Text: Susanne van Hooft
Pics: Lillie Eiger

As a young girl, Dylan (real name: Natasha Woods) envisioned how she would stand in Wembley stadium. At 11, she stood in front of an audience with her band and now at 22, she has actually stood at Wembley, supporting Ed Sheeran. Although she has a poppy vibe, her influences are also from the alternative scene. Since 2019, she has been searching for her own sound ranging from electronic synth pop songs )’Good Enough’) and piano ballads (‘IKWYDLN’). Now she seems to be on track with her own sound: pop melodies backed by growly guitars, and honest glimpses into her life through her lyrics. The single ‘Girl of Your Dreams’ has just been released and soon her first headline tour of her own will start, so high time for a closer look.

At the moment, everything that happens to you seems like a fairy tale. But is there a downside to all this? Is this attention and full rooms when you play live and your devoted fan base exactly as you expected?

It is absolutely mental at the moment. I think all jobs have their downsides. Maybe before going into music I didn’t realise it would be a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week job. There’s very little time for anything else. However, it’s what I love, and having those fans in the room when I play makes it all worth it. It’s like a new family.

All of a sudden you played big stages as a support act of Bastille or Ed Sheeran. Were you adequately prepared for these big shows and big stages? 

I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for something like that. Mentally I’d been playing these huge stages in my head for years haha, so I think that helped a lot. I really want my music to belong in those big venues, it feels like it fits there, and so it wasn’t really a question of dealing with a big step; it was more questioning am I ready for this step? I definitely couldn’t have done it without my band. They are my favourite humans on the planet and knowing they were there behind me helped a lot. 

What do you always do before you go on stage?

We ALWAYS listen to ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC before we go on, and we have a little chant we do also. I also always need to wee. 

You have been the support act for many different acts. Yungblud, Bastille and Ed Sheeran all have a different kind of audience. Can you describe the typical ‘Dylan audience’?

Well I’ve only had like four shows, so it’s hard to tell, but I think from the last one I would say it’s most like a Yungblud audience. Incredibly loyal and dedicated, who scream and sing extremely loudly!

How is your relationship with your fans? 

We are all very close. I talk to them a lot. its funny, as someone that shies away from love and is easily cringed out, I sure do love them an insane amount. They are the reason I am where I am, everything is for them. By relating to the songs they allow me to be heard and feel the way I’m feeling. Music is like food, everyone likes different things so I’m not too mad when ‘people’ don’t like what I do (although they’re WRONG lol) but when it comes to the fans it’s super important to me. 

I understand that your dad had a part in your going into music. What is his reaction to all this? Is he protective or does he stand on the side-lines like a cheerleader?

He is living the dream vicariously that’s for sure. He’s very proud, and now that there is a smidge of success I think he’s feeling much better about my choice to do it for a living. It wasn’t looking too promising a couple years back, and as an insurance man I could see he was slightly on edge about it all!! I think he’s all of the above, protective when he needs to be, and on the side-lines when he can be. 

What was the most impressive moment of the past year? 

Latitude Festival for sure. It was pretty much a home show! I’ve been going to that festival forever with my parents, so it was a real milestone to play the main stage. I’d pretty much grown up at that festival. I discovered all of my favourite bands there, had a breakup there, played my first gig there. It meant a lot. 

What was the most awkward moment you learned from in the past year? 

Don’t get spontaneous tattoos from truck drivers on tour. It’s a miracle it did not get infected lol. 

Your music has two sides, on the one hand it is like anthems, made for a large audience, on the other hand it has a subtlety and is layered. Do you seek this balance consciously?

I don’t think anything about my writing is conscious at the moment. It just kinda happens the way it happens. I’m not trying to make it anything, just writing about how I feel and imagining how it would sound live. 

Who is your ‘Girl Of Your Dreams’? (female source of inspiration)?

Well obviously Taylor Swift. That woman has done more for the music industry than music has. She has carved a path that allows the rest of us aspiring female artists to actually succeed, and for it to actually be okay to feel the way we do, that we don’t have to be just one thing. I could go on and on and on.

You inspire many young women yourself. Are you aware of this and how do you feel about it?

I know that I have some people looking at me and so yes I am super conscious of certain things. However it’s tricky because after all I am just an awkward 22 year old with a very chaotic personal life that writes songs. I’m growing up at the same time as them. Of course I want to protect them at all costs, and so I make an effort to be confident, and not feel insecure in myself as I would never want them to feel that way. But it’s a weird road to navigate when you have been so inspired by many people, to actually be an inspiration to someone. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. 

Dylan live: 

1st October – Neighbourhood Festival
30th October – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – SOLD OUT
31st October – SWG3, Glasgow – SOLD OUT 
2nd November – Student Union, Newcastle – SOLD OUT 
4th November – Gorilla, Manchester – SOLD OUT 
5th November – O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – SOLD OUT
6th – Arts Centre, Norwich – SOLD OUT
7th – KOKO, London – SOLD OUT
9th – Fleece, Bristol – SOLD OUT 
10th – Patterns, Brighton – SOLD OUT

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