Brooklyn based songstress DYLN (pronounced “Dylan”) blurs the lines between pop, R&B and electronic music. Her debut EP "Renaissance" leads with an infectious first single called “Better Things,” where the singer tells off the people dragging her down by bluntly saying she has “Better things to do.”
The Canadian native, born and raised on Vancouver Island, is half Filipino, making her “Hapa” meaning “mixed ethnic heritage”. She began writing poetry and songs at a young age, eventually teaching herself the guitar. After graduating high school, she left small town life to take the opportunity as an intern at a recording studio in Vancouver B.C. While working in bars as a waitress, the singer wrote hundreds of songs and performed at local nightclubs.
“I was constantly writing and performing songs on guitar,” says the singer about leaving home at 17 to pursue her career, “but I was at the mercy of the producer in terms of the sound. I wanted to be in control of my music and more involved in the production process.” Starting out writing more folk-injected songs, she eventually grew into a more pop-influenced artist, touching upon electronic and even hip-hop elements.
“I learned how to run the studio, to record myself and build track ideas. I could explore my musicality,” she tells about countless nights in the studio, earning legs as a skilled producer. After becoming more sonically adventurous, she states, “I was producing my own music within a year.”
Smooth sailing was not always guaranteed for the artist. During a difficult time, the singer slipped into depression for several months, which she refers to as the “worst time of her life.” DYLN -- who’s name comes from an all black carbon fiber guitar she named “Dylan” -- had a tradition of naming her instruments. “When I bought the guitar, I was told its material was unbreakable and able to weather any storm.” She continued to craft songs on “Dylan” throughout her depression, keeping the sentiment as her name.
Crediting musical influences like Kid Cudi and Robyn, the ironic mix of darkness/sadness and female empowerment have become the fabric of her music. “My philosophy is to write real songs,” the singer says. Her struggles with mental health continue to affect her music, often exploring the nature of her demons or the complications of love.
In 2013, the singer moved to New York City to find collaborators while continuing to produce her demos out of her Harlem apartment, later settling in Brooklyn. After launching into the music scene by way of co-writing sessions, she became referred to as a "Renaissance woman" among her peers, for her unusual skill set.
Being a female producer -- a talent not often seen -- the musical hybrid innovates pop music. Armed with the ability to write catchy, yet emotionally earnest songs, DYLN remains arty, while standing at the forefront of contemporary mainstream music.