Columbus, Georgia native Dylan Michael moved up to Atlanta in 2009 to be with his then-boyfriend. The relationship ended up not working out, but he decided to stay in the area and start getting into the business of being a singer and songwriter.
Michael has been in the world of music in some function for years now—he played piano for 16 years and was in the marching band in high school—but really started to focus on making and performing music of his own two years ago.
His entry into the music business has been a two-step process: in the first year of making music, he set about recording a five-song EP called AfterLove to introduce himself and his style to the world. The EP is available for free to download on his website.
He’s now working on his first full-length studio album, which will have 13 songs and is being engineered by the minds behind Britney Spears’ 2003 Grammy-winning hit “Toxic.”
“In the six degrees of separation, I’m a degree away from Britney Spears,” he said excitedly.
The album also features collaboration for many other GLBT and GLBT-friendly artists. He’s been performing songs from both his EP and his upcoming album at many events, including Atlanta Pride, Savannah Pride and Pensacola Pride. In February, he also performed at three different events in North Carolina.
He said that right now, he is in talks with seven other Pride festivals to perform at them, too. Plus, when he was at Pensacola Pride, someone from Louisiana State University approached him and offered to have him perform at the school as well.
“It’s getting the ball rolling and it’s slowly rolling, but it’s rolling,” he said.
The aspect of performing and traveling to different venues is the second step in the process so far.
Michael, who said that he loves extremes and is inspired by big personalities like Jeffree Star, Rihanna and David Bowie (“everything they do is just completely flawless”), has two songs of his that he especially enjoys performing. First, there’s “Play By Myself.”
“[It’s about] what I like to call coloring, you know, when you’re at home by yourself and you don’t have your significant other and you color,” he said with a laugh. “I started calling it coloring because I performed it at Savannah Pride and they were like ‘you can’t curse whatsoever. You cannot be any kind of raunchy.’ So I was like, ‘well, damn, there goes my entire act.’” But still, just like how the Rolling Stones were often forced to alter raunchy lyrics to their songs, he found a synonym—and a favorite song.
He described another of his favorite songs to perform, “Club Shit,” as being like “Ke$ha on more drugs than she already is…It is the most white girl rap song you will ever hear, but it is so much fun to perform.”
Speaking of Ke$ha, she is one of the performers that he would love to tour with if he had the choice to tour with anyone in the world. Well, actually there are three options: there’s Ke$ha, Britney Spears and the one that doesn’t seem to fit the pattern at first blush, Kelly Clarkson.
Sure, Michael’s music might not sound exactly like Clarkson’s, but that doesn’t matter to him. “I can’t help but love everything she does,” he said.
This is still in the early stages and Michael doesn’t want to jinx it—so knock on wood—but he was recently contacted by someone from the record label that also hosts Cazwell. Yes, the guy behind the 2010 song “Ice Cream Truck,” which took YouTube by storm and racked up more than 1 million views in the first week.
Bit by bit, Michael is starting to get noticed, which is exactly what he wants. At first, he thought he would be able to just put out one song, then sit back and watch while everything happened to him. He soon figured out that he’d have to do a little more than that in order to get what he wants.
“I definitely got a reality check and an ego check,” he said. So now he’s putting out more music, performing frequently and always striving toward the goal of fame since he will not allow himself to entertain the thought of anything else.
For a while, he figured he would go back to school and maybe try to become a teacher if he hadn’t made it in the business by age 26. The more he thought about that, though, the more he thought that would just be giving himself an excuse to fail—a Plan B that would detract from his Plan A.
“When there’s no Plan B, you just have to put 110 percent into Plan A. The only option is fame,” he declared. For the artist who loves extremes, there’s really nothing less he will accept.
Dylan Micahel performs at Play Dance bar as part of H8’s a Drag: Rise Above April 19. You can follow Dylan on Twitter @TheDylanMichael and help fund his new CD at Indiegogo.