Interview: Dylan Jakobsen Grateful for ‘Incredible’ Support as His Career Grows
Dylan Jakobsen released his debut album, From Where I Began, a little more than a year ago, on March 15. The 10-track record opened up an entirely new world to Jakobsen, allowing him to tour all over the country, playing for a large -- and growing -- group of fans.
"This is the first time we released a record and got to be out on the road and play so many huge festivals and see so many new markets that we hadn’t been to," Jakobsen tells The Boot. "Just seeing the appreciation from the fans and meeting so many people [and] bringing these people along on the ride with you -- it’s incredible, the support."
Jakobsen's career trajectory earned him a well-deserved spot on The Boot's 10 New Country Artists to Watch in 2017. That's just part of what has been a memorable year so far.
"It just feels incredible," Jakobsen gushes. "We were out on the road all summer long, playing festivals and traveling around the country, getting the album out there. Just in the past couple months, we released "Silverado" to country radio, and this year it’s been picking up like crazy."
"Silverado" has, indeed, been a career-changing song for Jakobsen. The song has cracked the MusicRow chart's Top 50, but it almost didn't make it onto From Where I Began.
"This was one of the last songs that I ended up writing for the record. It came in at the last second, right as we were going into the studio," Jakobsen shares. "It’s something that really attaches for me, because it’s a song about being out on the road. As an artist, you’re always out on the road, and you find yourself missing some of those things back home.
"It’s one of those songs that you can compare, not only to my life or being out on the road and missing people back home, but also, in a relationship, if you’re in a long-distance relationship, you’re away from the ones you love," Jakobsen adds. "You relate it to the memories you have together. So you’re relating the memories the boy and the girl have in the Silverado to him being on the road, and Silverado reminds him of her."
A West Coast native, Jakobsen draws plenty of influence not only from his life experiences but also from his surroundings. He's not the typical Southern-based country singer, but Jakobsen says his upbringing and his own diverse playlist have benefited his music.
"I grew up on rock music, being from Seattle: classic rock bands, Southern rock bands, Lynyrd Skynyrd," shares Jakobsen. "And then you fall in love with these country artists that kind of tied into that rock influence over the years: Travis Tritt and then some of the new artists like Brantley Gilbert; I love some of the stories he tells in his songs and the depth he puts into them. Eric Church -- you can’t go wrong with Eric Church. Parmalee -- they’re tying in some of that country-rock influence."
Music is all that Jakobsen ever dreamed of doing, even as a little boy, but it's still a bit surreal to him that his dreams are coming true.
"In elementary school, you’d catch me writing poems," Jakobsen recalls. "I was in third grade, and in our class, we had to write poems, and they got submitted to some national poem book. I was writing stuff like that ever since I was a little kid. I started guitar when I was in fourth grade, and I was writing songs by the time I was 11 or 12 years old."
Jakobsen wrote all 10 of the tracks on From Where I Began by himself, partially out of necessity: "I was never around someone to write songs with," he explains, "so I was always writing my own songs, from Day One." He's confident in his abilities as a tunesmith.
"Songwriting was always a huge passion of mine," Jakobsen notes. "I think, just to this point, I’ve developed so much as a songwriter, it almost feels right to sing my own songs; it doesn’t feel right to sing other people’s songs because [my songs] are my stories, and I like to sing those.
"I like to make my songs have substance and have a meaning behind them," he continues. "So, every song I write, that’s what I believe in, and making the song that can connect with people out there."
Still, Jakobsen isn't deluding himself into thinking the music industry is easy. He's aware that his climb to the top is still uphill -- but he's willing to do the hard work to take his career to the next level.
"You’re competing with so many people out there -- I don't even want to say competing," Jakobsen says. "It’s a friendship with all these people, but everyone wants the same thing, so you’re really trying to make yourself connect with those people and feel special -- just trying to stand out. It’s a tough industry."
Jakobsen will perform at the 2017 Taste of Country Music Festival on June 8; a list of all of his upcoming shows is available on his website, and From Where I Began is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.
New Country Artists to Watch in 2017