Korean hip-hop artists Zion.T, Crush, and Junggigo on the single "247",[13][21][22] Dok2 on "I Love It",[13] and Dynamic Duo on "How You Doin'?".[23]

2016–present: 130 Mood : TRBL, collaboration and music producing[edit]

On January 8, 2016, Dean released the single "What 2 Do", featuring Crush and Filipino-American singer Jeff Bernat,[24] On March 25, he released his first EP 130 mood : TRBL, which he wrote and produced with collaborators.[25] The EP charted at No. 10 on the Gaon Album Chart,[26] No. 3 on the Billboard World Albums chart, and No. 22 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart, while "Bonnie & Clyde" entered Billboard's World Digital Songs chart at No. 12.[27] The EP was well received, and was nominated for Album of the Year and Best R&B & Soul Album on Korean Hip-Hop Awards and Korean Music Awards, respectively, as well the two track on the album "D (half moon)" and "21" received multiple nomination.[28][29][30]

In 2016 he had several collaborations, notably featuring on Taeyeon's single "Starlight",[31] Heize's single "Shut Up & Groove" and "And July", and a collaboration on a single and music video with Zico and Crush, named "Bermuda Triangle",[32][33] which debuted on Billboard's World Digital Songs chart at No. 3, making it the highest position he had received on that chart.[34] He also placed for the first time on two "overall popularity" charts; he and his song "D (Half Moon)" featuring Gaeko debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart[35] and the song at No. 33 on the Billboard Twitter Top Tracks chart.[36] On December 11, "Bermuda Triangle" won the weekly competition on the Inkigayo music show.[37]

Also, in 2016, Dean wrote and produced for other artists and music programs, such as two tracks for Lee Hi's album Seoulite; he also created songs for Block B, Boys Republic and BASTARZ, a Block B sub-unit consisting of three members.[38][39][40][41] He also appeared on the JTBC show Two Yoo Project Sugar Man as a producer, arranging a well-received version of the Mose song, "It's Love," for a performance by iKON, and "Je T'aime" performed by Winner.[42][43][44][45] He prepared two tracks for a September 2 appearance as producer on the Unpretty Rapstar 3 show where contestants would use the tracks in the rap competition.[46]

On February 17, 2017, Dean released his first solo work in eleven months, a single album Limbo,[47] with two tracks, "Come Over" featuring Baek Ye-rin, and "The Unknown Guest".[48] "Come Over", the title track, quickly rose to the top of several South Korean music charts.[49][50] The accompanying music video was created and directed by artist Seong Lib, who had also worked with SHINee.[49][50] In April, he made his first-time appearance as a producer on the hip-hop audition show Show Me the Money 6, along with fellow artist Zico, where they won the show as the winning producers.[51] At the end of the year, he released the single "Instagram", the song topped all local music charts in South Korea.[52]

In April 2017, Dean also participated in a campaign with Kolon Sport alongside Bae Doo Na, to protect Jeju Island's Leontopodium hallaisanense, which is an endangered flower species.[53] In July, Kakaopay released a commercial advert featuring Dean and a track he produced for the collaboration (Get the Feeling). Dean also acted in the advertisement to promote the Korean digital wallet service[54]. Later that year in September, Dean also collaborated with Puma, on a campaign called 'Run the Streets', for which he produced a track and starred in a commercial video.[55] In November 2018, he has since released single "Dayfly", collaborating with artists Radmuseum and former F(x) (group) member Sulli.[56]

On May 25, 2019, Dean released his fourth English language single “Howlin’ 404” at the same time of his performance during Seoul Jazz Festival 2019.[57]

On July 12, 2019, it was announced that Dean alongside FANXY CHILD (Zico, Crush, Penomeco, Millic and Stay Tuned) would be holding concerts in Seoul, South Korea at the Olympic Handball Gymnasium on August 10 and 11, 2019 which speculated a comeback for the crew after two years.[58] On July 31, 2019, it was announced that FANXY CHILD would make a comeback with their single album “Y”. The single album “Y” was officially released on August 8, 2019 with a music video released on KOZ Entertainment's official YouTube channel.[59]

Dean will feature on Crush's sophomore album From Midnight to Sunrise on a track titled “Wake Up” which he co-wrote and produced with Crush, and is scheduled to be released on December 5, 2019 at 6PM KST.


