Dermot Kennedy, the twenty-five-year-old singer-songwriter and an EARMILK Artist To Watch, has really stepped into his sound with his latest release "Young & Free," the debut single from his upcoming Mike Dean-produced mixtape.
It's difficult to articulate how we feel about things we love. Ask people about how much they hate something and they will prattle on ad nauseam. When we talk about what we love, it seems incoherent sounds are all we're capable of expressing. I've been formulating this piece for weeks, trying to find the right words, the proper application of language to introduce this track to EARMILK readers.
Teaming up with Mike Dean is no small feat for an indie musician from Ireland. The hip-hop giant gives "Young & Free" a subdued production that, although driving, ultimately allows Kennedy's vocal to carry the track. Of working together, Kennedy says:
"Working with Mike Dean on this project was such an honour. 808s & Heartbreaks was one of my favourites from him, it was the perfect introduction for me to think about hip hop in a different way and play around with it. I just knew he'd get what I was trying to do with my sound… He put his stamp on the songs and was able to bring forward my love and appreciation for hip hop while keeping to its acoustic roots."
If older fans were worried vocals and intimate acoustic guitar would be lost to hip-hop production, rest assured: Dermot Kennedy isn't going anywhere. "Young & Free" sees the return of Kennedy's immensely mature songwriting ability. The lyrics are clever, vulnerable, beautiful, powerful; the vocal flies—it stopped me dead in my tracks on first listen. This is the sound of a man stepping into the fullness of his abilities.