10 Questions With Dean Mitchell About Her Debut Single "Hold Me Down" [Q&A]

Obviously, the intrigue of Dean Mitchell's debut single got to us immediately. With the full sparkle diva look, the retro disco influences, and a deluge of emotions, it’s hard not to be caught eyes open and mouth agape upon bearing witness to "Hold Me Down." Wanting to know more about this queer Mexican-American artist out of the Bay Area, we reached out to unravel the fun mystery that is Dean Mitchell.

Ones To Watch: Who is Dean Mitchell?

Dean Mitchell: I’m a singer-songwriter from the Bay Area who is essentially an only child and a Cancer... so basically I have hella feelings.

What is "Hold Me Down" all about?

“Hold Me Down” is about being in love with someone but at the same time being a little too flighty and independent to comfortably settle down in the relationship. Like I want to be with you but can you manage to hold me down? I don’t wanna be like this but I’ve been burned too many times to just let anyone love me... you gotta prove it.

We love the ethereal, spacey sound. How’d you settle on the composition?

I’m a sucker for good drum and bass and all the little twinkles and synths just added to the ethereal vibe. It just had this fairy-like aesthetic that was perfect for me.

Any collaborators on the track? Who produced it?

I wrote this song with Lost Boy aka Dillon Deskin! He also produced the track. He’s so creative but also lets me lead with a lot of the production choices and general direction. We work really well together!

You pull from a lot of influences, what people or periods stand out for you?

I would say R&B, alt-rock, and pop from the '90s/'00s are the main influences that formed my musical taste. I’ve always been really passionate about these different genres but the main thread between them is definitely the depth of emotion and feeling you get from the songs. Some of my favorite classics are from Alanis Morrisette, Avril Lavigne, Mariah Carey, Green Day, Incubus, Ashanti, Christina Aguilera... I could go on forever.

Can we expect more of this style in the future, potentially on an upcoming album?

Definitely! I’m releasing more singles this year that have a similar vibe, but I want to also be ebbing and flowing into more soulful R&B sounds and tap into those rock influences as well. I love to explore different genres and always want to push myself to get out of my comfort zone sonically.

Besides this excellent single, what else should we be on the lookout for?

Catch me on TikTok! I think I’m funny and I always preview new music on there first.

What’s inspiring you right now outside of music?

I’ve really been in my creative bag lately. I always felt like if I wasn’t the best at something I shouldn’t even do it but now I’m trying to shake that off by just doing everything. One day I’ll be like painting some clouds and the next day I’m making beaded bracelets or restoring wooden chairs I found on the curb. It inspires me to just live life and do and try as many things as I can because I could literally die tomorrow.

It’s PRIDE month, what’s that mean to you?

PRIDE IS SO IMPORTANT!! I did a lot of self-reflecting during the lockdown and realized that I’m queer/pan. I couldn’t believe that it had taken me this long to figure it out and I know for a fact that if there were more people speaking up and normalizing queerness when I was growing up I probably would have accepted it in myself a lot earlier. The world needs more people that are out and proud of who they are and we need to continue to amplify these voices all year long!

Who are your Ones To Watch?

My Ones To Watch right now are Dora Jar, Alemeda, Kareen Lomax, and Lilyisthatyou! They are all criminally underrated. I’ve also been playing the shit out of this song “Orange Juice” by Rozie Ramati and Alé Araya that I found on TikTok.

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