Dean Ford
Photo: Tom Couture

Music Video Premiere: Dean Ford Introduces “CRZMKR”

Dance-pop artist Dean Ford unveils his new single/music video, “CRZMKR,” the second single from his forthcoming EP, Dream Fever, slated to drop June 2.

A collaboration with songwriter/producer Bleu, Dream Fever blends the heady energy of dance-pop with vibrant tangs of rock, resulting in a syn-rock rave up surging with contagious dynamism.

Influenced by artists such as David Bowie, Prince, Freddie Mercury, Madonna, and James Brown, Ford was bitten by the music bug early on, followed by making records by the age of 15.

A showman in the best sense of the word, Ford’s electrifying live shows deliver a compelling audio-visual experience as Ford struts his commanding stage presence, rich vocals, and adrenaline-inducing music. Ford developed his charisma and flair by means of his ‘Beautiful Ones” project, a tribute act to Prince.

“CRZMKR” opens on emerging sleazy synths rolling into a pulsating rhythm topped by gleaming layered leitmotifs, seething with residual effervescence. Ford’s delicious vocals imbue the lyrics with tones ranging from creamy melodicism to a yummy, dazzling falsetto.

Impressed and intrigued, CelebMix spoke with Dean Ford to discover more about working with Bleu, how he got started in music, and his à la mode aesthetic.

We’ve heard some of your new EP, Dream Fever — it’s superb! How did you link up with producer Bleu and what was that collaboration like for you as a songwriter?

Thank you! I’ve been a fan of Bleu’s music since I first heard his song ‘Somebody Else’ on the 2002 ‘Spider-Man’ soundtrack. I can’t remember what spawned the idea, but I messaged Bleu on Instagram in November 2020 to see if he’d be interested in collaborating and he responded, saying he was into it. We ended up writing and recording five songs together over the next year. We’d basically start a session with either a loop of an idea he’d started or a completely clean slate and then we’d have a finished song by the end of the next day. It was very inspiring, and I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from working with him. He’s the real deal.

How did you get started in music – can you share some of that story? Would you say growing up in Maine helped shape you into the artist you became? What music did you grow up listening to?

I caught the bug at a very young age. As a child, I spent my time discovering my parents’ record collection, finding old instruments in the attic, writing terrible songs in my room, and listening to my parents sing at karaoke… I just became infatuated with music and decided that was what I was going to spend my life doing. The Maine music scene played a huge role in shaping me as an artist. When I was a kid, on the drive to school, my mother and I would listen to the local Rock station, WCYY. One day they played a song by a band called Rocktopus. I just loved it and needed to find out more about them, quickly learning they were a local group featuring a former member of the band, Rustic Overtones. That just brought me down a rabbit hole of discovery. These guys were rock stars to me, but they were also based out of my hometown. It was just very inspiring and something I needed to be part of. If they could do it, why couldn’t I? By age 15, I was playing in the same venues as my heroes and would eventually collaborate with them throughout my adult life. As far as what I grew up listening to – pretty much everything. I loved all kinds of music and loved that there was a genre that could match any mood. My favorites as a kid were Wham!, Queen, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, The Beatles, Olivia Newton-John, David Bowie, Prince, Elton John, AC/DC, Madonna, KISS, Michael Jackson, Abba, Jim Croce, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Judas Priest, Buddy Rich, and the list goes on and on…

You just got into an elevator with someone from your favorite record label… you have 30 seconds… Can you describe your sound in three sentences?

Well, I’ve spent most of my adult life touring as a Prince tribute act to help fund my original music. I’d be lying if I said that Prince didn’t have a huge influence on where my music is today, but there’s a mix of modern influences like Harry Styles and The Weeknd which seem to work together well. There’s also a great deal of inspiration from classic ‘80s movies, from ‘Blade Runner’ to ‘The Breakfast Club.’

We dig your style and overall aesthetic… where do you shop for clothes? There are so many ways to find great stuff out there. What’s your strategy for finding your new threads?

Well, thank you! I shop pretty much anywhere that has my size, ha! I’m fairly tall and skinny, so that can be a challenge. I’m the type that needs to try clothes on, so I don’t typically shop online. The only places in my area that seem to fit me, without breaking the bank are mostly Express and H&M. I don’t think I’m too picky, but I definitely know what I like. If it fits right and feels good, I’ll wear it.

Taking into consideration all the new music out there these days, in your opinion who’s killing it right now? Where do you draw inspiration?

There’s so much great music coming out these days. I’m a sucker for pop music and theatrics. As far as the more popular stuff, my favorite current acts are Ghost, The Weeknd, Yungblud, Panic! At The Disco, and Harry Styles. I love the larger-than-life stuff. I love artists who create a universe within their work.

How do you define success? And what would you say are three things you cannot live without?

Success to me is being able to live my life doing what I love. If I can make a decent living and pay the bills by doing what I’m passionate about, that’s success to me. Three things I can’t live without: music, movies, and the people I love.

Looking back over the last few years, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned on your musical journey so far?

Keep going no matter what, trust your instincts, and surround yourself with people you can learn from.

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Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.