The title “indescribable” has followed Jean Dawson since he began releasing music in 2018. It is an ironic moniker from an industry that fixates on fitting people into boxes; Dawson, however, has consistently fallen outside of these bounds since his debut single “Glacier Gallery.” The young musician’s alluring mystique could be credited to his desire to create something that didn’t exist yet, and his ability to create a world where that unique style could live.

Jean Dawson wears all clothing PRADA / Rings PAUMÉ LOS ANGELES

Adversity is not a new theme in Dawson’s life. He grew up between San Diego and Tijuana, crossing the US-Mexico border every day to attend school. In high school, he was antagonized for passing out his music on CDs by everyone except for two people— his best friend and his first-ever supporter. This independently led journey followed Dawson throughout his career, as he has never made music for the masses, but rather, for himself. Dawson debuted the slogan “For The Kids Like Me,” during the rollout of his sophomore album Pixel Bath, featuring it on his merch and social media. It is a message to anyone who connects with his music, from having faced similar challenges to Dawson to going through similar journeys to finding themselves. He is unapologetically Jean Dawson, carrying himself with a fearlessness that sprouted from the darkest time of his life.

Following a series of panic attacks in college while working on his debut EP Bad Sports, Dawson was forced to return home, falling into a deep depression. “I spent the worst part of maybe 100 and something days wanting to kill myself every single day,” Dawson shared. Yet, he was able to emerge with a newfound perspective on life. “What the fuck do I have to fear? I’ve already felt the closest I’ve ever felt to the Grim Reaper. I’ve laughed with him, I’ve cried with him, I’ve yelled at him, I’ve spoken to him, but I’ll never shake his hand.”

Jean Dawson wears all clothing and necklace talent’s own / Sunglasses GUCCI / Rings PAUMÉ LOS ANGELES

In the six years since starting his musical career, Dawson has produced three completely original projects. Now, Dawson has his sights set on everything – yes, everything. Following a year that saw him share “NO SZNS,” a collaboration with SZA, he is soon releasing the third installment of his trilogy, titled JEAN DAWSON AS “ACOÍRIS”, with a larger project looming in the distance. He is opening for Lil Yachty on his Europe tour beginning in April and has a comic book coming out. He’s also writing scripts, creative directing, and becoming further involved in the fashion world: If there is an artistic path to take, Dawson is testing it out. So, instead of labeling Jean Dawson as “indescribable,” “fearless” seems more fitting: “What fucking matters to me in the long run is the fact that I did what I wanted to do until I died. As long as I was safe, as long as I didn’t hurt anybody, and as long as nobody hurt me, we’re all good to go.”

This story appears in the pages of VMAN 52: now available for purchase!

Photography Daniel Sachon

Fashion Soki Mak

Grooming Michelle Harvey (Opus Beauty)

Executive producer Dan Cingari

Photo assistant Ryan Hacket

Stylist assistant Jack Wilson

Location Smashbox Studios 

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