Dylan Dunlap released his new EP "Feels Right at Home" almost two months ago. His past EPs and Album shows all the potential of this 21 year old multi-instrumentalist, but more importantly they show his way of singing about life and his way of verbalising himself to the world. This is why I think he's a perfect example of the idea of Music To Open Another Door.

Another interesting fact about Dylan is that it is not easy to guess what his main influences are in his music, making him an original creator (another check for Open Another Door). If you pay attention to details when you listen to his music, you realise that there are many ideas involved, not only coming from one genre; his songs combine a number of genres to create this original style.

As our song of the week is Purpose, we are going to start asking about it first.

So Dylan, first of all thank you very much for your time in answering these questions and I hope you will enjoy them.

When I got your track submission your words to describe the song were:

The infectiously catchy and piano-driven single, “Purpose” is definitely the highlight of the EP with its uniquely smooth rhythm, haunting background vocals, and gradual buildup to that final hard-hitting anthem of a chorus. It shows the potential of being able to organically self-produce something powerful while giving it some serious heart. “Purpose” dives into the overwhelming race against time that every DIY musician experiences in the present-day music industry and offers a solution to it all with the simple idea of stopping and standing still for a moment. Appreciating where you’re at and, more importantly, how far you’ve come to have gotten where you’re at is absolutely something to acknowledge. “Purpose” preaches the utmost integrity and transparency that all artists should strive to maintain on a day-to-day basis.

Even before reading your description the feeling of racing against time is perfectly present in your song. I really liked the way you played with the lyrics, the growth of the power in the song and that piano at beginning is simply perfect! My question will be made using part of your song and part of your description;

The song says "...there's always more beneath the surface And moving forward with a purpose."

And in the description said "...giving it some serious heart."

My first question is:

What is your purpose, as a DIY musician and as a ‘normal’ human being?

I can only pray that my career and life's purposes will be to shed light on mental health and inspire others to talk about it more!

I know you are promoting your EP and you're going to donate 100% of the proceeds from the digital sales of "Feels Right at Home - EP" towards PSA Behavioural Health Agency in Phoenix, AZ.  So I want to know more about this combination of this three facts: "The song part, description part and the donation"

I wanted the lyrics to be as honest as possible, as I never want to act like someone I'm not in the music industry. The digital sales from these 4 songs will be donated entirely to the agency in Phoenix because I absolutely love what they do there. I haven't even been able to speak to the CEO yet, but I don't care! It's not about exposure. It's about the act of being giving.

The third question is about the recent departure of Chester Bennington from this world. I know you used to play with your friends singing Linkin Park songs and also you uploaded a video making a really cool cover of "Bleed It Out".

How did you feel when you heard about it? Also, what do you think will be his legacy to the music world?

My friend Zen texted me, "Dude. Did you hear the news?" I knew immediately that it would be something unfortunate. When I read the headlines, I actually thought it was a cyber prank or something. Chester Bennington made me feel so far from alone during my childhood and my heart is in pieces to know that he is gone. In terms of his legacy, I think that he'll inspire a lot of struggling individuals to reach out to receive the help that they need.

The next question will be a bit more personal, but still related to music. So, I know the tattoo in your left arm has 2 DNA strings which represent the relationship you have with your sister and the band you could never start, "DNA" (Dylan and Alexis). I also know due to your posts on social platforms that you're always trying to keep yourself transparent and communicative with everyone.

What does family mean to you? What is the key they play in your life as a musician and as human Dylan? Do you also believe in the phrase "Friends are the non-blood related siblings that you choose"?

"Family" is a tough, and also beautiful, thing to describe. So many people can be your family. Because mine is split right down the middle with my dad not being around, I have always found it difficult to feel like I'm in a full family. Something like that certainly makes you appreciate the ones that ARE in your life though, I'll tell you that much. I don't deserve my mom, my stepdad, and my girlfriend. They are just the most incredibly loving and patient people I've ever met. I agree with that phrase! Friends can save your life.

I want to know a bit more about what you said in the description:

"Purpose" preaches the utmost integrity and transparency that all artists should strive to maintain on a day-to-day basis."

What are the differences you feel from being in The Voice (Season 8), at the street and in other gigs? What is the ideal scenario for you? How do you want your audience to feel in that scenario? Last but not least, which song is your favourite to play live and why? 

The Voice was such a whirlwind. It consumed about 6 or 7 months of my year back in 2014 and just like that, it all disappeared. It made me doubt myself more than I ever had before, but I think it was a crucial experience for me. It helped me understand why I want to do what I'm doing for the right reasons. As amazing as exposure is, I have always told myself that I want to make a difference over anything else. It's pretty crazy that you can play for just 5 people in a dive bar and change somebody's life. In the end, maybe that can be more important than singing some cover for 14 million people. My perfect scenario is a sold-out amphitheater somewhere full of people that are willing to put all their phones down, close their eyes, and just listen. Me and my band have a new song that we haven't recorded yet called "Microphones and Lights". Definitely the most fun to play live!

To end this interview, I would like you to talk about a bit more about the great EP released and make emphasis on the names of the tracks and their meanings, but most importantly the last song which I believe is the perfect song with the perfect lyrics and a great message to be heard.

"We bleed just the same"

"Feels Right at Home" is for all the introverts out there. "Uncharted Land" is a brutally honest love song that literally calls out my own name in it. "Purpose" shares my musical and mental struggles in Los Angeles, and "Bleed the Same" was written because of a phrase I heard at a wedding I sang at last year. The officiant told the bride and groom, "Remember. It's better to be kind than to always be right." At that moment, I knew I had to write a song about how hearing something like that made me feel!

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About Rodrigo Medrano:

Rodrigo Medrano - Musicto Playlist Curator

At a very early age, music had an incredible impact on Rodrigo’s life. He was never able to listen to lullaby songs; instead he was served Guns n’ Roses and Aerosmith for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

At the age of 12, he became a melomaniac, collecting albums, EP’s, recording sessions, and researching every kind of genre. All this helped him to get his first job at a recording studio where he realized his life would forever revolve around sound and music.

Working on cruise ships as First Audio Technician allowed him to let loose his passion and expand his knowledge on psychoacoustics, eventually promoted up to being in charge of sound for the hit broadway shows: Rock of Ages and Burn The Floor.

His music library will never stop growing as his melomania will get worse and worse.