Photo Credit: Jonathan Wykes (@jon.boy_)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // September 18, 2020
East London’s keaton dekker may have only started releasing music this year, but he’s already gotten so much praise from music critics and thrilled listeners worldwide. Written and produced by dekker, the unwelcome series is this 20-year-old’s debut EP, which is more than ready to blow your mind. With themes of social media toxicity and progression, the unwelcome series will take you on a life-changing journey through self-discovery you didn’t know you needed.
On the unwelcome series, keaton dekker shared,
“IT’S OUT!! My first ever EP. This is crazy crazy. You can now hear the whole project from beginning to end just how I imagined. Hope these songs provide you comfort or help like they did me. Thank you if you’ve listened already.”
To celebrate the release of his new music, we recently chatted with keaton dekker about visuals, confidence, and of course, the unwelcome series.
HH: You’ve been gaining so much traction recently, and we’re so thrilled for you! What has life been like lately?
KD: Aaaa thank you! I feel lucky I’ve been able to release this project over the last few months and I’m so happy people are listening – releasing this throughout the year has been really helping me too.
HH: What inspired the name: the unwelcome series?
KD: I wrote all the songs during one experience I went through a couple years ago. I wanted the name to be something that reflected that and dedicated the music to one moment in time or story – so I called it a ‘series.’ ‘unwelcome’ relates to the themes of the EP: ending ties, moving on, and being more confident in your own decisions.
HH: the unwelcome series may be your debut EP, but it honestly sounds like something made by a musical mastermind. What’s been your favorite memory from the creative process?
KD: Wow! Thank you! A favorite, hmm one would be recording the outro to “makeup” because originally that guitar part was somewhere else, but writing it for the outro involved me singing these guitar lines to my friend in my room and it was funny. Also just writing “Try Again” actually, that song was written so quickly, I remember I danced in my room the whole time.
HH: Songs like “mint” and “ITYK” already have us hooked. Which track on the unwelcome series do you resonate with most?
KD: It changes! “GG” and “Try Again” really connect the dots in the story of the EP. Luckily, I’m at a point where these songs mean new things to me than what they did when I wrote them. I still relate to them, but in different ways now. “GG” is a good example of a song meaning one thing when I wrote it and new things now. I think all the tracks do that in contrasting ways which is something I’ve only been finding out recently, but I think that’s cool.
HH: Visual components seem to be super important to you and your aesthetic. What’s it like to have such a heavy hand in your music videos?
KD: Mann, it’s a lot haha but it feels so good to do exactly what you imagined for the songs, despite how long it can take. But I think it’s all worth it when it comes together at the end and feels completely like you. I’ve always been a fan of having a whole universe surrounding a musical project, I knew growing up it’s what I would’ve wanted to see!
HH: You ran your own music festival, v_01d, for three years. What advice do you have for people who are interested in starting something like that?
KD: Do it. I’ve met some of my greatest friends at these shows – it can really build a community when you feel like there might not be one out there for you. And you’ll never know what will come of it unless you create it for yourself! (Also checklists/time schedules are. your. friends).
HH: If you could turn back time and write any hit song, which would you pick?
KD: Knowing me, I’d probably pick “Cool” by Gwen Stefani.
HH: What are your three hidden hits?
KD: ODIE – “Phenomenon”
Starchild & The New Romantic – “Fall_Window”
WENS – “After the Party Ends”