Ahead of the release of his upcoming EP prologue; eulogia, we asked DEON to tell us more about his music, the musical journey behind his latest collaboration, and what else we can expect from him and the new EP.
Singaporean indie pop singer-songwriter DEON recently released a new version of his 2019 single ‘Fix’. The collaborative work unveiled on July 3, features vocals by the Netflix’s Terrace House star and frontman from prominent Japanese band THREE1989 – Shohey Uemura.
The song which includes a Japanese rewrite of the second verse, thus bringing forth a deeper nuance to the track, will also be part of his upcoming EP prologue; eulogia, which will further feature three other acoustic songs from the artist.
I first discovered DEON in 2016 at a ‘Of Monsters and Men’ gig of which he opened for. I was as much blown away by the escapism and northern lights-like moments of the main band as I was enthralled by the iridescence of his songs.
There was a certain magic to his music which shone and sparkled, and was almost reminiscent of the glow of the Aurora Borealis in Iceland. The melding that night between an opening act and the main band, the latter of whom were from Iceland, (I thought), was perfect.
The new version of ‘Fix’ exudes similar characteristics and nuances.
AL365: Hi DEON, Vanessa here from AsiaLive365. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Congrats on the new version of ‘Fix’. It sounds really good. We understand that sharing the stage alongside Shohey at solfa in Tokyo last year propelled the collaboration later that year. Tell us more about this journey and melding of artistry.
DEON: First off, thank you so much for giving the track a chance and taking time to listen to it! Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had previously been travelling to Tokyo for the past 4 years to do some shows, promote new music and establish friendships with musos on the ground.
In particular, we felt that they were open to different forms of music, gave my band and I opportunities to showcase my songs, and are genuinely interested in understanding our craft and culture.
In 2016, we got to know this very talented drummer called Ryo Sato and remained good friends with him ever since. Eventually, he linked up with THREE1989 as their drummer. Before returning to Tokyo in 2019, he hooked us up for a show with THREE1989 at solfa. At first, I didn’t know who was in the band, but after some desktop research, I got to know their music better and also found out that their frontman was part of the cast of the (now defunct) Terrace House series that was on Netflix.
We played the show with THREE1989 as part of the promotional efforts for my third album eulogia; eulogy, and had that evening to hang out with them, share our tunes with new audiences and also meet other musicians like Eden Kai. It was honestly one of my favourite experiences as a singer-songwriter act thus far.
Eventually, when Mindy Kon (producer & keyboardist) and I sat down to brainstorm our approach for the upcoming acoustic EP prologue; eulogia, we felt that it made sense to reach out to bands and musicians that were part of our journey to be involved in some tracks. We reached out to THREE1989 and got started.
We recorded our tracks in my mini bedroom studio, and sent them over for THREE1989 in Tokyo to record their parts. Mixed it here in Singapore and mastered it with Tom Ignatius who is now based in Norway.
AL365: Any plans to collaborate with other artists in the future?
DEON: Yes, for sure! This collab helped me rediscover the joy in having other artists interpret my tunes. As part of prologue; eulogia, my team will be dropping another two collabs with Dru Chen and Mindy Kon respectively in August – so look out for them.
Moving forward, Mindy and I have also started working on the next full album release. We have earmarked some artists (local and foreign) that we want to work with, So hopefully we will have something for you guys by the end of 2021.
AL365: You mentioned an upcoming EP prologue; eulogia in the works. When will this be released and what are the other three acoustic songs that will be featured in this new EP?
DEON: prologue; eulogia will be dropping at the end of August 2020. ‘We Don’t Leave a Trace’, ‘Moving in Silence’ and ‘Change of Heart’ will all be seeing acoustic interpretations. Additionally, we also included two more surprise tracks.
AL365: If you could describe your music style or character in one sentence, what would you say?
DEON: Melody-driven. Through all my works, I’ve always placed emphasis on creating really strong melodies that stay with you. The songs have to make sense, be part of a bigger cohesive body of work and be relatable.
AL365: You’ve opened up for, as well as played alongside many acts such as Fairchild, Of Monsters and Men, and Maine. Which experience would you say is your most memorable?
DEON: With regard to being an opening act, the most memorable experience that gave me a boost in confidence was opening for Rachael Yamagata. Ever since I saw her perform live in Boston (2008), my song writing style has been greatly influenced by her, and it was great to be able to support her concert at The Esplanade.
Of all my experiences so far, my most memorable experience has been traveling to Tokyo with the band in 2016, staying in a house with an eight-person crew (and one bathroom) over two weeks and having an awesome time. You can view the three-part documentation here:
AL365: With lockdown restricting a lot of regionally and overseas movement especially in the arts and event industry, what would you say you miss most about touring and performing live?
DEON: Being around some of my best friends. I miss my band and crew so much – I just miss hanging out with all of them. Although I’m presented as a singer-songwriter act, it has never been just about me. DEON is really a collective effort from my musos and producers I’ve worked with. Shout out to Mindy, Jie, Jovin, Lyndsey, Leonard, Stasha, Nura, Tom and Martin.
AL365: Is there any particular gig or music festival, whether locally or abroad, that you’re most looking forward to going once restrictions have been eased?
DEON: We have had some shows cancelled in Singapore so far. But really I would be happy to perform at any festival and show that makes sense. Gig organisers: call me.