Dylan Joel Ran to the River, Returned with a Bluesy New Sound

Melbourne-born singer/songwriter Dylan Joel has catapulted back onto the scene after a two-year hiatus from the industry. We had a brief chat with Dylan about the origins of his unique sound, the making of his comeback track ‘Run to the River’, and why he’s departed from the traditional hip-hop flavour of his oeuvre.

Image credit: Warner Music Australia

As a kid, Dylan Joel was always drawn to percussion and rhythm – but he didn’t always envision himself a musician. It was the thrill of bringing ‘a lot of joy to people’ that inevitably coaxed the charismatic pre-adolescent onstage.

Farming inspiration from his childhood attending church – where ‘gospel and blues were fairly influential’ – to connecting with artists such as ‘Tracey Chapman, James Taylor, [and] Jack Johnson’ it’s fair to see where Dylan’s percussive sound originates. As for his decidedly hip hop flavour? ‘It was first a combination of Australian hip hop (Hilltop Hoods, Bliss N Eso) and Dilated Peoples, 50 Cent and Timbaland’ that piqued a 15-year-old Dylan’s interest in rap.

His debut release Authentic Lemonade (2015) ushered in a previously unchartered sound. But the young artist certainly thrives on not prescribing to any genre. I couldn’t help but remark that you don’t see a lot of hip hop artists playing guitar; however, Dylan remains adamant not to file his music under any label,

I guess singer-songwriter rap, but that’s not even a real thing. I’d prefer to just hear people have to try to describe it! That for me, makes it feel new/hopefully innovative.

Dylan took out triple j’s Unearthed in 2012, but it wasn’t long after his ‘Like A Version’ debut in 2016 that Dylan felt the need to step back from the industry.

I just got to a point where… I’d been paying too much attention to the industry and a lot of the less important shit that it portrays to be important. I realised I’d been so distracted that my song writing was being jeopardised…

Dylan’s comeback track ‘Run to the River’ premiered recently, with many fans quick to notice his new ‘blues-tinged pop’ sound. Dylan explained the departure, saying that he ‘felt pretty restricted by the expectation of upholding’ his past hip-hop sound.

Image credit: Warner Music Australia

With Dylan spending some time on US soil writing and recording his new music, he managed to catch up with ‘incredible film maker’ Peter John to shoot the clip for ‘Run to the River’ in Ocotillo, California.

The only things in the town of Ocotillo were a gas station, a saloon and a man who turns recycled junk in to UFO’s… 

Warner Music Press Release

Dylan was excited to announce that a new album, national and international tours are all on the cards! We are certainly excited to see what else Dylan cooked up during his two-year hiatus. For now, I think it’s safe to say that the future of Aussie music rests in a pair of very capable and dynamic hands.

Watch the video for Dylan Joel’s ‘Run to the River’ below, and let us know what you think!


Original interview conducted as an agent of Fashion Industry Broadcast.