Get to know DYLAN, the dark indie-pop musician with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic.
The 20-year-old musician from Suffolk in England notes AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses as some of her musical heroes, as well as Flume. With her sights set on a Wembley show in the future, DYLAN isn’t afraid of putting in the work to get results. It’s an approach that’s obviously paid off as she’s just been selected as one of Virgin Money’s Emerging Stars.
As part of Virgin Money’s exciting programme, DYLAN joins a number of up-and-coming artists heading for the stars. The music initiative, supported by ambassador Laura Whitmore, aims to identify, encourage and amplify the best emerging talent in the UK.
Thanks to the programme, DYLAN will be putting her Virgin Money bursary development fund back into recording new music and playing live shows. “I think those are the two most important things for me because they’re my favourite parts of the job and they’re what I really want to develop, and where we’ve been slightly saving before so definitely going to progress the live show,” she explained.
DYLAN’s already been getting airtime on BBC Radio 1 and has had gigs at legendary venues such as London’s Electrowerkz. Her performance at the venue has become a treasured memory “because it was the first time that I heard anyone sing my songs back to me.”
We spoke to the Virgin Money Emerging Star to talk about her career highlights so far, coping in lockdown, how music fans can support emerging artists, and much more. Dive in below!
How does it feel to be one of the first Virgin Money Emerging Stars?
It’s crazy to me because Virgin Money is quite a big company and I’m a very small artist so having them believe in me is insane.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
Maybe “Sour Milk” getting BBC Radio 1’s track of the week because it was my second single ever and something like that was slightly ridiculous and out of reach at that point, but it happened.
If you could be on the line up with any two artists in history?
Tough one, I’ve got to say Flume because I’m obsessed with him. And then maybe Nina Simone as she was a massive part of my upbringing.
What is the best gig/festival you’ve ever been to and why?
AC/DC at the Olympic Stadium and it was wicked because I was stood next to a bunch of really old guys that had obviously been to all of the tours and they had me there like I was one of their own because I knew all of the words and was going as hard as they were.
Of everything you’ve ever bought, what makes you proudest and why?
My guitar, because I saved up for years to get that and I painted it myself and it is beautiful.
What is the best thing about being in the music industry?
That you’re allowed to do what you love, and no one tries to change you for it. It’s being able to write for a living, like writing is just the thing I love most in the world and for it to be a job is insane.
And what is the hardest thing?
Keeping going and not comparing yourself to every other artist out there. I struggle with that a lot, but I just gotta remember I am me and they are them.
What’s the best career advice you’ve been given and who by?
By my manager, he told me not to run before I could walk because I have a serious patience issue which means I expect to get from A to B within a matter of minutes rather than years.
How important do you think social media is when it comes to building your profile and audience?
Massively important, although I hate to admit it. It is very, very important because it helps you reach people you wouldn’t normally reach and also it allows people to get a much deeper meaning to your music and a deeper meaning to you as an artist. Because they’re able to see all the behind the scenes, what you like and what you don’t like. Watching the music come to life from writing a demo to an actual song.
How has music helped you get through lockdown – have you been listening to and/or creating/writing/producing more music than you typically would have before lockdown?
Definitely writing more, despite having a massive lack of inspiration. I’ve been writing a lot more and almost going further into my problems that I’d written about before than I ever had – getting deep into them and writing more emotional, more vulnerable songs than I normally would.
But then also I’ve been going into writing happy songs which has never happened. I’ve written my first happy song that I actually like.
How important is it to support emerging musicians, especially right now in the current setting (live music venues unable to open and festivals cancelled due to COVID-19)?
Extremely important, one of the most important things because it is enabling people like me that are not exposed to that many people at the moment, especially with lockdown and not being able to play live and not being able to earn any money because we’re not playing live. It helps us keep going and gives us something to work for. It gives us a glimpse of hope and I think obviously the emerging artists’ are the next generation of musicians that hopefully one day are doing arena tours. So, it’s definitely important.
Do you have any advice on how we (general music fans) could help up and coming artists?
Not listening to the same three artists that you kind of like. Making sure that you’re always listening to new music. It would be like always eating pesto pasta, you’re never gonna know if you like something else if you don’t try it. Some food isn’t for everyone but most of the time you’ll like it so yea, expand your pallet!