Face the Music: Dean Fields 

Originally from Mechanicsville, Va., Dean Fields received his undergrad degree in music composition. He was studying music business and entertainment in Miami when he decided he just wanted to drop out and play music. Fields wrote his debut album "imitations" after a break-up, and the result is a compelling collection of tenderly poetic folk-rock songs. Since then, his music has been featured on MTV reality shows, film scores and soundtracks. This month Fields has a residency at The Sutler, and he talked about Will Smith's rapping style, neurosurgery, and the joys of unbidden clapping.

Originally from Mechanicsville, Va., Dean Fields received his undergrad degree in music composition. He was studying music business and entertainment in Miami when he decided he just wanted to drop out and play music. Fields wrote his debut album "imitations" after a break-up, and the result is a compelling collection of tenderly poetic folk-rock songs. Since then, his music has been featured on MTV reality shows, film scores and soundtracks. This month Fields has a residency at The Sutler, and he talked about Will Smith's rapping style, neurosurgery, and the joys of unbidden clapping.

Describe your music, please.

Acoustic music, lyrically based. The most generic way to describe it is acoustic pop.

What was the first record you owned and where is it now?

The Oak Ridge Boys' Steppin Out on tape. I got it with my very first boombox! I don't have an earthly clue where it is. You'd think I would have hung on to such a gem of an album!?!?!

What song would you never want to hear again, and why?

Any Will Smith song. They're the cheesiest word play and always an uncomfortable rap. Except for "Parents Just Don't Understand"...that was true.

What's the best gig you ever had?

Billboard Live in Miami; it's a big nightclub, the sound was amazing, it was early in my career. Rufus Wainwright played there the day before. I just felt like the coolest guy in the world.

What's the worst gig you ever had?

Gigs at colleges or bars when I have to teach people they have to clap after songs...they may not come for the music but I come for the clapping...so get on board!

What record do you wish you'd made?

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John or Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams There are a lot I'd wished I'd made.

If you could be someone else for 24 hours, who would you be?

A neurosurgeon...something I'll never be in my life. I'd like to pick apart people's brains then wash my hands and wake up myself again.

What's your opinion on the Nashville music scene?

It's cool. It's strange. I love the Nashville music scene. It's hard to get into. It's really cool to be around hungry people and it's based around the song—that's key—the ugliest guy can sing at the Bluebird and people will like him if he has a great song.

Who are your favorite Nashville musicians/artists?

Josh Rouse. He doesn't fit the mold.

Who is someone you've worked with that you think is incredibly talented and everyone should know about, producer, musician or otherwise?

Emily Easterly—she's a songwriter. She's young and she's a redhead. Eric Hutchinson, another great songwriter. And Alan Weatherhead, he's my engineer/producer. He's good at picking apart sound and making songs ambient. His attention to detail is amazing.

What is your proudest music moment?

When I first went to graduate school I wrote the song "imitations." That's how everything got started...I wrote a song I wanted to listen to over and over again. And being able to convince my dad I should leave graduate school.

When and where will you be seen/heard next?

June 13 & 27 at The Sutler. For more dates, check out www.deanfields.com.

June 13 & 27 at The Sutler. For more dates, check out www.deanfields.com.

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