Photos by: Tom Couture | August 7, 2023
Q: What drew you to the genres of classic '80s synth-pop and rock for this project?
Though I was born at the tail end of it, the '80s is my favorite decade. I grew up on that music and those movies. That influence has been in me for a while and it’s definitely not going away, so I figured I would embrace it and do it my way.
Q: Let's talk about some of the tracks on the EP. "CRZMKR" and "VHS" are two tracks from your EP that have been released prior to the full release. Can you share the inspiration behind these songs?
“CRZMKR” was the first song Bleu and I wrote together and the lyrics came out of brainstorming song titles. It’s the idea of being around someone who constantly puts you into lose-lose situations, making you think you’re crazy. “VHS” is the only song I wrote alone for this release. The title came from my love for 80s film and from listening to a horror movie podcast. The lyrics were inspired by the story of my girlfriend and I. It’s about looking back on an unrequited high school crush, fast forwarding to a decade later when it became real love, and zooming out to consider the future.
Q: Could you describe the collaborative process with Bleu in co-writing and producing the EP? How did the partnership come about, and what was it like working together?
In the middle of 2020, I started writing songs for the first time in nearly 10 years. Probably due to the isolation of the pandemic, I was itching for collaboration. So, having been a fan of his for years and even though we’d never met, I decided to message Bleu about working together and he said he was interested. We got on a phone call, scheduled our first writing session, and have been collaborating ever since. Every song has only taken a couple days. Each session begins with a musical idea, we figure out the song’s structure, decide on a title, write the lyrics and melody, then my parts are recorded, finally Bleu would mix it, and it’s done and onto the next.
Q: Can you tell us more about the concept behind your EP, Dream Fever, and how it ties into the themes of love and relationships? What is the backstory behind creating it?
There wasn’t really a concept or game plan for the EP when it started. It was mostly a “whatever we’re feeling, wherever the music takes us” kinda thing. For me, the glue that holds all 6 songs is mostly in the musical landscape and vibe. They all feel like they live in the same world. Lyrically, the EP runs through the emotional ups and downs that can occur in any relationship. The hopefulness, infatuation, and uncertainty you feel at the start of something new, the realities that set in, the struggles that can manifest, and the overall effect or influence others have on you and vice versa. I write what I want to hear and hopefully what someone else may connect with.
Q: Tell us about yourself and what you do!
I’m a pop/rock singer, songwriter, musician, and wannabe producer from southern Maine. I started playing guitar when I was around 6 years old. I’ve been putting on concerts since I was 10 or 11 and I started recording and releasing my own music when I was 15. Somewhere in between that I learned to play drums, percussion, bass, and keyboards. When I’m not working on my own music, I moonlight as a Prince tribute artist with my band Dean Ford & The Beautiful Ones. If I’m not playing music at all, I’m probably watching a horror movie. That pretty much sums it up!
Q: With the release of this EP, how do you envision your music resonating with listeners on a personal level?
I don’t really have any expectations. I’m really just happy to have people tune in. I want listeners to take whatever it is they get from the music. The way I look at it is that a song can have a completely different meaning for everyone who listens. I love that. I’ve learned that once I’ve created and released something, it really isn’t mine anymore. It belongs to each person who listens. The music takes on a life of its own, completely unique to everyone who engages with it.
Q: Looking ahead, what can we expect from you in terms of future projects or collaborations? Any performances you're excited about?
I have some exciting original shows and Prince tribute shows lined up for the rest of the year. Beyond the Dream Fever EP, I’ve recorded a lot of new material and am currently writing more. So, if you’re interested in what I have going on, it’ll all be posted on my website www.itsdeanford.com or on social media @itsdeanford and @deanfordmusic on Facebook.