ARTIST ON THE RISE:
Dylan St. John On Musical
Storytelling

Great songwriters allow themselves to be completely vulnerable. They weather life's ebbs and flows, bottle up the associated emotions, and then expose their hurt, their happiness, their fears to a judging public.

For R&B newcomer Dylan St. John, creating his new EP Momentum - think Zayn Malik meets PARTYNEXTDOOR - meant leaning into the "hardest and darkest [or happy] times". By ridding himself of the insecurities that often come with exposing personal moments, St. John had "the capacity [on Momentum] to let everything go — without editing anything or over thinking, just creating."

Forever curious about an artist's approach, we asked St. John to share his process on creating a hit; see below for St.John's own masterclass of sorts.

Scratchpad of lyrics from "Ain't Fair" (below) off Momentum
(Photo via Dylan St. John)


FREESTYLING
Being that melodies are an essential part of my music, freestyling is the first technique to come to mind. Whether words or just random riffs, that's how I figure out where I want to take a track sonically most of the time.

CATCHPHRASES
When I come across a phrase that sticks with me , I try to get it in a song ASAP before I lose the feel for it. Once I have a catchy phrase, I have a concept, once I have a concept, the writing/recording begins.

VIBING OFF A BEAT
Working with a producer to help interpret his or her vision and letting the beat carry the direction of the lyrics. This helps take me out of my comfort zone and keep growing.

OBSERVING NYC
I keep my eyes and ears open at all times. Sometimes I'll start writing while walking through NYC, all the sounds, sights and smells of this amazing city literally will have me inspired to start writing instantly.

Stream more from Dylan here

Posted

Jun 13, 2016

By

Cass Alcide

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