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Dean Valentine Smith

Dean Valentine Smith

Born in north-west London, Dean was drawn to music from a young age singing along to his mother’s extensive record collection, soaking up all of the noises, beats and melodies that filled the house. He began playing the drums at the age of 12, falling in love with the instrument the moment he picked up his first pair of sticks. Dean studied for three years with Clive Jenner who introduced him to an array of influential drummers such as Elvin Jones, Steve Gadd and Mitch Mitchell expanding his palette across several genres.

Dean decided to start a rock band with some friends practising every weekend, perfecting his craft and harnessing a unique sound, incorporating these and more newfound influences. Dean began playing shows in the local punk-hardcore scene from the age of 16, his band quickly gathering a dedicated following and receiving considerable attention from within the music industry. After several line-up changes his original group disbanded. However, Dean continued to collaborate with other musicians who were part of London’s burgeoning experimental music scene, many of whom he still plays with to this day.

Working professionally as a session drummer since 2011, Dean has played for the likes of Sigala, Gabriella Cilmi, Liam Bailey, Kelli-Leigh, Mullally, Jordan Max, Avelino, Various Cruelties, Josh Record, This Be The Verse and many more. He has performed at many major music events worldwide including Reading & Leeds Festival, Haldern Pop, Rolling Stone Weekender and SXSW. Dean has also appeared on national and international television performing on programmes such as Barclaycard Mercury Prize Sessions, German Chart Show, Later… with Jools Holland and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Dean is also a composer and songwriter, making up one half of production duo Teenage News. Additionally, he has several solo projects including live drum/keyboard/loop experiment Orchids and a beat production project under the name VLNTN.