Versatility often fuels vision. Take artists such as Pharrell or Trent Reznor, those cats can literally do everything by themselves, bringing music to life out of nothing. That brings us to Dylan Kelly.
The Los Angeles native writes, produces, composes, sings, and plays guitar, bass, and keyboards. His musical ambidexterity belies a sharp wit, stylish inked aesthetic, and an intriguing personal history that includes learning how to record in a Venice Beach closet, religiously studying the productions of Max Martin, and getting banned for life (yes, for life) from a community college in The Valley. Before all that, Dylan first picked up a guitar at 15-years-old inspired by everybody from Frank Sinatra and The Beatles to Kanye West, Weezer, and Backstreet Boys. He jumped between different local bands until he uncovered the power hidden within a MacBook Pro.
“It was a revelation,” he affirms. “I realized I could make music all by myself. I didn’t even need a band. I just started writing, and I didn’t stop.” Through a friend, he met iconic music industry executive and DrillDown Entertainment owner Paul Palmer (the man who co-founded Trauma Records original home to No Doubt and Bush, among others). Dylan signed to DrillDown and began working out of a Venice Beach studio in 2011, honing his chops in the process. However, he really hit a creative stride in 2014.
Coming home from a vacation in the Dominican Republic, Dylan went to the studio early one morning and wrote “All My Friends” from scratch in less than two hours. The woozy guitars, sunny production, confessional lyrics, and instantly chant able chorus “All my friends are high” simply intoxicate. Republic Records fell under the track’s spell, and Dy-lan landed a deal with the label. About the song, he explains, “I have a bunch of fun friends but it’s hard to get them to go out and do anything but hang. I wrote this song about those times when you just can’t get your friends to leave the house.”
“All My Friends” shows just one side of this dynamic talent though. His music encompasses a diverse array of styles from pop and reggae to indie and alternative. “It’s representative of L.A.,” he says. “The city is such a melting pot so my music is like a melting pot of all those influences.”
Ultimately, Dylan’s own versatility will captivate anybody within earshot. “I want people to feel emotion,” he leaves off. “What else is the point of art? I hope they can relate and say, ‘Me too man. Me too!’”