Korean-Australian alternative recording artist DPR IAN – the multifaceted musician, director, and videographer of the groundbreaking independent multimedia label collective Dream Perfect Regime (DPR) alongside DPR LIVE, CREAM, and REM – today releases his highly anticipated, long-awaited debut full-length album, ‘Moodswings In To Order’. Fans can listen to the album here orcd.co/miito and purchase it here: mito-shop.us
The genre-bending 12-song LP is a continuation of the titular character “Mito” first featured on IAN’s 2021 debut EP ‘Moodswings In This Order’, which reframed mental health struggles as superpowers and detailed IAN’s own inner battles with his bipolar disorder. Written and produced by IAN and DPR CREAM with creative direction by DPR REM, the multi-genre LP ‘Moodswings In To Order’ features elements of pop, rock, R&B, and electronic music and debuts today alongside an accompanying striking short film written, directed, and edited by IAN.
Alongside label mate DPR LIVE, IAN is gearing up to hit the road for the DPR Regime World Tour kicking off on September 8, 2022 in Charlotte, NC and heading to 19 other North American cities — including Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, New York, and Atlanta — before embarking later this year to South America, Europe, and the UK with additional dates for Australia, New Zealand, and Asia to be announced soon.
DPR IAN makes music you can see and feel, constructing his own audiovisual language to communicate things for which there are no words. With his debut studio album, ‘Moodswings In To Order’, released alongside a short film he directed and edited, the Los Angeles-based visual artist blurs the lines of R&B, jazz, rock, and electronica to convey an atmospheric exploration of self-reflection and spirituality, as seen through the eyes of his misunderstood alter ego MITO.
Christian Yu began composing and creating under the alias DPR IAN in late 2015 as one of the founding members of creative collective DPR (Dream Perfect Regime) in Seoul, South Korea. The independent label creates, directs, produces, and edits all types of multimedia projects for its diverse roster of talent, with DPR IAN serving as its chief director and editor. In addition to in-house direction and cinematography, he’s helmed music videos for some of his most prolific peers, from Mino’s “Body” to Bobby’s “HOLUP!” to Taeyang’s “Wake Me Up”.
Known for his sharp artistic vision and tedious attention to detail, DPR IAN is now emerging as a solo artist whose work exists in the liminal space between light and shadow. Through the character of MITO, a physical manifestation of his own bipolar disorder, the 31-year-old Australian-Korean artist has created his most personal work to date. A consummate storyteller, he says, “I wanted to give the audience a character whose journey they could follow.”
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, DPR IAN developed a fondness for music and performance at an early age. A childhood fascination with electronic duo Daft Punk’s seminal 2001 album ‘Discovery’ and the musical Cats gave him a keen awareness of the importance of visual presentation. As a teen, he taught himself the drums and started a heavy metal band, playing and writing songs by ear. He was later drawn to b-boying and breakdancing as a form of physical self-expression, skipping class to busk in downtown Sydney and documenting his freestyles on YouTube. His channel gave him an audience, and it even connected him with his future DPR collaborator and friend Hong Da-Bin (also known as DPR LIVE).
After graduating from performing arts school in 2008, he bought a one-way ticket to Seoul to pursue his dreams as a dancer. He debuted as the leader and rapper of K-pop group C-Clown in 2012, performing as Rome. His experience as an idol was short-lived and tumultuous — the unit disbanded in 2015 — but it did give him a better understanding of the industry. So when he synched back up with his friends Hong and Scott Kim (DPR REM) to discuss making something together, he knew that he wanted the next stage of his career to be rooted in creative freedom, authenticity, and community. That vision ultimately became DPR.
“I want to make an impact or nothing at all,” he says. “When I set out to do something, I want people to turn their heads and not look away.”
DPR IAN released his first EP, ‘Moodswings In This Order’, on March 12, 2021. Laced with themes of anxiety, doubt, and fear, the album sought to find beauty within his own inner turmoil. Teen Vogue described it as the “sonic embodiment of the phrase that art is not meant to look nice, it’s meant to make you feel something.” The first in a trilogy of albums, ‘Moodswings In This Order’ introduced listeners to MITO, a supernatural version of himself designed to evoke the transformation he experiences when he’s “in his downs” or having a depressive episode. During the filming of the music video for his 2021 track “So Beautiful”, DPR IAN recalls being so consumed by the character he blacked out on set, letting MITO take over. In the visual, which also featured a cameo from global superstar CL, the two sides of himself vying for control of his body.
“It was scary how he came out when he needed to,” he says. “If you give a lot of power to something, it does take control of a lot of things.”
Emerging from the darkness of the previous project, ‘Moodswings In To Order’ begins the “red phase” of MITO’s journey from seraph to fallen angel. It details his origin story, touching on religious themes and imagery as MITO’s resentment and jealousy leads to hate and self-destruction. “Red symbolizes love but it also symbolizes fury,” DPR IAN describes. “It’s the transitioning point where he still holds love, but it’s dissipating with fury. That’s [opening track] ‘Seraph'”. The lyric “I look upon you one last time as I set my wings on fire” depicts MITO’s last conversation with his God before he’s banished from his life of sanctity.
DPR IAN’s creative process starts with a scene. ‘Moodswings In To Order’ was conceived as a movie. The 12-track album arrives alongside a short film that gives the music its own visual language, underscoring its warmth and electricity. “There are songs that are meant to enhance the cinematic aspect of the work, and then there are songs like ‘Avalon’ that you can enjoy on a Friday night, drunk with your friends. I live for those moments.” There’s a heaviness to his work, but there’s an intoxicating lightness, too.
It’s all part of a larger story DPR IAN is trying to tell through various artistic mediums, from music to motion to film. The scope of his artistry will all culminate in DPR’s Regime World Tour, kicking off this fall, in which he’lll bring the theatrical aspect of MITO’s story to 20 cities across North America. “It’s like when you see The Hulk transforming on screen,” he says of what fans can expect. “Audiences want to see that. I need to bring that to the stage. I want to do something that’s never been done before.”
That constant need to disrupt and rebuild is what makes DPR IAN a singular artist. There’s no model for what he’s trying to accomplish, only the depth of his feelings as he submerges himself whole. “I chase a lot of highs,” and through the creation of MITO, “I’ve learned to chase the lows.”
‘Moodswings In To Order’ Tracklisting:
2. 1 Shot
4. Miss Understood
6. Merry Go
10. Mr. Insanity
11. Ballroom Extravaganza
12. Sometimes I’m