Next Wave #1169: Dylan Gossett

Indie-folk star embracing TikTok vitality...

Dylan Gossett has played a part in using social media to re-introduce the world to folk and country music… and gotten Noah Kahan’s seal of approval in doing so. CLASH writer Amrit Virdi spoke to the Texas-born singer-songwriter across timezones on Zoom about finding your feet in the industry and bring country music to life on stage.

“I was definitely brought up around music – my parents loved it. Listening to the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson laid a foundation for me and my brother Blake to love music, and from there I found out about Ed Sheeran in middle school and switched my whole perspective on what music and storytelling was.”

Songwriting, whether good or bad, has always been in Dylan’s veins since the age of 14 when he self-taught himself guitar on YouTube. But it wasn’t until June 2023 that he released his first single, ‘To Be Free’ before quickly rising to TikTok stardom with ‘Coal’ released a month after, which is now at over 140,000,000 less than a year after.

Tate McRae and others have dealt with a quick rise to stardom courtesy of social media, as Dylan has, which he recalls as being a “crazy experience”, and led to him signing his first record deal with Big Loud Texas/Mercury Records in November 2023

“I wasn’t in this industry before at all and I had no idea what I was getting into,” he reveals. 

“I started getting emails, DMs and meeting requests and I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily I got my team pretty early on who helped me navigate it. It was always a dream of mine to play music for a living.

“For other people experiencing all of that for the first time, I’d just say to take a step back and don’t get ahead of yourself. My mindset was still on focusing on the next wave of music, because you want to come back with something that’s just as good or even better. Definitely find a lawyer and a team and let everything be organic.”

And by exposing his own music to the world on socials, Dylan has simultaneously exposed a whole new generation to country and folk, which he thinks has a power that radio music doesn’t have.

“The lyrics and storytelling of country and folk music has always been amazing, and right now they’re almost blending into one genre. I think this wave of people really want substance in their music and are getting tired of music that doesn’t tell a story. When people on social media can see lyrics on a screen and really understand it, it can make them feel something they’re not getting from radio music.”

On his recently released his second EP, ‘Songs in the Gravel’, Dylan says it’s a “reflection of life in the past year”, as it delves into matters of the heart and identity.

“It was very different to the first one as I had studio time and production. The first one was completely recorded in my house. This one was still completely self-written but I got to bring songs such as ‘If I Had A Lover’ to life with drums and production.

“I want to incorporate more of the studio production into my album coming up, but my songwriting will always stay the same. I try to find different melodies on the guitar, or start writing lyrics like poems, and follow on from that. But it’s often melody then lyrics. And now that I’ve gotten to see the world and have new experiences, parts of my songwriting will definitely be influenced.”

The Texas singer has had the chance to bring his songs to life as he recently toured with Noah Kahan as a support act, which he emphasises as bringing a different energy and life to the songs. “I was worried about how I was going to make it work with the full band, but the songs are still at their roots, just with a bit of added energy,” he says.

The opportunity to tour with Noah came as a complete surprise to Dylan, and ended up being a pivotal moment for him, and led to his first ever trip overseas to make his mark in music.

“I was getting ready to do a show and my manager came up to me and said there’s an opportunity for you to go and play with Noah Kahan, but it’s in Australia. I immediately said yes – I couldn’t tell you why he picked me, but I’m very grateful that he did. It was a amazing experience and I couldn’t say better things about him or his team. It was also y first time ever overseas, so I ticked off the longest flight first!”

Dylan has since got to perform headline shows across the world, and pegs London and Dublin as being particularly memorable. “The fans there are just incredibly energetic and they go hard!,” he reveals.

“And seeing the fans in person, especially at my recent headline shows, has got to be a career highlight for me. The fact that this all happening is a dream come true.”

With an upcoming album and EU tour, Dylan has a lot more of the world to see, and conquer, as he flourishes in the folk scene.

Catch Dylan Gossett at the following shows:

June
16 Tunbridge Wells Black Deer Festival
18 Glasgow St. Luke’s
19 Belfast Ulster Hall
21 Dublin Vicar St.
24 Manchester Gorilla
25 London Electric Ballroom

Words: Amrit Virdi
Photo Credit: William Bassnet

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