By: Staff –
Emerging Calgary-based alternative hip-hop artist King Dylan is back with his new To The Ones Who Let Go, which you can stream exclusively via Aesthetic Magazine below.
Earlier this year, Dylan did a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for a vinyl release. With each donation, he offered to plant 10 trees through OneTreePlanted.org. So far, 300 trees have been planted, and every additional sale of the record will get another one in the ground. “I just wanted to give something substantial back to the environment that has been pillaged and consumed by industry for years,” he says.
The album’s 11 tracks navigate the serious and humorous, melding rap and pop influences with the occasional heavy riffs and nuggets of lighthearted humour. “Nasty Truth” is a darker track that calls out someone’s inner conflict; shimmering indie-pop cut “Party in the Sky” toasts to friendships, past and present; and “Just a Little Somethin’” is all about finding your happy place after a loss, reconnecting spiritually, and feeling OK again.
“The album was inspired by the idea of not overthinking, because that’s a cyclical trap,” Dylan explains. “So we have to ‘let go’, and that was the approach I took in writing the album. Whatever popped in my head seemed to be what I wrote about, trusting my gut and believing my songwriting skills to just go with the flow, sometimes starting and finishing songs in less than a regular workday. I was just inspired to be creative for the joy of being creative, rather than worrying if everyone’s going to like it.”
The motivational anthem “All I’ve Got” touches on the universal theme of persistence and giving it all you’ve got and speaks to the artist’s unrelenting DIY work ethic. Doubling as both a musician and filmmaker, King Dylan’s videos have earned him awards and nominations, such as an Independent Music Awards win and Western Canadian Music Award nod in 2017.
Serving tongue-in-cheek rhymes, the rapper nerds-out over his love of dinosaurs and the movie Jurassic Park on “So Awesome.” “My only best friend was my obsession. I swear I saw that movie 400 times!” he amusingly declares on the track, followed by shout outs to his favoured dinos – which is all of them, FYI. “I’ve been enamoured by dinosaurs since I was 10,” Dylan says. “At this point, every artistic endeavour has been fueled in some way by my love for dinosaurs. Which is funny because all the dinosaurs died and turned into fuel.”
Dylan’s genre-confused sound is reflective of his early years listening to Weird Al tapes and Muppet Show records, and musical influences that range from metal and gangster rap to indie folk/pop and film scores, and artists such as Twenty-One Pilots and Watsky.
If the closing lines of “Got to Lose” are any indication, Dylan’s just doing his “best to get by and make it through the bad days,” reminding his listeners that it’s important to have fun and laugh no matter what life throws at us.
To The Ones Who Let Go follows 2020’s I Totally Wrote These Songs, an album of playful reinterpretations of some of Dylan’s favourite songs, including A-ha’s “Take on Me” and Cage the Elephant’s “Shake Me Down,” among others.
Over the years, the award-winning musician, filmmaker, and dinosaur-loving visual artist has performed across Canada including festival slots at Canadian Music Week (Toronto), Big Winter Classic (Calgary), and more; and collaborated in the studio with artists like Moka Only, Econoline Crush, and Tenille Townes.
To The Ones Who Let Go tracklist:
02. Nasty Truth
03. Party in the Sky
04. All I’ve Got
05. Push feat. Scott Bennett
06. Just a Little Somethin’
07. So Awesome
08. Burn It
09. Last a Day feat. Ricca Razor Sharp
10. Slow Down
11. Got to Lose