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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF | AFTRA

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Pop




"From the NYC submissions: DYLLAN"

With her soft and silvery voice, mellow-yet-passionate compositions, and poetic and intimate lyrics, New York-by-way-of-LA singer-songwriter DYLLAN has the potential to conquer many hearts. Her latest single “Moments Like These,” an emotionally complex reminiscence of a love gone wrong, was released in March of 2015 along with this simple music video, and shows a noteworthy maturation compared to earlier repertoire. DYLLAN has released two EPs thus far, her debut “Acclimating,” out in 2010, and the follow-up, “Anything But Scared,” from the following year. While living in Paris, she also collaborated with French electronic artist Thylacine on a track entitled “Distance,” which became the single of the week on iTunes in France. While she currently has no upcoming shows planned, DYLLAN is set to release several new singles over the course of 2015, so be sure to keep an eye out. - Patrick Wolff

"Artist Spotlight: Dyllan"

Dyllan is a project by Dylan Nichols (vocals and guitar). She found her voice in LA, held a brief stint in Paris, and is now based out of Brooklyn. More recently, she’s added Dominick Boyle (violin and textures) to her ticket. Dominick hails from Washington State and Wisconsin. He is a classically trained violinist, who also plays the mbira, and started performing while living in Thailand.

Fiona: Who is Dylan Nichols and who is Dyllan with two L’s? Is this an alter ego?

Dylan: Dylan Nichols, yeah, that’s me. As for Dyllan with two L’s, I just felt like I needed some sort of separation between me and my work. I tried to come up with all sorts of pseudonyms and nothing felt authentic. I thought about just being Dylan but then you know, you Google “Dylan” and you get Bob Dylan. I don’t wanna compete with that at all! And so I was like okay I’ll add an L and that’s my project.

F: Dyllan started out as just Dylan. How did you and Dom start playing together?

Dylan: Well we jammed together, at Sarah Lawrence. There was always this idea that we would play together. It really happened organically post-graduation and now it’s become a really collaborative thing. We’ve been playing together for a year now.

F: Dom, do you consider yourself a part of Dyllan with two L’s? Or I feel like you guys perform under Dyllan & Dom, right?

Dom: That’s been on both of our minds lately… we don’t really know. For a while it was being labelled as Dyllan with Dominick Boyle. The great thing is that we both do so many different things, like she does a lot of things as Dyllan and that’s her name. So, I’m not Dyllan. Yeah, we haven’t really worked that out yet.

Dylan: But we will. It’s a process.

F: Who else have you collaborated with?

Dylan: I’ve collaborated with Thylacine, who’s a French producer. I have a new song that should be coming out shortly, (three years in the making, actually) that I recorded in Paris with an old friend (Kévin-Charles Pedersen).

I’m working with a Brooklyn-based band called Late Guest at the Party and so I’ll have a few new songs coming out with them. I’m also working with a producer called Zachari Mayer, I’m writing vocals for a new EP of his. I’m continuing to try to work with a lot of different electronic producers, in the sense that they will send me music and then I will write vocals or lyrics for them.

Smoothie: Didn’t you just drop a new song though? A single?

Dylan: “Try,” which is a song that I wrote with my good friend from high school, Ian Sloane, he’s a really wonderful producer, and he had produced this awesome music and we cowrote lyrics to it. It’s going to have a bunch of remixes associated with it, hopefully.

F: You told me recently that you’ve been learning Ableton, how is that process going?

Dylan: Groans – it’s really tough. I’m so not a technical person. I know Pro Tools pretty well but that’s just for recording audio, which is something I do just to arrange vocals and stuff.

Dom: Yeah I have a drum pad. It’s super old, it got like really good reviews in 2006 when it first came out.

Dom: I just like to keep it stripped down. For live performance it’s better just to have reliability and a sense of immediacy.

F: How did the whole process for “Moments Like These” music video go?

Dylan: That’s another song Ian produced. Katherine Harrison directed the music video. At Sarah Lawrence, she used some archival footage and projected it onto me during a live performance, so she had an idea after we graduated to do a music video sort of based off of that idea. We raised over $2,000 through Indiegogo, got all of the equipment, and went to Aviv, before it was Aviv actually, it was just a warehouse, and we shot the video there.

Smoothie: That’s dope. So, tell us about your private show. Are you allowed to talk about it?

