As a college kid and small-town native who’s dabbled in just about every genre on the internet, Dylan Longworth stays pretty busy. I recently had the opportunity to speak with them about their newest song, upcoming album, and a liberating break into a bigger world.
Their newest song “hometown”, is about, well, their hometown. “I wanna get back to my roots and what I used to make”. They “started writing music in 2014 with just guitar and voice” inspired by artists like “Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes”. The North Carolina native explained that “singer-songwriter pop” music wasn’t the typical “basic-ass SoundCloud rap” that people were trying to make in their rural town. “It was like, we’re in North Carolina but we’re trying to be rappers!”. The difference didn’t discourage them though — “That’s why I feel special, I can be versatile”.
Rural life was isolating, and the urge to discover the wider world is a key part of their creative process . “Musically, yes, I was forced to make other things. But every other aspect? Life here wasn’t my favorite. I grew up on a lot of medicine and don’t remember much from ages 6-12. So there’s a lot of bad trauma, but sometimes I miss the people”. They “finished high school and realized those motherfuckers are so complacent. Like okay, I’m gonna go work at Walmart”. Their perspective changed during their move to college. “I’m at my third year, and I’d be in a different place emotionally, socially, and mentally if I didn’t move away and make those connections”. The big leap into independence was incredibly rewarding, and they have no intention of turning back. The people who stayed are the “zombies and ghosts” featured in the chorus, but they’re envious that “they know what their futures are” even if it’s filled with slow, mundane tasks. The uncertainty of the future is haunting, but it’s pushing them forward. Musically, this is just the beginning.
The difference in sound between each new release is impressive, yielding a new piece of their current experiences with each verse. “Honestly, it’s all a matter of mood, it literally is like, what do I feel like making today?”. It’s all “affected by the people I’m around. if I’m around people I go to school with, I’m in a singer song writer popish mood, and if I’m online, I’ll be in a digicore/hyperpop-ish mood. It depends on what I’m feeling”. They’re in a bunch of collectives with unique members constantly influencing their work. The list begins confidently with “various artists, we do a lot of digicore-hyperpop stuff” freshly started by a close friend and artist austyn with a y about four months ago. Also, they’re “in demonpop, they do a lot of electronic centralized music, and then goreset, they do a lot of alternative rock type stuff”. They have “been very inactive recently, but when I’ve made something with them, it’s been a right place right time thing”. Right now, they’re mostly collaborating with austyn with a y. “Like, if I could I’d make whole projects with that mother fucker”.
“What inspired me in the past was definitely like, the hopefulness of making monetary value. Like the popularity amongst my friends motivated me at first. But what motivates me now is growth in myself. Like if I made a song like 6 months ago, I can look back and be like, man I was in a different place, but I’ve grown”. Discovering that “personal growth and the friends that I surround myself with is my biggest inspiration” was a key part of this rebirth. Their new album is coming out soon, and “the whole point is versatility, growth, and reflection”. “I have a little over half a dozen projects that I’ve made, and I’ve never been as proud as any of those as I am of this. I’m very excited because my friend Noah, who runs backlight, helped me put the songs together and has interludes of us talking. The whole point of the album is like an interview or first impression”. “It’s like “Can I ask you some questions?”. “If someone hasn’t listened to any of my music before I hope this is a good first impression for them”. We’re both looking forward to the new album coming out in early December. We end on that note, excited for what’s next. “Shoutout “austyn with a y, swazy, goreset, niztopia, and backlight noah for all his help he’s been doing with my album”.
Listen to ‘hometown’ below.
– Mars (@gayidiot49)