Interviews

Published on March 31st, 2020 | by Marilyn Reles

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NYC Rapper Talks About His New Single “Bruises” Featuring Abhi The Nomad

With his own brand of confessional, heart-on-sleeve storytelling, Dylan has built an undeniable fan following who relate to the meaning and life experiences captured in his songs. His new single “Bruises” featuring Abhi The Nomad is officially LIVE and Dylan will be donating and matching the first 48 hours of Spotify profits to Direct Relief. The charity helps all health care workers on the front lines of today’s current pandemic. I had a chance to sit down with Dylan to discuss the inspiration behind “Bruises”, his experience collaborating with Abhi & his advice for other artists getting through this very trying time.

Your newest release entitled “Bruises” featuring Abhi The Nomad is coined ‘A Song To Combat Loneliness’. Can you tell us a little more about what inspired you to write the track and did you ever think it would be so topical / needed at such a sensitive time in our world?

I had no idea we’d all end with this kind of shared loneliness at the same time this song came out. I wrote “Bruises” from a super personal place like I do with all of my songs, and I scheduled the release way back before coronavirus was big news in the US. The song’s message is to open up your perspective and see the brightness in the world even when that seems impossible. That’s eerily fitting for right now, so I hope it helps somebody or at least encourages them to pass the time with a positive outlook. I wrote it on a dreary Saturday morning in New York City when I needed that reminder myself.

How did you discover Abhi The Nomad and what made you want to collaborate with him specifically?

Abhi emailed me out of the blue years ago, right before my EP There’s More To Life came out. He heard about my music through a mutual friend who’s been super supportive of both of us and suggested that we link up. Abhi sent me rough ideas way back then, and I’d been planning to work with him since day one because he has super original production quality and just tight rhymes, similar to what I always strive for. I really dug his DIY work ethic too. Thankfully we kept in touch because it took us about 5 years to finally make this collab a reality. We met in person for the first time this fall when he was on tour in Brooklyn promoting his album Modern Trash. And now here we are.

In “Bruises” you talk about how our emotional experiences color the way we see the world. Can you elaborate on this?

I think that if you’re feeling a profound sense of loneliness in your own life, it’s easy to look at every stranger on the street and believe they’re all happier than you. That’s what I describe in my verse, witnessing college students and business people and teenage lovers all being seemingly unaware of how bleak the world is. I think that’s a negative outlook on life and it doesn’t have to exist that way in reality, but that’s the place I wrote this song from. I hope the story ends up uplifting others and giving them a glimmer of sunlight if they’re feeling that alone, especially right now.

The world is going through a very tough time; how do you feel this will affect artists creatively? Do you foresee a surge in creativity/art, especially as everyone isolates themselves?

Right now is such a devastating time and everyone is so uprooted that it has to result in more art. That’s how so many of us cope with change and push back against challenges in our lives. I also think artists are going to see the impact that true music and true creativity have on people during this time and will feel super encouraged to put themselves out there. So many fans have reached out to me and said they’re thankful I’m dropping a song right now. Honestly, I’m just thankful they’re listening and thankful that it helps somebody.

“Bruises” offers a very rainy-day mood. This in mind, are you more inspired to write when it’s grey and rainy or does the sunshine bring out the best in you? 

Definitely the grey and the rain bring out the best in my writing. I don’t know why but I’ve always had an affinity for grey days and locations where moody weather is the norm. I’m constantly reflecting on my life in order to write about it, so the rain tends to bring me a sense of peacefulness. As a result, I can dream a little bit bigger without hesitation. 

What is your biggest goal for “Bruises” and how do you hope it affects its listeners?

I hope “Bruises” makes people feel a little less alone in their outlook on the world, even when that outlook is grim. I know that so many of my listeners have walked a similar path to mine in life, where they’ve been soul searching for direction throughout their life phases and may struggle to not feel totally lost at times. I hope that “Bruises” can give some people a bit of hope and relieve them from those worries for the 3 minutes and 6 seconds it plays.

“Bruises” comes shortly after your recent single “We Were Only Kids Then”. Do you have more singles to come in 2020?

This is my season of sharing tons of new songs and not holding back on what I create, so there will definitely be some more singles on the way this year before my next project. I’m eager to announce a new EP or album, but there are a few standalone tracks I’ve been planning to get out of my system first. I have too many rough demos and unfinished ideas on the table that I need to tackle and I’m committing the next few months to share them all. I haven’t felt this kind of freedom since back before my 2012 EP Keep Your Friends Close, so I’m really excited about the future.

What is your advice to your fellow artists during this very trying time?

I would say to all of the artists out there: stay creative and stay true to your own inspiration. Right now we all have time on our hands at home, and that’s the best time to dive deep into your own world, so make it count in a way that’s going to be important to you. Hopefully, despite the sad circumstances, the rush of everyday life is lifted these next few months for writers, painters, visual artists, photographers, rappers, and poets, and the chaos can open up a whole new box of light for everybody.

Be sure to follow Dylan Owen on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter today!



About the Author

is the CEO and Lead Publicist at Present PR, delivering forward thinking press outreach and brand development to a diverse roster of clientele. She writes about Hip Hop, Pop, EDM, Indie Rock, LGBTQ and Music Business-related content. Send her inquiries at: [email protected]


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