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If you were to travel to the past into DYLAN’s childhood, you would see her atop the kitchen table, guitar in hand, dancing and screaming out lyrics to AC/DC and Aerosmith songs with her dad after shouting out, ‘Hello Wembley!’
A peek into her childhood bedroom would reveal a dream board that she says is made up of, “photos of all these artists playing Wembley Stadium and I’ve superimposed my face on to them.” Now, if you travel back to the near present moment, you hear DYLAN from a distance scream out ‘Hello Wembley’ from the stadium for 5 nights as she supports Ed Sheeran’s tour. She says, “Being the opener, there was probably half the venue full. I would close my eyes and imagine it was completely full and people were screaming my lyrics back to me.” When talking about her dreams now, she says, “I want to headline Wembley. It’s an important one. When I did Wembley with Ed, it was actually the least nervous I was because I played that show a billion times in my head!” To DYLAN, dreaming comes naturally. However, now that she’s living in it, it is important for her to relish in the world that was once only plastered on the walls of her childhood bedroom.
While touring with Ed Sheeran, DYLAN shares advice that he gave her; “He said, ‘Just take in the now.’ He said what was happening to me as an artist now only happens once and it can go by in a second. People forget about the excitement of the rise, hard work, and everything paying off.” For DYLAN, her rise came from finally accepting that her true self and sound was good enough after re-visiting her roots laid atop the kitchen counter during lockdown. Previously, like the superimposed images on her bedroom wall, she had simply been placing herself over identities of artists that she idolized. The superimposed image reflected in her previous work as her own image clashed with the one it tried to mimic. She says, “I released an EP earlier this year and prior to that one I was going through a lot of identity crises. I didn’t really know who I was despite being 18 and thinking I knew everything. I wasn’t being myself at all - I was trying to be everyone that was successful. I was constantly making huge changes to my sound because I felt like I wasn’t good enough.” She recalls trying to write like Flume while religiously listening to the album Skin. She also says that her 16 year old self “became horrifically obsessed with Coldplay” to the point that she says she even “found someone who knew the bassist and put together a CD of Garage Band demos with a big, long letter saying that I think these sound so Coldplay.” In a way, DYLAN might have felt that the only way to be at Wembley Stadium was to be them. Now, after discovering herself, she just can be, and the dreams all still follow.
“I want to headline Wembley. It’s an important one. When I did Wembley with Ed [Sheeran], it was actually the least nervous I was because I played that show a billion times in my head!”
A part of embracing herself was in embracing chaos - chaos of emotion, chaos of sound, and chaos of instability. When discussing her newest EP, The Greatest Thing I’ll Never Learn, she learned that “If it’s a good song, it’ll come in 15 minutes. It’s about letting the chaos happen rather than letting others control the chaos.” The EP’s title was inspired by something her mom used to repeat to her, “The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” And while that sentiment is simple, if DYLAN has learned anything, it might be that there is often pure chaos hidden in such simplicity. She says, “The whole mixtape is about learning, or not learning, how to deal with feelings and emotions. Last year I dealt with a lot of loss and that switched my feelings off. I've been struggling with relationships, friendships, and how people can leave your life whenever they feel like it. I did that in a slightly sarcastic, chaotic, and humorous way while still having the deep emotions in there.”
While controlled chaos is present in her music, it unleashes during live performances. She says, “If you’ve ever seen me live, it’s just limbs flying everywhere, no control!” DYLAN likens her life to a romantic comedy, yet explains, “except we’re not the whole way through. We are at that messy part when everything starts to go wrong.” Since she writes only from her own experience, if there is ever a moment when she is lacking inspiration, she dives back into the middle of that romantic comedy in all its disarray and creates chaos of her own. Just like any good romantic comedy, the end always works itself out. DYLAN says that “Everything is starting to feel a bit real now” as her superimposed face peels back and reveals herself underneath it. She is who she dreamed to be, and can now move forward in that dream.
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