Dylan: Oh yeah after it’s over we’re allowed to talk about it. I’m actually stoked to talk about Sofar Sounds. They’re a really great organization that puts on these secret shows in really interesting venues, like people’s apartments. The first one we did was in the Ilegal Mezcal loft. That’s a pop up bar where they sell this amazing, delicious mezcal. And then the last one we did was at The Hoodie Shop in the LES, so it was actually a hoodie shop. The way it works is that we know maybe a week before where the show is going to be and then I guess they tell whoever signed up the day of.

Smoothie: Is it like you have to have a membership to their events?

Dylan: Well you can go on their website and sign up for a show in a certain area.

Dom: And it’s a lottery.

Dylan: Yeah so you might not necessarily get in.

Smoothie: Ohh what the fuck.

F: I wanna try it.

Dylan: But the great thing about it is the whole idea of people coming to these shows and they actually sit and listen. They want to be there. So it’s not like you’re at a bar and everyone is talking and not listening to you play. It’s like everyone wants to listen and is encouraged to listen. It’s a really lovely thing and we’ve gotten to play it twice now.

Smoothie: I feel you. Here’s a question you’ve never heard, how would you describe your sound?

Dylan: I swear to you, people always ask me “What kind of music do you play?” And I really don’t know how to explain it to you.

Dom: Well when we started playing, Dylan was really clear with me: she does not want this to be a folk band. That was one of the challenges. It was something that really pushed me as a musician because she was like, “I don’t want it to sound like a violin.”

I try not to bury the sound under layers of loops but I don’t think in terms of violin, I think in terms of textures. Instead of asking “What lines can I play?” I think “What can I add to the sound to make it bigger, to make it more varied, to make the range larger.” I’m actually playing a 5-string violin, and so with my pedals I have the range of an entire orchestra. It’s a totally different approach and she really pushed me to get there. It sounds electronic but it’s not because it’s an acoustic violin.

F: Have you changed your process a lot too, since playing with Dom?

Dylan: Yeah, playing with Dom has been so cool for me because I used to think of songs in terms of verse chorus bridge verse chorus or whatever…but with Dom we’ve actually made some songs that are just completely improv-based. They don’t really have the same structure… or they do and then we change it up a lot. Wow, it’s funny to talk about this now because I’ve never even thought of this before, but I always said the one thing that I was terrible at was improv and now being able to just sing something on the spot… it’s really cool to realize that that’s totally become part of what we do.

Dom: So like a lot of singers are always saying “Lets jam!”, and I’m like I don’t know what to do, because I usually have a chordal instrument backing me up. Dylan brought the melody and lyrics and was like what can you do around it. And actually I was terrified.

Dylan: Really?

Dom: Yeah, before working with you playing with just an a cappella vocalist was my worst nightmare. Their voice is just floating in space with nothing to anchor it. So it was really hard for me. I think it’s been really good for us both to push through those challenges.

I guess I would say our sound is like Indie Pop.

Dylan: I would use the term Alternative. I like that better than Indie.

Dom: Experimental Pop? Ex-Pop?

Dylan: I love that! That’s so cool.

Smoothie: Everyone’s gonna be like what’s that?

F: It’s a movement.

Smoothie: Generation Ex-Pop.

Dylan: We’re doing it.

F: Thank you so much for hanging out with us and chatting. Do you have any upcoming shows you’d like to tell us about?

Dylan: Dom and I are playing a show at Muchmore’s on September 12th. We’re also playing at The Bitter End November 6th.

Dom: It’s funny that we play together, we live together, and we have Smoothie friends together. - Smoothie Tunes


Still working on that hot first release.



DYLLAN is the pseudonym and band name of Los-Angeles born singer-songwriter Dylan Nichols. She started taking on the LA club scene at age 15, went on to college in New York where she studied film, writing and music, and spent a year in Paris where she collaborated with electronic producer THYLACINE. Their collaboration, "Distance" was the iTunes download of the week in France. Their second cross-continental collaboration, "Closing (feat. Dyllan)" was the title track on his next EP, Exil.

DYLLAN works with violinist and composer Dominick Boyle. They met at Sarah Lawrence College, where they both studied with John Yannelli (professor to Zoe Keating; Dave Porter). Dyllan engages raw vocals supported by soft percussion that punctuates a landscape of Boyle's layered strings, creating a dissonance between her delicate harmonies and thick, haunting ambience. Dyllan lives in Brooklyn and will record her debut EP in February 2016. 

Band Members