Photo: Tom Flynn
Describing himself as a nowhere kid from a nowhere town, Dylan Owen released a brand-new single, “Young Skins,” a few days ago.
Named after the award-winning short story collection of Colin Barret, the track reminds listeners that the journey is more important than the destination.
Dylan explains, “‘Young Skins’ is for anybody who’s ever dreamed of becoming the people in the posters on their bedroom walls. We don’t need to meet our heroes. We become them. Let these be my words of encouragement to every independent artist out there.”
Despite his young age and being an independent artist without the backing of a label, Dylan has carved out success by means of hard work, graceful lyricism, and dazzling, infectious music.
Moreover, akin to other musical artists, the universal language of Dylan’s music crosses the imaginary borderline between music and art. The arts, including poetry, paintings, and sculpture, often inspire music. Yet just as often music supplies the creative stimulus for art.
According to the abstract artist Kandinsky, “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, and the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”
Indeed, poet Walt Whitman asserted opera to be the sine qua non to his writing his poetry collection, Leaves of Grass.
Artist Keith Haring always listened to music while creating. A ‘boom box’ was his constant companion, pumping out rap music. One of his favorites was Run DMC, for whom he designed a sneaker.
Georgia O’Keeffe held “the idea that music could be translated into something for the eye,” which led to Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, and Blue and Green Music, two of her abstract works.
Dylan’s evocative lyricism has inspired body art, with many of his fans tattooing lyrics from his songs on their bodies. Remarkably, more than 50 of his admirers have inked excerpts of his lyrics on their skin.
At once vulnerable and poetic, it’s easy to see why his music has been likened to Conor Oberst and Elliott Smith, as well as allowing Dylan to share the stage with Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Logic, Watsky, Yelawolf, and Skizzy Mars.
With over 13 million Spotify streams, Dylan’s music has been applauded by and featured by Revolt TV, PepsiCo, WWE Smackdown, MTV, For Folk’s Sake, and Paste Magazine.
“Young Skins” rolls out on a thumping beat topped by gleaming, chiming synths accented by luscious, oozing horns. Dylan’s smooth flow imbues the rhymes with sensitive, melodic textures.
“We’re just old souls in young skins / We wait our whole lives to be something / And when our time comes we won’t run then / We don’t need to meet our heroes we become them.”
“Young Skins” parades the exquisite symmetry of Dylan Owen, merging stylish hip-hop flavors with unpretentious lyricism.