Iann Dior is living up to his promise of "on to better things." After the viral success of his 2020 single “Mood,” which surely provided musical backing for every other video on your FYP at the time, Dior is carving out space as a mainstay in the music scene. His unique pop-punk meets soundcloud-rap sound has been cosigned by the likes of Travis Barker and Machine Gun Kelly, while his winter release, on to better things, blessed us with some delightfully unexpected pairings, like a Lil Uzi Vert feature on "V12" and a Cashmere Cat-produced "regret." Not to mention, some top achievements of this year include a performance at Coachella's Revolve Fest and a spot on the road with Machine Gun Kelly for the upcoming Mainstream Sellout tour.
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Dior's penchant for trendsetting extends far beyond music. His recent collaboration with MCM debuted the brand's cubic monogram and reinterpreted its decades-long legacy for Gen Z; the collection, as dynamic and playful as Dior’s music, has allowed him to flex his creative muscles across mediums.
And Dior shows no signs of slowing. With more collabs, performances and tracks to come, the singer checks in with PAPER to give a closer look at what's in store.
Coat and pants: Egon Lab, Top: Chet Lo, Belt: Artemis Quibble
Three years into a career and you’re performing at Coachella before going on the Mainstream Sellout tour with MGK. Thoughts on the crazy whirlwind up until now?
Performing at Revolve Fest was amazing and I’m super excited about touring with MGK. The tour is filled with artists that are some of my best friends in the industry, Travis, Avril, so it’s going to be a lot of fun. Madison Square Garden has always been an absolute dream arena to play so I can’t wait. Life has been really crazy the last three years. I am really blessed to have the best team and fans supporting me and helping me live out my dreams. When we head to Europe in the fall it will be my first time in so many of the countries out there, Italy, Paris, so I want to explore and really see these places I’ve never been.
How did your relationship with Kelly start and what are you most excited for, now embarking on tour with him? Any expectations or visions for your tour experience?
My relationship with Kells is really awesome. He’s like a brother to me. When we are in the studio it’s all just pure vibes and we really collaborate so well. We’ve had three or four songs come out at this point so it’s great to find another artist I work so well with and look up to.
Coat and pants: SR Studio, Top: Kozaburo, Shoes: Viron
Do you ever get anxious before hitting the stage? Any pre-stage rituals that help calm the nerves?
I don’t really get anxious, I love performing and feeding off the crowd energy. My team thinks I am crazy but I really just try to zen out. I take a full blown nap right before I hit stage and then like five minutes before I am ready to hit the stage I wake up and amp up and get filled with energy. I used to worry everyone around me that I wouldn’t wake up and be energetic, but now everyone knows it’s the norm.
Do you plan to work with MCM on looks for the tour?
Yes,100% we’re actually working on something really special for the New York show, so stay tuned. I worked with the legendary Misa Hylton once already for my look when I performed at the Rolling Stone Superbowl party. It was a full play on Prince and she really nailed it. I was able to fully design the look alongside her and it was amazing to see it come to life.
What does it mean to collaborate with powerhouse brands like MCM and Tombogo while in the process of starting your own jewelry line?
It’s been amazing. Fashion is so important to me. Probably most important next to music, so being able to work with some of my favorite brands like MCM and working with exciting emerging brands like Tombogo has been fun for me. I want to continue to align myself with brands where I can be the face of campaigns or walk in fashion weeks around the world. Milan or Paris next would be dope. That’s really the goal. And design is something I always hope to continue doing. My collection with VITALY was super special to me and personal. I called it 12:12 to represent my time of birth. The necklace in the collection is titled Trinity, which symbolizes spirituality with balanced chains hanging in unison, and the Forge bracelet, with blue crystals represents rebirth and the unfolding of a new chapter. Symbolism is really important to me so being able to curate something so specific and brands believing in the vision has been the best part of doing more in the fashion world.
Tell us about the response you got from “Mood.” Do you feel like your relationship with a song changes once it hits the Hot 100?
The song for me was really just organic. It came together as a bunch of friends who just decided to create while hanging out. When it hit the Hot 100 and #1 for so many weeks it was like "wow, this is really happening and the fans are loving it so much." It meant a lot to hit that milestone during the pandemic. The song was upbeat and gave great energy during a time of so much sadness and difficult times. I’ll always love "Mood" for that and I don’t think I’m that type of artist that’s like "oh, the song is so overplayed, I don’t like performing it anymore." I think for me I just embrace and I’m always thinking about creating the next big song.
Coat and pants: SR Studio, Top: Kozaburo
Do you have any new collaborations in the works?
Yes. I do. A bunch I’m really excited about. I’m already almost done recording my next album and really excited for the fans to hear it. Sonically it shows a different side of me which I hope people love.
What’s it going to mean to be back in Texas where you grew up, performing on MGK’s ticket this summer?
It’s the biggest show I will have ever played in Texas outside of Posty Fest in 2019, so it feels like a real moment for me. Coming so far from all the struggles I had growing up in rough areas of Corpus Christi, it will be great to return and give the fans a full show. A moment for sure.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on reaching new heights this year and just super focused on leveling up in all areas of my career. I’m working on branching into acting and continuing to do creative direction and directing my own visuals. All of that while still focusing on fashion and design. I really just want to do it all and 2022 is going to be a big year.
Photography: Callum Walker Hutchinson
Styling: Mecca Cox