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#MusicExchange: Dylan Red releases new album: First Take

Dylan Red is a Cape Town-born singer-songwriter who plays multiple instruments and has been performing professionally since 2016. He cut his musical teeth at the V&A Waterfront; he opened for Jazzathon 2019 at the V&A Waterfront.
His original music leans towards a combination of funk, blues, folk and pop. Recently, he has also incorporated a loop station, which allows him to perform as a one-man-band. 

Red’s 12-track album First Take is out now with the first single, “Toxic”. 

His performance – at a sold-out Youngblood Gallery in Cape Town – was electric two weeks ago. This could be his breakout year after a four-year journey to become a household name. 

I spoke to him last week. 

BizcommunityThe new decade means: 

More virtual performance spaces and online collaborations.

BizcommunityFame is about: 

Being known by both fans and ‘haters’.  

BizcommunityRetirement will happen when: 

Well, to me, music will always be part of my life so I don’t really see myself retiring. 

BizcommunityI don't do: 

I don’t like to ‘pander’ and suck up to people. 

#MusicExchange: Dylan Red releases new album: First Take

BizcommunityWhat does music mean to you?

The constant in my life, even when I’m lost or uncertain, music will be there, rain or shine.

BizcommunityMy music is about: 

My expression of my creativity and emotions. When I write original music, I can fully lose myself in the process and just see what comes out at the end

BizcommunityWhere do you go for inspiration to create?

I sit down with my guitar in an open space. 

BizcommunityWhat is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

Seeing how the music I perform affects people. 

BizcommunityThe song you must do in every show: 

“Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran. 

BizcommunityAny funny moments on stage: 

Seeing a middle-aged lady running to tip me with a whole bag of coins, whilst playing at the Waterfront.  

#MusicExchange: Dylan Red releases new album: First Take

BizcommunityMy style icon:  

Bruno Mars. 

BizcommunityWhich living person do you admire most and why: 

Ed Sheeran. He has shown that it is possible to have a ‘public persona’ and still have a personal life that isn’t surrounded by drama. 

BizcommunityWhat is your most treasured possession?

Tanglewood acoustic guitar. 

BizcommunityIt’s your round, what are you drinking?

Double vodka and lemonade. 

BizcommunityWhat makes you stand out?

I think it’s my ability to connect to the music I perform, every song ‘gets’ a piece of me when I sing. 


D, Red or Mr Red

BizcommunityIf you were not a musician, what would you do?

A lawyer 

BizcommunityWho would play you in a Hollywood blockbuster and why?

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, if I were to ever work out at the gym properly I’d look like him. 

BizcommunityPick five words to describe yourself: 

Proud, empathetic, passionate, level-headed, dreamer. 

BizcommunityFive favourite SA albums of all time:

Nomvula – Freshlyground
Jekyll & Hyde – Prime Circle
Civil Twilight – Civil Twilight
The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg – Beatenberg
3T – YoungstaCPT

BizcommunityWhat song changed your life? 

“Someone Like You” – Adele; it was the first song I sang in front of a crowd when I was in grade eight. 

BizcommunityWhat is your favourite word?

Sonder - the realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. 

BizcommunityFavourite fashion garment:  

An old-school overcoat. 

BizcommunityYour greatest achievement: 

To release an album of original music.

#MusicExchange: Dylan Red releases new album: First Take

BizcommunityWhat do you complain about most often?

There is no job security in the music industry and the lack of rules and enforcers for the industry in South Africa especially.

BizcommunityWhat is your fear?

Having to give up music and do a nine-to-five desk job. 

BizcommunityHappiness is: 

For me, it would be being able to do and focus on music full-time without having to worry about anything 

BizcommunityOn stage, I tend to: 

Avoid talking as much as I can. I have a weird sort of stage-fright that only hits me when I have to talk to the audience. 

BizcommunityWhere would you like to be right now?

A jam session with like-minded musicians. 

BizcommunityWishes and dreams: 

For music to be recognised as a respectable profession and have it regulated so that it can actually be a respectable profession and that musicians can get adequately compensated for their work.

Social media:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Let's do Biz