In 2016, Dean became the first Asian artist to perform at Spotify House at SXSW, alongside international artists including Miguel and Chvrches.[10][60] U.S. magazine Spin wrote that "the Bryson Tiller-indebted youngster – and recent Universal signee – had some attendees comparing him to a young Usher."[61] Vibe commented that he had a "smooth sound that reminds you of 90s era Usher to this year's Bryson Tiller flow."[62] In New York, he performed eight of his songs at Flash Factory at a concert Billboard K-Town called "stunning".[63] He was called the "R&B prince of Asia".[64][65] He was listed as one of the K-pop artists "you should know" from KCON NY and LA, by USA Today's Hoai-Tran Bui, who said "Los Angeles is getting their own honey-voiced R&B artist with Dean, whose sultry tunes are a shade darker than the more mellow Crush."[66]


Extended plays[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Nurshuhada Ramli, Bibi (August 24, 2016). "Voice of an angel". New Straits Times. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hong, Tae (December 7, 2015). "Interview: K-pop may have found its next R&B giant in Dean". The Korea Times. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Kim, Bo-kyung (October 22, 2015). 딘, 싱글 '아이 러브 잇'으로 국내 데뷔…도끼 피처링 (in Korean). Yonhap. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  4. ^ Yi, Jeong-hyeok (October 21, 2015). 정기고 신곡 '일주일'에 자이언티 - 크러쉬 - 딘 참여. '상상초월' 피처링 라인업 (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  5. ^ "DEAN". We The Fest 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Young Korean Singer Grabs Spotlight at U.S. Music Festival". The Chosun Ilbo. April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Doo, Rumy (March 29, 2016). "[Hallyu power] Getting to know Dean: Musician, storyteller, rebel at heart". The Korea Herald. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Adams, Leah (September 22, 2015). "An Interview With South Korean Singer, DEAN on Breaking into The American Market, Working With Songwriter Eric Bellinger and Much More!". All Access Music. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Um, Dong-Jin (December 30, 2016). "Singer hopes to find success abroad". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "R&B star Dean to be first Asian on Spotify stage at SXSW". Yonhap. February 23, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  11. ^ Deanfluenza (딘플루엔자) (in Korean). Daum. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Lyon, Chris (December 12, 2015). "DΞΔN HIPHOPKR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW". HipHop Korea. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  13. ^ a b c d "Anticipated singer-songwriter Dean makes Korean debut". The Korea Times. October 22, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Tucci, Sherry (April 5, 2016). "12 times Western stars teamed up with K-pop idols". The Daily Dot. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  15. ^ Lobenfeld, Claire (January 16, 2016). "10 R&B artists to watch in 2016". Fact. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  16. ^ "DΞΔN TRBL (DEAN)". SoundCloud. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  17. ^ "Dean". iTunes. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  18. ^ "BigBang, IU, Park Jin-young win KMA awards". Yonhap. February 29, 2016. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  19. ^ [한국대중음악상] 딘, 알앤비&소울 노래부문 수상…'대세 신인 입증' (in Korean). Star MBN. February 29, 2016. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  20. ^ 한국대중음악상 2016 (in Korean). Korean Music Awards. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  21. ^ Hwang, Hye-jin (October 27, 2015). 정기고X자이언티X크러쉬X딘, 역대급 콜라보 통했다 ‘차트1위’ (in Korean). ENews24. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  22. ^ Kim, Yu-jin (October 26, 2016). "Junggigo readies for return with new single". The Korea Herald. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  23. ^ Jang, Gyeong-guk (January 29, 2016). 딘(DEAN), 새 싱글 지원사격… 크러쉬에서 제프 버넷까지 (in Korean). The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  24. ^ Lee, Ja-hye (February 2, 2016). "Dean's new collaboration single draws attention". The Korea Herald. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  25. ^ "130 mood TRBL". Naver. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  26. ^ "Gaon 2016년 13주차 Album Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  27. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (April 11, 2016). "Dean Brings Korean R&B to World, Heatseekers Album Charts With Debut EP". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  28. ^ "2017 Korean Hip Hop Awards – Nominees List". Korean Hip Hop Awards. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  29. ^ "KMA2017: Nominees for 14th Korean Music Awards". Indieful ROK. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  30. ^ "2016 Nominations". Mnet Asian Music Awards. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  31. ^ Park, So-Young (June 24, 2016). [한밤의 신곡] 태연, 딘을 만나 ♥에 빠졌다..러블리 듀엣곡 'starlight' (in Korean). JoongAng Ilbo/Osen. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  32. