theaussieword.com catches up US singer/songwriter Dyllan Nichols.
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in music?
For years I would lip-synch in the back of the car. My parents listened to a really eclectic mix of music, so I had some great influences very early on. I wanted desperately to sing but I was just too shy. I started playing guitar when I was eight- after a few years of frustration with the piano (still felt). When I started learning songs on guitar by artists that I loved: Shawn Colvin, Avril Lavigne, (yes, I loved her!), and Joni Mitchell when I became more proficient with open tunings: they were all songs that needed vocal accompaniment, and eventually this was the catalyst for me to sing along, and then eventually write my own songs. Once I got on stage there was no question, there wasn’t a lot to fear. No one ever pressured me, which is something I really appreciate my parents for. I just had to be singing and writing songs.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Songwriting and making music isn’t just a hobby, or even a career for me. I write songs to work through my emotions and experiences. Writing is my therapy. I just have to do it, and that’s my motivation.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
I’d love to expand my live performances to more festivals and tours. Essentially being a full time musician is the dream, and I’ve yet to discover what that means!
Success, what is the secret to it?
For me it’s just doing what I need to be doing, what’s fulfilling me creatively. It really has nothing to do with what fulfilling the idea someone else has about me. However, through music, I feel I’m able to communicate with people, through songwriting and singing live, and this connection is invaluable to me. When someone tells me my music resonated with them, it’s the most meaningful feeling in the world, and that feels like success.
What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
I collaborated with a wonderful French electronic producer, THYLACINE, on two of his tracks. Our song, “Distance,” was the single of the week on iTunes in France.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
I really admire people like Bjork, Fiona Apple, Joanna Newsom, and FKA Twigs. I admire that they all make incredibly unique music, but which is also honest and raw and unapologetic.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Hopefully continuing to play and tour and write. It’s always been my dream to play at Coachella Valley Music Festival since I grew up in LA and went a few times when I was a teenager. I’d love to tour across the USA – (there’s so much of my own country I’ve actually never visited before!) I’d like to collaborate and write with/for other people. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with a band like Alt-J, or a male singer because I’ve never done that before.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
I think there are both really wonderful things about the way the industry has changed and difficult aspects. It’s both wonderful and tragic that technology has made it easy for just about anyone to make something and share it. I think it promotes a DIY attitude, which I appreciate, but what I’ve learned from working with musicians is how important collaboration is.
I think not only in the music industry, but in this day-in-age in general, there is this shame in not being able to “do it all.” It seems like everyone is meant to be a singer/producer/musician/model/actress – you name it. I’ve felt that pressure at times but I realized I’d rather do a few things well than a lot of things unwell. I have ideas about the production of my music and I feel very involved in that process – but I’m not a particularly technical person. I also can’t play ten instruments. It’s just not who I am. I would rather work with a range of talented people and collaborate, than say, “I can do it all.” It’s just not possible or true, not for anyone. And I think it’s just more fun to work with people.
In terms of getting my music out, I think online playlists and radio stations are a wonderful way for music to get heard, and I hope that’s a channel I’ll be able to use to get my music out there. I’d also love to have a
song in a film or on a TV show.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Sia, Tame Impala, Gotye.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
I just released my single for “Sea Anemones,” my debut EP, “All Those Other Windows” will be out in a few weeks, and eventually I’ll be releasing a music video as well. I hope these will lead to a tour!
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music?
My latest record was the first time I ever worked with a full band on a recording. Most of it was recorded live. I had never been so well rehearsed or prepared going into the studio, and this made the whole process so much more enjoyable because there was more time to experiment and perfect. Because a lot of it was live, it was also very authentic. I’d say my music is a blend of live instrumentation and electronic production, and it comes from a place of very honest, raw songwriting.
Any new projects in the pipeline?
I’m preparing songs for my next album, and there will be at least one more music video from the current EP.
Thanks for the interview! What’s your final message for us today?
Thank you for the interview! I’ve never been to Australia but I would love to visit on one of my future tours!