Whether it be performing on the streets of Los Angeles, appearing on NBC’s The Voice, or opening for acts such as Molly Ringwald, Phil Wickham and Howie Day, twenty-one-year old Dylan Dunlap has kept one thing in mind throughout his career: to strive for integrity and transparency. With the premiere of his new single, “Microphones & Lights,” Dunlap is more open and honest than ever.
Dunlap revealed that he wrote the song at a time when he was having writer’s block, but his struggles with mental illness inspired him to create a piece of music that was as transparent as he could possibly make it. Since he based the song on something so personal, Dunlap says the song just flowed out on its own.
That isn’t to say that he didn’t run into problems while writing the song. At first, Dunlap’s insecurities almost prevented him from writing about his personal struggles out of fear of being “too personal,” but once he thought about how many people would be able to relate to his struggles, Dunlap knew that he had to use his platform as a way to shed light on an important topic such as this one.
“I realize that there are an unbelievable amount of people in this world that feel alone. I really just want to help as many of them as I can,” the singer tells CelebMix.
Dunlap also goes on to discuss the change in his writing style. “My writing style used to come from a very positive mindset,” he says. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m really proud of how much I’ve grown in wanting to be more honest. Sometimes the last thing people need to hear are silver linings. Sometimes they just need to know that it’s okay to struggle.”
When he finally released “Microphones & Lights,” Dunlap was met with many positive reactions from fans online.
“I may not have some insane fandom, but I sure do have a solid amount of people that genuinely love supporting me in what I do. A crazy amount of people have been posting about the new single every day. It warms my heart so much thinking about how supportive everyone is, and how it can only grow from here!”
This isn’t the first time Dunlap has used music as a way to raise awareness about mental health. Last year, he released an EP titled, ‘Feels Right At Home,’ with 100% of digital proceeds going towards the PSA Behavioral Health Agency in Phoenix, AZ.
Speaking to CelebMix last year about his donations to the agency, Dunlap says, “I want to raise awareness about what they’re doing in Phoenix simply because what they’re doing is absolutely beautiful.”
The agency first opened in 1971 and worked to offer services to the elderly SMI (seriously mentally ill) population of South Phoenix. Since then, the agency has expanded to 20+ locations helping thousands of people of different ages in the state of Arizona.
Apart from being able to use his platform as a way to inspire others, one of Dunlap’s favorite aspects of being a performer is touring. Dunlap is set to hit the road later this month in eight cities across the UK and in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, California in March. Out of all the cities he will be visiting, Dunlap says that he can’t wait to experience the city of London because he isn’t too familiar with it.
“I’m so excited to just learn as much as I can out there. I love putting myself into environments where I need to figure out how to take care of myself and get from A to B.”
As for the rest of 2018, Dunlap tells CelebMix that he hopes to perform more shows in LA with his band. “I literally love Kirk, Ben, and Joey so much,” he says of his band members.
He also wants to continue to spread more awareness about mental illness in the music industry, all while keeping himself healthy as well.
“I’m learning how to take things one month at a time though. I have a hundred different goals and dreams to accomplish, but I also want to be mentally present for each baby step that I take.”
Through it all, Dunlap will take the things that he learned while writing “Microphones & Lights” and apply it to his music in the future.
“I can’t wait for what’s next. All I know is that there will always be room for improvement and that excites me.”