Dear Humans is an electronic soul duo consisting of producer Corey Epstein and vocalist + songwriter Alex Who?.
Originally from Colorado, Epstein has been a musician and producer for over 20 years and in March 2018 he launched NCTRNL Records which has quickly established itself as one of LA’s top deep house labels.
Alex Who? is a Dutch-Tanzanian singer and songwriter. After graduating from the Amsterdam School for Performing Arts she starred in various local television series and films before her demo caught the attention of Craig Kallman, CEO of Atlantic Records. That triggered her move to the United States, getting signed by Empire Records and releasing two EP’s in the past few years.
Dear Humans just released ‘Fire’: a protest song in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the proceeds will go to a charity fighting for change in the US. The new single is a politically-charged electronic anthem-in-the-making. Over the coming months, Dear Humans will be releasing several more singles, with an EP slated for later in the year.
Electronic Groove: Hello, Dear Humans, thanks for your time today. So to get started, how did you guys meet and where did the idea of becoming Dear Humans come from?
Dear Humans: Thank you for your time! A few years ago we met in Tulum when Alex Who? was performing and Corey who had been DJing and producing for many years prior heard word he should make his way down to the beach. Yet it wasn’t until years later when Alex was released from her record deal that our first session happened. Right there in that first session is when Dear Humans was born. We immediately clicked musically and started developing a live performance act and our first songs.
EG: Where does the name Dear Humans come from?
Dear Humans: Our shared obsession with the cosmos made Corey think of a track called ‘Dear Humans’ by Damon Jee. It was just the perfect name. We’re basically both out of this world like aliens and the music we create for all humans is that of a higher vibration. Always preaching love, weirdness, and unity. We come in peace.
EG: Moving into music production, how’s the relationship when working together? Who does what? And what would you say is the main expertise of the other?
Dear Humans: Well, we weigh in on everything the other does. We’ve become friends through music and make decisions together. Mostly when one is not satisfied with a decision we try to make it so we both stand behind the choices we make. That isn’t always easy but eventually is always best. Even if we initially disagree. Every song comes to life in different ways but most often Corey develops musical ideas and Alex comes up with melodies, also writing the words of poetry to all of our songs. Of course, Alex does all of our vocals and Corey plays guitar, keys and produces the beats. All of our shows are created live and in the moment, and a lot of our songs come from live improvisation. Other than that we always try to keep expanding our abilities and learn new skills as we go along. Looping, learning to play percussion; broadening our horizons to keep life interesting and grow as musicians and people.
EG: You recently released your new single ‘Fire’, what was the inspiration to produce this track?
Dear Humans: We are all aware of the fact the world is burning. ‘Fire’ is a track about revolution. We feel art like all music should be a reflection of the times we live in. That is how the track came to exist. The youth are the ones leading the revolution which is why we open up with “teacher say what’s happening here? Teach me cause this sh*t ain’t clear”. Most revolution songs are dated and we wanted to create a song to the beat of today’s drum.
“We’re basically both out of this world like aliens and the music we create for all humans is that of a higher vibration”
EG. We read that all proceeds from ‘Fire’ will be donated to Colors of Change? What’s this organization about? Why did you decide to do this?
Dear Humans: Color Of Change designs campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. We donate to this charity cause we believe we all have to do what we can to feed this revolution that is long overdue. We are living in a time where everyone is supposed to be free, where every human is supposed to be treated as equal as we are created. This is not the case. People are dying and the powers that be are currently profiting off that fact and will do anything for this fire to die down. Mass incarceration, Secret Police violating our constitutional rights, people being murdered and beat down in the streets by the forces that are supposed to “protect and serve”. If not us, the people, fund and fight to keep this FIRE blazing; Who will? If not now, When?
EG: Do you have other releases coming soon? Can you share some info with us?
Dear Humans: Yes, we absolutely do. ‘Blinded’ is our next release on our own label Moonho Records. In fact, we have a whole army of songs ready to be released 😈.
EG: Talking about our current times, how has the COVID-19 virus affected each of you personally and professionally?
Dear Humans: Literally in every way. Musician’s income predominantly comes from the shows we play… Before the pandemic hit we just got to a place where we were playing bigger shows. Times like this are challenging and the only way to survive is to rise above it and take all adversities as an opportunity to grow and learn. We love the many live streams we were able to do, which can all be found via our Instagram account and also on our YouTube page. Apart from that, we have been hard at work writing for movies, series, and commercials so we can continue creating in a way that also provides, for the moment nightlife and shows are not happening.
Now everyone’s at home, we all have been listening to music and watching more shows and live streams than ever. I would like to take this opportunity to suggest to everyone who can afford it; Donate. Donate to your favorite artists whose music you enjoy, appreciate, and listen to. And to not forget that a lot of work goes into creating this content and that it is all work we do by investing our own money and time, without being paid a dime.
EG: Live events and clubs have taken a hard hit. What’s your take on the future of dance music? How do you think it will change business-wise?
Dear Humans: They will be back, but a lot of people will be wiped out and might not return to the industry. Nonetheless, things will be back, albeit maybe in a new form. Maybe in a better form. If anything, the live industry will be smaller for a while. I do think a lot of amazing music is going to come out of this. Since there is not a lot of money in making dance music, most of the revenue comes from live shows, it’s very hard for artists to justify spending a lot of time in the studio. This has all changed. Both new and established producers are developing a lot in these times. But, as artists, we need to be out in the world to draw inspiration. So there are two sides to the coin here.
“Most revolution songs are dated and we wanted to create a song to the beat of today’s drum”
EG: Going back to music. What are you guys currently working on and what are your music plans for the rest of the year?
Dear Humans: We’re going to see how this season of planet earth will unfold with our spaceship parked out back ready to take off * But in the meantime, we feel like music is and will always be the answer and we will continue to make more of it. That will never stop
EG: How would you define your sound?
Dear Humans: Out of this World.
Dear Humans’ ‘Fire’ is now available.