AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) – On Tuesday, Austin singer-songwriter Ben Kweller announced the death of his son, Dorian Zev Kweller. He was 16.
In an Instagram post, Kweller said Dorian was killed Tuesday night.
Dorian was a musician, just like Kweller, and released several songs under the name Zev, according to an article from Entertainment Tonight News.
The teenager was signed to record label The Noise Company, who said he died in a “tragic event” Monday night in a Facebook post. Dorian’s mother, Liz Smith Kweller, wrote in a social media post that Dorian died in a car accident, ET reports.
“It’s with great sadness that we have to even say this… in a tragic event last night, we lost Dorian Kweller, who on this page we know as @reallyzev … this young man represented everything positive in life and the future. A kind heart, a smile that illuminated the world and passion for life and music,” the statement said in part.
Kweller and his family live in Dripping Springs.
In his Instagram post, Kweller said Dorian wrote and recorded songs every day. Dorian was planning to perform at SXSW in March.
“A true poet from the day he started speaking,” Kweller said. “Only a few of his recordings were released but he was on a path and excited about his journey. He had so many plans!!! His first gig was in two weeks, at SXSW.”
Kweller said his last text with Dorian was about the merch he wanted to make.
“We’re in complete shock and don’t know what the future holds,” Kweller said. “Lizzy, Judah, and I have no idea how to deal with this disaster. Thank you for your prayers and support and we apologize if we are slow to respond to messages.”
In 2019, Kweller spoke with KXAN about how the family nearly endured another tragedy in 2013.
Kweller, his wife Liz and his sons, Dorian and Judah, were in the mountains of New Mexico on vacation. “My wife woke up in the middle of the night and said, ‘Ben, get up. Something’s horribly wrong,’” Kweller said. “And I stood up and immediately collapsed to the ground.”
The pair was able to make it out of the home and later learned they were all exposed to acute carbon monoxide poisoning.
“That was the first time where I was really, like, rattled to my core and realized just how special my family is,” the normally go-with-the-flow musician explained. “And it just put everything in perspective.”
Kweller stepped away from music following the incident in New Mexico. In 2021, he released “Circuit Boredom” — his first album in nearly a decade.