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A Dirty Dozen with DALBY – April 2023

| 21 April 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Following her super catchy single release “BITTER” (produced by Grammy Award-Winning producer TRICKY STEWART), summer of 2022, Atlanta-based pop-indie artist DALBY BIEHL teams back up with acclaimed writer/producer Dylan Rouda for this perfectly timed new single “PROM!” “PROM!” is a very upbeat anthem song with attitude and anger. DALBY channels her inner Avril Lavigne & Taylor Swift (her unsympathetic and edgy mentors) for this song as it has a punk rock vibe mixed with modern day pop. DALBY will be performing her new single (+ a few cover songs) live as a surprise pop-up appearance at PROM Night across the country!” We get Dalby to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

My new song “Prom!” is a super fun and angsty pop anthem that is based on a fictional narrative revolving around prom and high school drama. My favorite parts of the song are the ad libs that we added, and I think one of the most fun ones are in the second verse. We have a super quiet shouting ad lib on the last line of the second verse that really adds some angst and anger that I personally thought was a great touch.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realize you wanted to be a musician?

I have always loved music and ever since I could talk, I have been singing. I don’t think I can pick a specific moment that I decided I wanted to be a musician, but there have been so many magical moments that I would not have been able to experience if it weren’t for music. I was a part of musical theatre for about 6 years before I decided to pursue music on my own, and I just always loved singing in theatre and performing for an audience. When I was 11, I think I just asked my parents if I could start playing at some restaurants around where I live. Ever since then, I have played shows, written music, and learned tons of instruments.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Ever since I was a baby, I have hated taking naps. The only way that my dad would get me to fall asleep when I was little was to play The Last Waltz with The Band, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, and so many more incredible artists. Joni Mitchell’s set was always the point of the documentary where I fell asleep, and I’m pretty sure that The Last Waltz instilled the love for music in me.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

My absolute dream collaborator would be Taylor Swift. There is a reason that she is the biggest artist in the world right now, and that is the fact that she is incredibly smart and a generational talent. Her music has always been so special to me and I really appreciate how she is able to reinvent herself while also speaking out against issues in the music industry. Also, her songwriting is also incredible and I love every single one of her songs.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour? What do you like to do to unwind?

I realized pretty early on that I am a pretty anxious person and I have always gravitated towards activities that stimulated my brain. I love doing puzzles, building Legos, baking, wrapping presents, making bracelets, just honestly anything that keeps my hands and brain busy. I tend to do these things when I am extremely stressed and it really helps me to calm down.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

To be honest, I think it has taken me a while to figure out the kind of sound that I am looking for, and even though I’m thrilled with my sound now, I will always be evolving. I would describe my music as fun, alternative pop music that focuses on different aspects of songwriting. “Prom!” was so much fun because Dylan and I really captured the sound that I was looking for, which is the big guitars and pop beats that form a strong and catchy song. I have a love/hate relationship with comparisons to other artists, because I love being compared to my influences but I also would like to stand on my own as an artist. I think the comparison that made the least sense to me was Adele, which obviously, I was honored, but I don’t think that I have the ballad type voice that she does.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

This is a funny question because I am my entire band, typically. When I play live, it’s usually just me and my guitar. So in that case, I cook (poorly), drink Coca-Cola, and I am always playing music every chance that I get. When I’m in the studio, my producer, Dylan, is most likely to burst into random songs or impressions. I usually have my goldfish and soda and take snack breaks between each take.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I don’t think I have had the opportunity to be starstruck yet, but I have met some incredible people. I worked with Tricky Stewart on multiple records and am working on a few upcoming projects with Dallas Austin as well, and I’d say those two are the closest I’ve ever gotten to starstruck. I also meet a ton of baseball players on the Chicago Cubs pretty regularly, but I’ve never really been starstruck by any of them, although meeting them is always a cool experience.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part about being a musician for me is having a creative outlet to express pent-up emotions. I typically don’t show a ton of anger or sadness in my everyday life as I prefer to be optimistic and upbeat, so putting my negative (or even positive) emotions in an art form is extremely helpful for my mental health. Another thing I love about being a musician is all the incredible people that I have had the opportunity of meeting, working with, and establishing extremely strong relationships with. My team is full of the most loving and amazing people and I am so grateful for them every day. I think if I wasn’t a musician I would definitely go into the sports journalism or sports broadcasting field because I love baseball and football.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I always want interviewers to ask who I’m currently listening to on repeat or which concerts are in my recent history or upcoming schedule. I just went to a Lewis Capaldi concert (which was incredible) and I am seeing Taylor Swift, Sabrina Carpenter, Zach Bryan, and Chris Stapleton in the near future and I am so blessed and excited to be able to go to these shows. I am a normal teenager like anyone else my age and concerts are my favorite things in the world to attend. A question I get tired of often is regarding the inspiration behind my songs, because I am typically not an autobiographical songwriter, so sometimes it feels inauthentic to explain since my inspiration comes from observation or media. Of course I write songs about myself, but I prefer when my audience and listeners take the lyrics and the meaning of the song to compare it to their own lives rather than my own, so I always think that the inspiration of a song is less important than what people think.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

The music industry is incredibly tricky, since you work closely with artists on emotional pieces of work and want to focus on the art, but you become friends while also being business partners. The lines blur sometimes, and I feel like in my career I have been unsure of when to prioritize my vision for the art and the music over my friendships and relationships. I have gotten much better over the years of knowing how to navigate that subject, and I don’t necessarily have any regrets, but I do feel like I have experienced many learning opportunities.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

There are so many records that I would choose to go back in time and be a part of. I know this might be kind of an unexpected answer, but the first record coming to my mind would be The Union, which was the 2010 collaboration album by Elton John and Leon Russell. I heard “Gone to Shiloh” around the time that the album came out and immediately became obsessed with that song, and I have recently gone deeper into exploring that album and I love it.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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