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.
The new decade means:
More virtual performance spaces and online collaborations.
Fame is about:
Being known by both fans and ‘haters’.
Retirement will happen when:
Well, to me, music will always be part of my life so I don’t really see myself retiring.
I don't do:
I don’t like to ‘pander’ and suck up to people.
What does music mean to you?
The constant in my life, even when I’m lost or uncertain, music will be there, rain or shine.
My 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
Where do you go for inspiration to create?
I sit down with my guitar in an open space.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?
Seeing how the music I perform affects people.
The song you must do in every show:
“Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran.
Any funny moments on stage:
Seeing a middle-aged lady running to tip me with a whole bag of coins, whilst playing at the Waterfront.
My style icon:
Which 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.
What is your most treasured possession?
Tanglewood acoustic guitar.
It’s your round, what are you drinking?
Double vodka and lemonade.
What 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
If you were not a musician, what would you do?
Who 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.