The premiere of “Welcome to the Show” marked the release of DPR IAN’s first solo album, Moodswings In This Order, or MITO. DPR IAN, also known as Christian Yu, is a singer, songwriter, director and founder of DPR (short for Dream Perfect Regime). He has directed Taeyang’s “Wake Me Up” music video and all of DPR LIVE’s music videos among others.
The title of the album has a hidden meaning. “This Order” when pronounced sounds like ‘disorder.’ The name was suggested by a fellow DPR member, DPR REM. Further, MITO also translates to ‘myth’ from Spanish. In regards to the songs, Christian said “they’re all a representation of a different character with a different role in a line of emotions, that we all feel when we go into our downs.”
The storytelling of this album was explained by Christian through an Instagram Live, alongside his documentary, “Memories In Disorder” which aids in the same. The singer revealed in his live and in an interview with Billboard Korea that he suffers from Bipolar Disorder. MITO, the main character of this album, is derived from his life experiences. He talked about “the highs and lows” of his moods through IAN and MITO, referring to both in the third person.
The contrast between the two is shown in the music videos by portraying MITO in a black-and-white monochromatic setting. The album transports listeners into something close to an alternate universe, where only MITO and IAN exist along with their fears and flaws.
i remember ian asking me if i had any ideas for a solid name behind this concept so being my riddle loving self i binge watched clips regarding disorders on youtube and really wanted to find a way to reverse disorder so when people first read it it doesnt seem like the word but https://t.co/TRNRGJ2ItD— DPR REM (@_DPRREM) March 13, 2021
The introductory song, “MITO” is named to represent the birth of MITO. The Australian native felt like MITO was a representation of who he was growing up, and wanted to encapsulate everything he was influenced by since his childhood. The song has an “entrance type of sound” to portray MITO descending from his realm, like an archangel. It is ironic as he comes from a “very dark side.” The sound of thunder denotes MITO stepping into reality.
This track features beautiful sounds of the violin along with hard hitting beats that come together in an eerie music video featuring IAN’s persona, MITO, embodied by IAN sporting a white iris against a monochrome setting. He disclosed that the violin feature was originally performed by him on a keyboard.
The song is about MITO seeing everything that is wrong with the world, all the negative and dark energy surrounding himself and the world. But, instead of shying from it, “he turns that into something very beautiful.” The overarching storyline of this song is about monsters being misunderstood. He also disclosed that while filming the last shot of the music video, when he had to be present as MITO for the first time, he experienced a mood swing which caused his mood to completely fall. He didn’t remember any of the scenes he performed but liked the outcome.
To further elaborate upon this, he said it was very important to him as a lot of inspiration while creating art comes from the dark side. “It (dark side) helps me feel… It helped me feel the things that I’m scared to feel…We have to sometimes embrace being uncomfortable for us to really peak our limits and reach certain things that we’re very good at.”
The love song which is one of IAN’s favorites symbolizes love in the traditional sense as well as in a non-traditional sense. The song can also be considered to be about self-love. The other aspect is “Dope” which refers to the neurotransmitter, Dopamine. Here, it is compared to the addiction it causes when released under the influence of some drugs to additive love.
Featuring his labelmate, DPR LIVE, and rapper CL, the melodious song intertwines fear and resentment. The amalgamation of three very distinct voices gives the song a unique feel while playing with the rhythm. It talks about an obsession that holds the power to enrage oneself. The tale is personified through blueberries. The deeper meaning of the song discusses anxiety attacks and how important it is to take care of the person suffering through them. The song emphasizes the triggers of an anxiety attack which can be as insignificant as blueberries but can trigger such reactions in some people. For more information on how to deal with anxiety attacks, refer to this.
A contrast from its preceding track, “Nerves” is based on the idea of heartbreak and the after effects. It also expresses the singer’s regrets. “He loved you” is a line from the song which is a reference to the character, MITO. The whole concept is one of the triggers that lead to the “chaotic path of becoming MITO.”
A light hearted song that depicts a character, curious and scared of everything. The essence of the song lies in the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat.’
Welcome To The Show
Christian said in his documentary, “It is the grand entrance for the acceptance of who MITO is.” The hardest song to make, IAN revealed that he could only work on it when he was experiencing his “downs” to be in a specific state of mind. “I tried to hide it/I’m scared of what’s next/I still don’t know where to go/But, welcome to the show.” The lyrics perfectly embody the uncertainty that the future holds but also the acceptance of who he is.
The concluding song of the album is when “IAN finally realizes why he needs MITO.” The lyrics “I lost myself in the sun” refer to Greek mythology, specifically, Icarus. It’s a cross-reference to Icarus whose wings dissolve as he flies too close to the sun. Here, it refers to MITO getting too close to his “highs” and burning down quickly. This in totality is also about the broad concept of MITO being an archangel. To show his two personas in the song, he used a lower pitch voice to represent MITO. This technique has been used throughout the album as well.
One of the ideas behind the album was to show that everyone has a MITO inside them, a dark and sad side. He added, “I wanted to make a character that represents everything that I’ve always felt that I wasn’t, I wanted to represent him as a hero.” One of the comprehensive ideas that developed progressively in the album was the acceptance of one’s dark side and the downs. The resentment that IAN has towards MITO in the beginning, turns into acceptance over the course of the album. He also said, “And the more I tell myself, I can’t face being alone, I can’t face being sad, the more I actually am becoming weaker to that. I’m not growing immunity to that. I’m finding ways to avoid feeling that. And therefore, by doing a lot of that, you create a complete chaotic mess.” Throughout his monologue, he delved into thought provoking concepts “you always create, or you always grow the most when you’re the most uncomfortable. If we lived in such a comfortable society, if we lived in such a comfortable way, I feel like it wouldn’t be living.”
He concluded the Instagram live by simply asking his fans to enjoy the album and by thanking them for their support.
He is the sweetest ❤ really shows how dedicated he is to his art not for show, but to reach others. https://t.co/QfKWptU9PX— ??? ??? ??????? ? (@DPRIANarchive) March 14, 2021
Fans appreciated the personal touch in the album and it has been reflected in the charts. The album charted on the Top 10 USA Album Debut Chart over the weekend of March 12-14.
The songs also took up spots in Genius Korea’s K-R&B chart with his single “Nerves” charting at number one.
#GeniusCharts | DPR IAN takes over the K-R&B chart in Genius Korea as tracks from his new album, MITO, debuts in the Top 10 with new single, “Nerves” debuting at #1. Read the lyrics and Korean translation to his EP on Genius now!#MITO @DPRIAN_ https://t.co/4Q2WoQl3dZ pic.twitter.com/UWJ4X2qjsJ— Genius Korea (@Genius_kor) March 13, 2021
Be sure to check out Kevin Chung’s journey through music with the power of social media here!
Thumbnail Courtesy of DPR.