[Q&A] Dylan’s ‘Red’ Is Her Impassioned Evaluation of the Real World

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // June 22, 2020

Because of her insane talent, it’s no surprise that Dylan has become such a massive obsession of ours in such a short time. With themes of unhealthy relationships and societal prejudice, Dylan’s new EP Red pulls us into her personal life like never before. Whether you’re in a thriving relationship or a toxic situation, Dylan is here to enlighten you with the impassioned Red.

On Red, Dylan reflected,

“In the past six months, I’ve been having feelings I’ve never experienced before. And with all these emotions, [I] found myself almost angry at the way our minds work. This is where the title ‘Red’ comes from.”

To celebrate the release of her new music, we recently chatted with Dylan about her first band, gaslighting, and of course, Red

HH: Rumor has it you started your first band when you were 11. What was it called? What was that dynamic like? 

D: Hahaha, what a first question. The rumors are true! We were called Clueless and we thought we were the bees knees. It was me and my four best mates. Think mainly we formed it because you were allowed to skip ‘quiet time’ (which was basically where you had to sit in a classroom for an hour or so doing homework) for music practice. It was a serious laugh. We wrote all our own music because none of us did theory and I can still remember every word. The school let us perform at their 150th anniversary on a HUGE lorry as the opening act, I only came across the old videos the other day, and let me tell you, we definitely did not sound as good as I remember us being. Still, that band was what started everything for me. 

HH: Your incredible new EP, Red is filled with energy, passion, and ambition. If you had to summarize it in one sentence, what would you say?

D: In one sentence – An emotional rollercoaster diving into the way I began to understand feelings and the real world. 

HH: “Your Issues” and “Good Enough” empower us to take back control in a relationship and stop letting people walk all over us. How would you respond to gaslighting? 

D: Gaslighting is the absolute worst. It took me such a long time to understand why people did it. There is no point in rising to it (a lesson I’ve had to learn). You just have to remind yourself that it is not your problem. You can’t take it personally, you just have to remember who you are, and that you are stronger than that. That or go mental and write a song about it lol. 

HH: Whether it’s the stunning acoustics in “Wish You Weren’t Mine” or the stirring electronics in “Guilty,” Red is full of otherworldly sonics. Can you walk us through your creative process? 

D: I’m a massive fan of electronic music, so I really wanted to have that influence shine through in the music sonically, but still wanted the writing of the song to be the lead role. Ultimately, writing this EP the goal was for it to be brutally honest. I didn’t want to hold back any of the underlying meanings so that people can be empowered by the music. All of the songs started on a guitar or piano, and I kept altering them until they had the right feel, until everything had been said perfectly, so that alone without any production, they were strong. That they could speak without music almost. Then going in with the production, it was almost building the world around the story of each lyric. I think “WYWM” was the hardest to finish because it’s such a cheeky unapologetic song. I didn’t want the production to cheapen it, which is easily done. It was finding a way to keep it dark with that electronic influence that made it what it is. Luckily I had a very patient producer to work on it with. 

HH: What was it like performing “Good Enough” on BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend?

D: It was mentaaaal. Doing Big Weekend was a big dream of mine and even to be asked to do it was a big thing for me. I’ve only really been doing this for a year so it was definitely a proud moment. I never expected to get this far so quick, there’s a long way to go for sure, but last year I barely had enough confidence to walk onstage. I am so happy I got to do it, even if it was in isolation!

HH: Tell us about your Tumblr fan club page. What can we expect on there?

D: I guess it’s just another platform for people to find out more about what I do. It’s got all of my playlists on there, all of the fan art people have done, and most importantly all of my guitars I’ve painted (it’s become a serious obsession of mine). It’s all of the BTS you don’t get to see on Instagram.

HH: If you could turn back time and write any hit song, which would it be? 

D: THAT IS SUCH AN IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION. But I’m gonna go with “Feeling Good” written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse because what an absolute classic beautiful masterpiece.

HH: What are your three hidden hits?

D: Lily Denning – “Armageddon” – She is the most incredible artist and she is releasing her next single next month and it is INSANE and you will want to be on it when it comes out, so get prepared. 

Oscar Welsh – “Get Yourself to Sleep” – Words cannot describe how talented this boy is. It’s a joke. He will be huge–truuuust me.

And if you haven’t heard “Damage :(“  by Naaz, you have not lived. It is completely out of this world beautiful. 

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