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (November 29, 2016). "Korean R&B Wunderkinds Zico, Crush & Dean Unite for 'Bermuda Triangle': Watch". Fuse. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  33. ^ Herman, Tamar (December 1, 2016). "Zico, Crush & Dean's 'Bermuda Triangle' Testifies to Importance of Hip-Hop in Korean Music". Billboard. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  34. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (December 7, 2016). "Zico, Crush & Dean Reach New Heights on World Digital Songs Chart With 'Bermuda Triangle'". Billboard. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  35. ^ "Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart - 2016/12/17". Billboard. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  36. ^ "Billboard Twitter Top Tracks chart - 2016/12/17". Billboard. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  37. ^ Park, Sang-suk (December 10, 2016). '인기가요' 지코X크러쉬X딘, '버뮤다 트라이앵글' 1위 [종합]. Korea JoongAng Daily/Osen (in Korean). Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  38. ^ SEOULITE (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  39. ^ BR:evolution (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  40. ^ Blooming Period (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  41. ^ Han, Su-jin (October 26, 2016). 블락비 바스타즈 '웰컴 2 바스타즈', 피오 전곡 참여. Sports Today (in Korean). Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  42. ^ Ahn, Woorim (January 19, 2016). "DEAN Appears in 'Sugarman' as iKON\'s Producer". Yahoo! News/BNT News. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  43. ^ '슈가맨' 유희열, 천재 프로듀서 딘 출연에 "피해 다녔다" (in Korean). Osen. January 19, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  44. ^ Kim, Min-Jung (January 20, 2016). ‘슈가맨’ 딘(DEAN)-아이콘(iKON), 역대 음원 중 최고 순위 기록…‘편곡의 신’ (in Korean). TopStarNews. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  45. ^ [어저께TV] '슈가맨' SM X YG 콜라보, 역대급 아닐 수 있나 (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo/Osen. March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  46. ^ Park, Hyun-min. '언프리티3' 딘 "두려움반·호기심반으로 프로듀서 참여". Korea Daily/Osen (in Korean). Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  47. ^ 딘, 2월17일 11개월 만에 컴백..타이틀은 '림보'. The Chosun Ilbo/Osen (in Korean). February 10, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  48. ^ "Limbo - Single, Dean". iTunes. February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  49. ^ a b Herman, Tamar (February 17, 2017). "DEAN Teams Up with Baek Yerin on 'Come Over'". Billboard. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  50. ^ a b [美친차트] 딘X백예린, 음색깡패 파워..‘넘어와' 음원차트 5개 1위. Huffington Post Korea/Osen (in Korean). February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  51. ^ Kim, Jung-kyoon (April 6, 2017). "Zico, Dean to produce 'Show Me The Money'". Korea JoongAng Daily.
  52. ^ [NI뮤직차트] 딘(DEAN) ‘instagram‘ 1위 유지. News Inside (in Korean). December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  53. ^ "'Kolon Sport' releases full MV with DEAN and Bae Doo Na for 'Flower Power 2017'". allkpop. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  54. ^ "DEAN 'Get The Feeling' KAKAOPAY CF". Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  55. ^ Jay (September 4, 2017). "'Dean' Collabs With Puma For "Run The Streets" Campaign in MV & LookBook". GoodMoMusic. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  56. ^ "Dean Teams Up With Sulli & Rad Museum on Mellow 'Dayfly'". Billboard. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  57. ^ "130 on Instagram: "Howlin' 404 w ( @honjowolf ) is out now🖤 produced by @no_identity_official ✨ & @pressornah1 @deantrbl @reonelol @twotriplex artwork by…"". Instagram. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  58. ^ "130 on Instagram: "fanxy child concert 'Y' 7.17 수요일(wed) 8시 ticket open"". Instagram. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  59. ^ "130 on Instagram: "'FANXY CHILD - Y' Official Music Video ⠀ - 'FANXY CHILD - Y' 공식 뮤직비디오가 KOZ 유튜브 채널을 통해 선공개되었습니다. 많은 관심 부탁드립니다. ⠀ 'FANXY CHILD - Y' Official…"". Instagram. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  60. ^ 딘, SXSW ‘스포티파이 하우스’ 스테이지에 초청 (in Korean). The Dong-a Ilbo. February 23, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  61. ^ Spin staff (March 16, 2016). "SXSW 2016: The Five Best Things We Saw on Day One". Spin. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  62. ^ Thomas, Datwon (March 18, 2015). "Take Five: Get To Know South Korean R&B Artist DEAN At #SXSW". Vibe. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  63. ^ Herman, Tamar (June 7, 2016). "Despite Last Minute Venue Change, South Korean R&B Singer Dean Stuns During NYC Debut". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  64. ^ Lee, Sang-won (July 26, 2016). "Singer Dean crowned the new R&B prince of Asia". K-Pop Herald. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  65. ^ "Media Organization: 88 Rising". NYU May 23, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  66. ^ Bui, Hoai-Tran (June 24, 2016). "9 K-pop artists you should know from KCON NY and LA". USA Today. Retrieved July 31, 2015.

External links[edit]