Dean the Dream Teases New Music & Talks About Success of Hitchin’ It to Heaven
We’ve had a heart-to-heart chat with fast-rising singer-songwriter, Brendan Alpiner, aka Dean the Dream. The Detroit native opens up about his achievements with the recent record Hitchin’ It To Heaven and gives us a peek into his genius mind and soul.
Check out what the “Goodbye, Danny” artist thinks about his past experiences and the present-day technologies that have reshaped the music industry.
Hitchin’ It To Heaven has received a lot of love and media attention! How do you feel about the album’s achievements so far? Did you expect such feedback?
I feel pretty good about it. Honestly, my whole intention with this album was to tell its story and get it heard by as many people as possible not for glory or fame, but to highlight some stories that aren’t told as often as they should.. I’m glad people are liking it. I sort of feel like that means the message is coming across. Didn’t totally expect it, though.
When did you first start making music? Which artists have influenced you the most? What is the most attractive thing about music and/or being a musician?
I started pursuing and recording music seriously around 2017 while I was living in Detroit. And I guess that’s where I draw a lot of inspiration from; that bluesy, gnarly rock. Iggy Pop started in the 1970’s and modern day artists like Jack White, Brittany Howard and Dan Auerbach continue today. But I don’t want to pigeonhole myself; in fact, I’m currently writing new music that’s very pop inspired, almost Nine Inch Nails-meets-Gorillaz. And that’s probably the most attractive thing about being a musician right there; being able to play around in genres and see where the music takes me.
How has your sound developed over the years? How have you evolved as an artist? Learning the craft is a crucial part of moving forward! Do you believe that it is a must to attend music schools in order to excel in the industry?
Fortunately, my music has developed into something I believe to be pretty unique but I’m always ready for change. I’ve been blessed to work with professionals who are constantly teaching me new things, and that just inherently affects the music I make. And while I believe music school can be extremely helpful, I don’t believe everyone needs it. If you’re a musician at heart, anything you learn can be used to enhance your ear and craft. I studied Acting which has helped immensely, but working as a cocktail server has helped almost equally as much.
When you look back, do you think that you would have made different creative choices? What helped you to find your own voice?
Great question! I believe most artists look back and say “oh, I should have done that or changed that or added this or taken out that.” I’m totally at fault for that. But the past is the past and I view it all as a journey to find the voice I have now. Each song is another step towards clarifying my views, my ideas and my voice, so I respect both the great choices and the maybe not-so-great choices I made.
How has your identity affected your artistic choices? When did you first discover your love for music?
As an openly queer guy, I tend to be drawn toward rather outsider artists, or artists a bit out of their time. The ones that just don’t seem to fit in easily. That’s why I choose my covers and sounds extremely carefully; I want to give credit where the credit is due. And oh God, there’s a story in my family that I actually sang before I could speak. I would lie in my crib and the first words that came from my mouth were lyrics from a hymn. So since birth, I guess?
A new technology is emerging every day! A lot of software tools and instruments have changed the way we make music! Do you make use of the new technology or are you more old-fashioned in that sense?
Another wonderful question! It’s a constant balance. So many albums that have that old-school vintage sound are all actually produced by incredibly modern technology. It’s a total mindfuck. But I guess anything that transports the listener to a specific time or place works for me. I love the 50’s-70’s sounds and draw a lot from those eras, so anything to help send the listener back in time is okay with me.
Would you like to collaborate with other creatives? If yes, who? And would you consider forming a band? Which historic band would you have wanted to be part of?
I would love to work with other artists namely Orville Peck, Sky Ferriera, and other musicians of the sort. The ones who blur genre lines yet retain a hypnotic swing. I’d also love to find a rapper to do something with, too, just to try it out.. Oh, and I’d also love to collaborate with poets like Ocean Vuong, Tracy K. Smith or Sam Sax because they’re true masters at poetry. And as far as bands go, I think I’m primarily a solo act right now, but you never know, a band could form. Historic band-wise, Alice in Chains is a band I’ve always admired for many reasons.. I’m a sucker for good harmonies, and those guys knew how to sing about some pretty heavy stuff in such a beautiful fashion.
Is there a special event or performance in your career that you will never forget about?
Working with engineers who produced some of my favorite albums ever is a blessing I’ll never forget. Josh Tyrell who worked on The Arcs Yours, Dreamily and Lana Del Rey’s Honeymoon was a definite highlight, especially because he produced the lead single “Goodbye, Danny” from Hitchin’ It to Heaven.
Watch the Music Video for “Goodbye, Danny” on YouTube:
Listen to the the full Hitchin’ It To Heaven album here: