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Theatre & Music

New song release by Student Earl Hester, Perfect People



UIC Music student Earl Hester released his single "Perfect People" on November 17.

Since performing at festivals and venues like Lollapalooza, Bourbon on Division, and UIC Open Mics, pop singer Earl Hester, has been working on “Perfect People” behind the scenes. “Perfect People” is a song with lyrics that will have you reminisce about past relationships. Describing the song from a personal experience, Earl Hester states, “I had noticed that I love really hard, and I see the world in people…I think you could do no wrong. And I was proved wrong on multiple occasions.” 

Earl Hester collaborated with UIC alumni, Andrew Pridmore, who played piano to create an arrangement for the song. The song is a piano ballad in the C major key with an I-I+-vi-IV-V chord progression, a bouncy bass line, and call-and-response vocal harmonies.  

Pridmore said, "We worked on this song for years. Earl elevated a straightforward demo into a tremendous and heartfelt melody. I've heard ‘Perfect People’ maybe more than any other song, and his performance still hits.”

Professor Carey Deadman, who has worked with many pop artists, including Frank Sinatra and Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson, described the piece as “an amazing arrangement with beautiful harmonies to support Earl’s strong lead vocals.” Perfect People debuted during the Pop Rock Ensemble concert in the spring of 2022.

Professor Joon Park, who teaches Music Theory and Aural Skills, said, “Earl’s ‘Perfect People’ exhibits a harmonious blend of familiar musical events and playful surprises. The song’s verse-prechorus-chorus structure (with introduction and bridge), deliberate instrumental buildup, and harmonic language exemplify the singer-songwriter’s intuitive understanding of musical conventions. The surprises come when the first cycle of verse-chorus ends, and the song progresses into the second stanza. The newly introduced florid vocal line and backup chorus maintain the second verse's intensity, creating a new dynamic relationship between the pre-chorus and chorus. The pre-chorus, with the pedal bass, was previously the section that built up the energy for the powerful chorus. The second time around, it feels more like a resting place after the powerful second verse. Like this, the song’s section continuously transforms, making no two sections sound the same even if they might be labeled with the same designation. This song seems to tell us that, like this, none of us are the same, and none among us represents the ‘perfect people.’’”

Other music Earl has made include Saint Laurent. Earl describes this song as a dance song that has pop and R&B fused together. “I think it's meant for a good time. Like whenever you're feeling down or even when you're feeling up, put on Saint Laurent, and it should make you feel liberated.” When arranging Saint Laurent, Earl knew he wanted a thriving song, saying, “I want the song to clip the track.”

Earl Hester already knows how he wants the song to sound when writing.
“Sometimes I can write a song just like on my own and—I hear everything. And then other times I'll hear a beat, and I say, oh, I got to get on that beat, a feeling, or an emotion. A certain feeling or emotion can overcome me.”

Future projects and aspirations for Earl Hester include producing a mix-genre album, a marketing campaign with a TikTok dance challenge to Saint Laurent, touring, and acting in future film roles.

Earl Hester’s message to songwriters and musicians: “Never give up on yourself. The dream is never too far away.”

Listen to Perfect People here.

Follow Earl Hester on social media here.

Article by
Daniel Hernandez
BA Music Business 2025