Sylas Dean on Creating his Single "Real", Revenge, and Trusting Instincts in a Hyper Pop World
Introducing a new player to the underground hyper-pop game! Meet Sylas Dean. The small town singer/songwriter is on his own exciting wave of pop-dance records that shine with the glam rock aesthetic. His style follows in the footsteps of icons like Ziggy Stardust while his music follows artists like The Weeknd. His music is exhilarating, tastefully extra, and extremely vivacious as his sound tat not only evokes a specific kind of heartache but also gives you the momentum to dance freely from the pain.
After releasing his debut EP "American Dreeming", which we featured earlier this summer, Dean dropped his single "Real"! You can listen to it above. It's an energetic, revenge track that takes you on the roller coaster of emotions that post-heartbreak harbors.
Dean is originally from the east coast, more specifically from Rocky Hill, Connecticut. One day he decided to pack his car and drive across the country in pursuit of the hundreds of songs he had worked on. As you listen to his music, you can sense the inner-club kid in him painted across all of his dance-pop rock anthems. Most of his songs are inspired by exploration of love and misery through the medium of hyper pop. His EP rediscovered what it means to challenge your own pain and come out stronger, reinvented, and evolved from the experiences. The colorful world of this artist has been star studded as he has worked in collaboration with producers such as Stefan Schonewille, Justin de Vries, Rebbel,
Lemon Splash, and engineered with Ivan Fiallos Zambrano from Jason Derulo’s ‘Colors’.
We are excited to be able to share his story with you all and to follow his journey into the depths of this glittery, magnetic world of hyper pop, and we're happy to share the interview we had with this emerging star below.
Here is our interview:
Neelu Mohaghegh [NM]: How did the inspiration for "Real" come about and what was the creative process like?
Sylas Dean [SD]: "Real" was a classic revenge anthem in my mind. I heard this beat that Justin (de Vries) and Stephen (Schonewille) had worked on and it instantly took me to this place that felt hyper visual and very cyberpunk. I started to riff over it while I was working on the hook and I wanted to create this clear-cut sound that felt both genuine and synthetic all at once. You can hear some of that original grit in the vocals but it's always masked behind these layers of effects that build on this very callous and robotic sound, which I love.
[NM]: What about the glam-rock era intrigued you most to kind of go down this path with your music?
[SD]: It's all about agency over your image. I grew up in a small town where this kind of self expression wasn't common so for me seeing larger than life characters in music like Bowie or Freddie became my window out. I have a very strong belief system that the kind of music I make lends itself to something fantastical and surreal so I choose to lean into that. I don't believe people turn to music or movies for the mundane, we turn to them for escapism and that's so much of what I enjoy creating, it's never just about the music. I'm a visual artist with a soundtrack.
[NM]: What has been the biggest thing you've learned about yourself in the past year or so?
[SD]: I think I learned to trust my instincts in the business. I'm very direct with the people I work with but only because I'm passionate about what I do so I'm always looking to bring the best out of everyone during a session. I've really let myself take the room and the creative direction around my music and I've learned that taking the reins in a way that's conducive to the work is something that helps elevate the space and the music.
[NM]: What do you have coming up that we should be excited for?
[SD]: We're moving pretty fast, "Real" was the first follow up to the EP (American Dreeming) but we're not resting on our laurels here. I think this is probably a great venue to break the news for my next single that'll be out in August called "Agony"!
[NM]: What do you do outside of music or a fun fact about you that maybe people don't know?
[SD]: I think I'm usually pretty plugged into the day-to-day and I'm writing all the time so I try to carve out time to wind down and listen to ASMR. I'm actually kind of obsessed with it, it's a collection of soft sounds or ASMRtists whispering and it's the oddest thing to everyone but me. It's completely calming for me and I'll usually listen to roleplays which is wild.
[NM]: What is one personal goal and one music-related goal that you have for yourself this year?
[SD]: I think this year I'm focused entirely on taking this music as far as I can to hopefully inch back into the real world and get on the road for a tour. I've missed playing out, so to have a chance to gig with the new music would be incredible.
[NM]: Who is your new music find who you are obsessed with lately?
[SD]: Holly Humberstone for sure. I'm completely lost in her sound, she's got such a unique style to her writing and I've been really ingrained with her music lately so I'd highly recommend any of her singles from this past year. I'm also stoked to see Issac Dunbar is headed out on his debut tour I think! I've been jamming to his music for the last year so I'm hoping to catch him on the road. He has some killer tracks with LeLand.
[NM]: If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be?
[SD]: I think most artists would usually hand this over to one of the more iconic venues like the Garden or the O2 but I'd be beside myself to play the XL Center in Connecticut. It used to be called the Hartford Civic Center when I was a kid. It was the first arena I'd ever been to when I was younger and I've seen countless concerts there, So to pack that venue one day and be on the other side of things would be a surreal and emotional experience for me.
[NM]: Who are you most excited to see live now that concerts are back?
[SD]: I've been dying to get tickets to see Slayyyter. I know she's going out on tour for her debut record so I'm gonna try to catch her show in LA when she's back, I think she's starting overseas. I think everyone's craving a moment in music right now, I think we're about to see a whole new era of live shows and a boom for touring artists.
Thank you, Sylas!