He dismisses 'idol' rumours
With his chiselled features, vocal talents and suave style, rising Korean R&B singer Dean could easily pass off as a K-pop idol.
Widely-reported telltale signs of his impending move to mega Korean idol agency YG Entertainment have been fuelled by him producing songs for the company's artists such as Lee Hi, WINNER and iKON.
But the 23-year-old seems to be content with the status quo.
Dean's public relations team told The New Paper that YG-related questions would not be answered.
When asked if he would ever consider becoming an idol and join an established idol agency, Dean said during a group interview yesterday at Sands Expo and Convention Centre hours before the autograph sessionthat his focus is not his looks, and that he grew up on personal, heartfelt songs that may be the antithesis of typical idol tracks.
"Rather than (being) an idol, I am really happy to be what I am now and do what I do now," he said.
Indeed, Dean boasts street credibility by being part of the underground hip-hop crew, Club Eskimo and Fanxychild.
On how he balances being part of the two worlds - that of the idol and underground scenes - and whether he has faced prejudice from the public for his involvement in K-pop, Dean said: "Although a lot of people differentiate between the K-pop and underground scene, I feel that it will be betterto just (synergise the two) and I really want to break the prejudice.."
At 18, Dean joined Korean production company Joombas Music Group as a songwriter, and started releasing his own material since July 2015 under Universal Music Group.
He quickly gained prominence through a slew of collaborations with hip-hop group Dynamic Duo, R&B/hip-hop powerhouse Zion.T, Crush and Zico, as well as the leader of K-pop girl group Girls' Generation, Taeyeon.
D (Half Moon), a track from his debut EP 130 Mood: TRBL which was released in March, has been maintaining its position in the top 30 of the MelOn, the biggest online music store in Korea.