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    NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Singer performs 'Wright' from the heart
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2015-01-20


Dylan Wright is an up-and-coming queer singer/songwriter based in Chicago. His sound is a mixture of folk and acoustic, with deeply personal lyrics.

Wright's first album release, As A Ghost ,covers topics such as love and death. His first music video, for "Iron Gates," features man-on-man action told with a distinct visual style.

Wright currently is collaborating with Dan Foley of the queer group BAATHHAUS to form a new duo called Talk Boy, joining together for a reworking of the track "Queen To Be" that also appeared on his solo album.

Windy City dropped into his set at Salonathon at Beauty Bar for a little one-on-one interview.

Windy City Times: Start off with where are you from.

Dylan Wright: I'm from Greenwood, Indiana. It is a small conservative suburb outside of Indianapolis. I came out when I was in high school. I was 18.

Read more story below....

WCT: How long have you been in Chicago?

Dylan Wright: Five years. I moved here in September of 2009. I came here originally to go to Columbia College for graphic design. I was combining being a musician and a visual artist too. I decided two years into the program that I really just wanted to do music instead so I dropped out and started bartending. I started pursuing music instead.

WCT: How did you begin performing at Wang's locally this past year?

Dylan Wright: I started with Wang's because I was server at Pingpong for awhile. It was through that. It is called Second Date with Dylan and Andrew and may continue this year. I host it with my friend Andrew Sa; he's another singer/songwriter. We pick a line up of three local artists that we like. It is queer-centric, but not only queer artists but we try to incorporate it that way. Everyone gets a set of around 15 minutes, then Andrew and I perform at the end. It is a way for us to have a local spot to perform but also promote other artists. We want to have a music scene in Boystown that is not just club music.

WCT: Your sound is very acoustic. Would you like to have a full band?

Dylan Wright: Eventually, yeah. The artists that inspire me the most are the ones that are constantly inspiring me with their sound and pushing their music. I want to try out a lot of different sounds in my music career. Right now I am doing the solo acoustic thing but eventually I want to play with a full band.

WCT: How about electronic music?

Dylan Wright: Yes, I am starting a band with Dan Foley of the band BAATHHAUS. We are doing an electronic side project, just the two of us. It is very different than my solo stuff. It is really cool to experiment with this side of music.

WCT: Do you have a website?

Dylan Wright: DylanAnderson.BandCamp.com. Anderson is my middle name.

WCT: Have you thought about a name change?

Dylan Wright: I have, but with BandCamp it doesn't forward it to the new name. I have waited too long and it gets a bit complicated.

WCT: Explain the title of the album As A Ghost.

Dylan Wright: I have always been a shy person so I am the guy standing behind and watching people, observing them, not really participating. This is a time in a life where I decided to just go for it. I;m trying to put myself out there more.

The song "As A Ghost" is about my grandmother, who died of cancer. The lyric "as a ghost" is about seeing her decaying and going through the stages of breast cancer. It has a couple of different meanings to me. I was really close with her. It is about my love for her and my own personal stuff. I like using words and phrases that have several different meanings to them and can be interpreted in several different ways.

WCT: Talk about your video for "Iron Gates."

Dylan Wright: "Iron Gates" was filmed by a good friend of mine from high school named Barton Robison who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He's a queer artist as well. We stayed in touch after graduating and wanted to do a music video for me. I just sent him the song and had no real involvement with the process. I like the idea of giving an artist my song and having them interpret the way they saw it without my involvement. It was his take on the song. I didn't tell him what it meant to me personally.

That was a real-life couple in the video. They are Barton's neighbors. One of them is an actor so the guys were up for it. You can tell it is a couple when they were making out.

He would send my little screenshots every now and then from the set. It was cool to see the full thing without me telling him about the song. I'm really happy with it. They were obviously comfortable with each other.

It was the same thing with the album cover. I just sent the artist the lyrics and a couple of pictures of me. I just wanted him to paint or draw what the albums sounds like to him. I like to collaborate like that. I just give them free reign to interpret it based on their style.

WCT: So many artists are controlling these days.

Dylan Wright: I am not like that at all.

WCT: Do you want to be in your next video?

Dylan Wright: Yes, there are plans for Barton to come to Chicago, and we will film the next one. I still won't be the focus of it but I will be the narrator of the story. It will be just as dark, weird and creepy as "Iron Gates."

WCT: What are your goals for the future?

Dylan Wright: I would love to tour in the spring or summer. I'm doing everything on my own so I am learning a lot as I am going. I want to keep writing and experimenting. I want to get my music out there and keep pushing forward.

WCT: Do you have a dream artist you would like to work with?

Dylan Wright: It is a tie between Sufjan Stevens and Perfume Genius. Sufjan has been around for awhile and I just love his arrangements. He is one of the first artists that made me want to start writing my own stuff.

Perfume Genius has been more of a recent inspiration to me in the last year.

WCT: So these are not impossible to artists to work with. You could realistically work with them.

Dylan Wright: You never know.

WCT: You have music you can send to them and set it up. How does it feel to have your music out?

Dylan Wright: I didn't know what to expect, but people have been very positive. I just want to be an alternative voice in the queer music scene. I grew up with artists like Rufus Wainwright so I just want to be a visible person like him with lyrics that people can look up to. I'm open with my sexuality and want queer kids to connect with that.

Wright will be at The Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln Ave., Friday, Jan. 23, at 9 p.m. The cover is $5.

Chicago Songwriters Alliance celebrates two years with Wright at Cafe Mustache, 2313 N. Milwaukee Ave., on Thursday, Jan. 29. DylanAnderson.BandCamp.com includes music and upcoming gigs.

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