The Communicator

The Unknown Guest

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The flicking of a lighter interrupts a quiet, technological static. A dim, velvety voice fades in with a simple piano chord, accompanying the static and creating a recorded-in-a-bedroom kind of vibe. The voice is gentle, with little vibrato yet a strong, foundational undertone. As the voice effortlessly drifts to a high note, the piano gets more complex: more chords join in, single notes pop in and out, more octaves are introduced. This two minute song varies in dynamic throughout but keeps a steady tone. The voice leaves on an unresolved note while the piano and static carry the outro. Resolving notes here and there, changing keys for a few seconds, then trailing of angelic piano notes end the song in a hopeful and youthful manner.

“The Unknown Guest” by Kwon “DEAN” Hyuk was released in 2017 under the label Joombas Co Ltd. The song begins with the lyrics,

 

“During this time

I don’t want the rain

Because I always end up playing that song, again…”

 

DEAN displays his setting arrangement in the beginning of the song as he describes himself in a place where emotional strain or pain is tied to the falling of the rain. If the rain gets to him, he will end up playing “that song”. There are songs that radiate the feeling of spring rain, coffee, and warm blankets. While the song DEAN is referring to reflects that feeling, it is probably tied in with another meaning as well. The song continues with the voice describing the “pleasant melody” and how it weakens him whenever he hears it. He mentions how he “shouldn’t have looked in those eyes,” and references how he choked on his words when talking to a close friend one night. He infers that he regrets it, and misses that person. Whoever he talks about in this beautiful song, he never specifies whether or not he resolved his relationship with that person.

Kwon Hyuk was born in Seoul, South Korea and has been releasing music since he was sixteen years old. Hyuk had been writing music for Korean pop stars under the name “Deanfluenza” when he was eighteen while  producing his own beats. Two years later, he was signed to record label Joombas Co Ltd., that is based out of Los Angeles and associated with other popular Korean and American songs. When he was signed to Joombas, he chose the stage name “DEAN” that was inspired by the edgy and rebellious look of actor James Dean.

His style has a large range, much like his singing voice. Along with having a soft voice like no other, DEAN has collaborated with other artists and released original music that shows off his skills with rap and harmonizing in both Korean and English. His first single that introduced his ability to rap was released in 2015, called “I’m Not Sorry.” It featured an American rapper Eric Bellinger. Since then, DEAN has released nine other EP albums and singles. He has been crowned “R&B Prince of Asia” by 88rising platform, and continues to blow away audiences from around the globe.

Next time you want to sit back and listen to a smooth, silky voice or a devoted and rhythmic rapper, DEAN is a promising go-to artist.

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The Unknown Guest