Premiere: Dylan Dunlap, ‘Microphones & Lights’

Dylan Dunlap
Dylan Dunlap

Twenty-one-year-old L.A. native Dylan Dunlap has toiled as a street performer in Burbank and at the Santa Monica Promenade. And he has appeared on “The Voice.” He has attended Berklee College of Music. And he has dropped out. He has been signed to a record deal. And he has escaped from it. He has grappled with mental health issues. And he has donated digital proceeds from his 2016 EP “Feels Right at Home” to an agency that provides treatment for behavioral issues.

Dunlap turns his struggles into buoyant, polished pop songs that trade in a bold earnestness. In his new single “Microphones & Lights,” he confesses that even as he puts it all out there, he is “terrified of the unknown,” and that, unlikely as it sounds, the stage offers a convenient place to hide.

“‘Microphones & Lights’ came out of nowhere last year,” he says of the song. “I was going through such a dry spell and had zero intention of writing it, but my struggles with mental illness somehow urged me to try and come up with an idea that was as transparent as possible. Soon after that, the song pretty much flowed out on its own. I definitely feel like it could fit right in on the radio with how we produced it, but more importantly, it exists to shed light on not being a hypocrite on stage. I have become a fan of taking advantage of every musical opportunity I get to open up a conversation and for this, it’s the fact that I sometimes just don’t know what I’m doing. I have struggled and will struggle, I have felt broken down and will break down, and I’m not afraid to sing about it. I am human. ”

||| Stream: “Microphones & Lights”

||| Live: Dylan Dunlap plays the Hotel Café on Friday night. Tickets.

||| Also: Stream Dunlap’s “Feels Right at Home” EP via Spotify