Having already spent time on the road with scene-leaders Clairo and Omar Apollo, Nashville's Dreamer Boy is making waves with his fun bops inspired by puppy dogs, romance and daydreams. It's all very warm and reassuring, in a coming-of-age, friends-for-life, everyone-goes-through-stuff kinda way. Currently working on the follow-up to his 2018 debut album 'Love, Nostalgia', he's an exciting prospect for the year ahead.
Hi Dreamer Boy, how's it going? What are you doing today?
Hi friend! I am doing well, all things considered. Thrilled to talk a little bit about my project with y'all. Today is a beautiful day in Nashville, and my day is going to consist of painting, a little writing, gonna go on a run and then doing few errands like dropping off my voting ballot at the post office.
How have you found 2020 so far, have you had to cancel much?
It has been a year that has been rough around the edges but very necessary. I have found a lot of personal growth during this year, and seeing Black Lives Matter take centre stage earlier this year was very important. On a more personal note, my relationship with my partner has been a priority as well as my faith. I have found the time to make new music, and work on the rollout for this new album which has been really exciting. I am looking forward to the day where I can get back on stage, that's what I miss the most. Also… damn… we had to cancel this one festival earlier this year where we were gonna be on the lineup with a bunch of friends/other artists that I look up to, and that was a bummer but oh well, in due time.
Give us the tl;dr of your time in music so far - what've you been up to?
I met my friend Bobby in 2017, and we started making music together, and he's been the producer for all Dreamer Boy releases at this point, our creative partnership was a big turning point for me. I started making music that felt genuine. I have since gotten the opportunity to go on tour with some friends like Still Woozy, Clairo, Omar Apollo, The Marias, and played some awesome festivals that really lit a fire for me as a performer, and I would say next to songwriting that is my first love. I love being on a stage and going wild, dancing, crying, laughing, and engaging with the audience face to face.
Is being a musician living up to the hype?
I have always wanted this. I am beyond fucking excited. This is a miracle. Since becoming what you could call "a full-time musician" it has definitely been a mental battle more than anything. I went through a phase where everything started to stress me out, and I wasn't having much fun. Recently, I had to sort of take on a different perspective that embraces all sides of this journey/career. I am trying to just have more fun, be free, and grateful. The best part of all this is doing it with my best friends, so I had to start putting those relationships above the music or above the work. I wake up and get to be an artist every day, and for that, I am grateful and seeking to learn.
What do you most enjoy writing songs about? Is there a particular vibe you aim for?
I love telling vivid stories or providing imagery that is swirly or dreamy that allows you to go somewhere. I love the journey of an album, and the act of songwriting is probably my favourite of all. I love the way it feels to place words together that resonate with my soul and spirit, experiences, or feelings. I want to relate to people, I don't shy away from those thoughts of "is this relatable?" because I think we are all very similar actually… So I want to connect, I want to put some ideas down in a way that feels like 'YES I HAVE BEEN THERE', or 'wow, this is beautiful'. The vibe I aim for is if you were experiencing a beautiful moment in your life, or a remembering a beautiful memory, how would it sound, look, and feel if it was a movie? Let's romanticize moments, let's be honest, let's dream of the whimsical and the joyful and let's dive into dark waters headfirst.
What's the best song you've written so far?
My favourite song is always the one that I most recently wrote, and I feel like it represents where I was at or where I am. For that reason, I don't really have an answer, but I feel like I was spitting bars on 'Falling for the Wrong One'. jk I don't really think I have scratched the surface of where I want to be as a songwriter, I look up to people like Lennon, George Harrison, Brian Wilson, Frank Ocean, Marvin Gaye, Neil Young… It's an impossible quest.
Are you creative in non-musical ways too?
I love making the music videos with my friends. The process of video is challenging for me, but I really enjoy it. I also love to paint, write just to write, and enjoy sharing in other peoples' processes. I try to keep my friends' creativity around me because we tend to feed off each other. Being well rounded as an artist just opens up so many different lessons, perspectives, and processes. I love it all.
What would you most like to achieve during your music career?
I want to grow a community. Really I want to build something that inspires and involves a lot of young people. I want to get to a point where I can just tour around with all my best friends, and I want to build an art studio with my collective Forever150. We are going to change the world one small idea at a time, and bring joy back into the world. ALSO I WANT TO DO A FORTNITE CONCERT HOLY SHIT.
Do you have lots of friends who are also musicians?
I have made a few friends in the industry, and those relationships are very valuable to me, I love being able to connect and talk to other musicians. That relatability is really nice, and some great friendships have come from this career. I also have recently developed more of a mentorship with more experienced, older artists who have been such an enriching source of wisdom and inspiration. Matt Shultz of Cage The Elephant has been a big inspiration for me, and has given me a lot of insightful advice. I am a youngin' after all. A lot to learn.
What do you do for fun?
I play a lot of basketball. My friends and I will probably play about three times a week. I love sports, especially football. I am a big Seattle Seahawks fan since I grew up outside of Seattle in Washington state. I love being outdoors and going on hikes. I love having a classic wine night with board games and good conversations, or a dance party, but it's been a bummer not having as many laughs or nights out this year. I also love video games and play call of duty, among us, and Fortnite. I want to do a Fortnite concert very much, as previously mentioned.
If you weren't a musician, what would you be doing right now?
I have no real clue. I'd like to think I would be a teacher or studying to become a professor. Honestly, I would be doing the same thing I do now, but just in a different role, I love leadership, and I love community building. So, whatever that would look like. I think I have an artist's spirit so I would try to do something creative. I have always been slightly jealous of being behind the camera.
What are your hopes for 2021?
I hope for healing, I hope for progress, and I hope for peace. I really do want to play shows next year, God willing. I don't have any expectations, but I am going to be putting out a lot of music for the next couple of years, and I hope next year it just continues to grow.