Wesley Dean started singing when he was only eight years old. The boy who grew up singing Motown classics and his favorite Jackson 5 songs had no idea just how far his musical career would go…or where it would take him.
Dean experienced success right out of the gate when his debut single, “You,” reached the #1 spot in his native Australia. That song was certified Gold, as was its follow-up single, “Feels Like Woah.” These songs were included on Dean’s 2009 album, The Way the World Looks, which was certified Gold and reached the #2 spot on the chart. These successes, and many subsequent ones, made Dean one of the most popular artists in Australia.
In the midst of this success, Dean traveled to the U.S. to visit Nashville, Tennessee. As someone who has always enjoyed blending various genres into his work, Dean traveled to “Music City” to find like-minded people to collaborate with.
Dean didn’t know it then, but in a decade’s time he’d end up calling “Music City” his new home.
Years passed, and Dean became a family man. He married actress Charlotte Gregg and they share two sons, now ages nine and three.
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Dean and his family moved to a sea shanty town on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. While living there, Dean found himself reevaluating his priorities when it came to his music.
When his wife and kids went out of town on vacation, Dean was left alone in their beach house. That’s when inspiration struck. The music came pouring out of him, and he wrote 20 songs before his family returned from their trip.
The experience not only reignited Dean’s creative spark, but it gave him a newfound longing for a city he visited yers ago…Nashville. So in 2021, Dean and his family boarded a plane from Australia to Nashville, and have made themselves at home.
Dean felt a renewed sense of inspiration after arriving in Nashville. He compared this inspiring time to the one he experienced on the Sunshine Coast back home in Australia shortly before he came to the U.S.
The songs began flowing once more. Dean’s newly blossoming creativity was fueled after reconnecting with some collaborators he met on his first trip to Nashville many years ago. One of these collaborators was engineer Justin Cortelyou. He also made new friends and formed partnerships with them, such as his co-writer Fred Wilhelm.
With each new song he wrote, Dean felt a yearning to get in the studio:
“I’d write a song and immediately record it,” Dean said about that era of his life. “We encapsulated this big feeling of traveling overseas from Australia to America, arriving in our new home, and finding our way forward.”
Dean came to Nashville hoping to find a fresh start in life. That fresh start begins with the release of his new album, unknown.
The 14 tracks on unknown have their own distinct style, and can best be described as a mix between authentic Americana and modern roots music. Each song is a puzzle piece in the story about Dean’s life-changing relocation to Nashville.
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Some of the tracks on unknown were written before Dean left Australia, while others were penned after he made the move. So the songs appropriately explore themes of arrivals, departures, regrets, big risks, and new beginnings.
Though the songs on unknown offer nods to Dean’s past, they do not dwell in it. Rather, each track is deeply connected to the present day. Listen to Dean’s current single, “Gaslighter,” in the clip below.
Dean turned his personal leap of faith into art when he created unknown, his first album since moving to Nashville. It is available on Friday (April 29) for all to hear and enjoy.
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