Music Monday: Meet Dylan Gardner (@dylangardner23)

Jeri Heiden
Jeri Heiden

Happy Monday, readers!

This week, we are introducing you to a new Warner Bros Records pop/rock artist that is about to take the music industry by storm. Meet Dylan Gardner.

An 18-year-old hailing from the windy city of Chicago, IL, Dylan Gardner spends his days writing and recording songs, that is of course when he is not jamming in the garage with his brother Mark or gigging with his 4 piece band! Dylan has spent the last 10 years of his life obsessed with the art of songwriting, and the internet provides the entire history at his fingertips. To this day, Dylan has taught himself to be a multi-instrumentalist, pro-tools engineer, and bedroom producer (though it’s not your typical bedroom; the closet has been turned into a vocal booth). In 2013, he signed to Big Deal Music Publishing, and recorded his debut album Adventures in Real Time co-produced with John Dragonetti of the Submarines. It was released on WBR on January 1st and has over 2.7 million streams!

Currently, Dylan is out on the road performing songs off his debut album at iconic clubs and venues across the United States. We got to check out Dylan’s headlining show at the famous Rockwood Music Hall in New York City and chat with him moments before he hit the stage. In our interview, the 18-year-old talks about his show at Rockwood, his favorite part about touring, his debut album Adventures in Real Time and his dream collaborations. Dylan also reveals why he thinks you should pick up his album and his love for playing video and arcade games! Make sure to read the Q&A below.

For more information on Dylan Gardner, make sure to visit his official website at

CS4U: We’re here at your show at the Rockwood Music Hall. What can fans expect from a Dylan Gardner concert?

Dylan: “They can expect an energetic show, a fun time, lots of sing-alongs, and just a great time. You know, the musical experience of a concert is something magical. We get to do a lot of fun little bits with the audience and tell a lot of great stories, and hopefully when we leave we’ve lost a few pounds from dancing and gained a few memories.”

CS4U: What is your favorite thing about touring?

Dylan: “My favorite thing about touring is going to all of these places I’ve never been before, seeing all these different cities I’ve never gotten to experience and travel to. I get to see all these people from each town that I would have never gotten to see otherwise if I just stayed in my little state, you know.”

CS4U: Any place specific?

Dylan: “Well, New York is quite the favorite for me. I’ve always wanted to visit Philadelphia, Boston. I hate to be that guy, but every single show on this tour I’ve always wanted to go to that city. These are all major cities, and I’m so poorly traveled it’s like, I get to go to Indianapolis! I get to go to Minneapolis! I’m from Chicago, so get to play there at the end of the tour, and it’s going to be a hometown thing.”

CS4U: It will be nice to kind of wrap it all up there. Can you tell us a little about what inspired your debut album, Adventures in Real Time?

Dylan: “I turned my home into a recording studio basically, I got rid of all the little teenage stuff that was in there, got everything out of my closet and made it a vocal booth and recorded a hundred songs, and we picked ten from the list of a hundred, and that became Adventures in Real Time. Those songs are the ones we—when I say we, I mean my manager and I—connected to the most. I write 100% of all my songs and am constantly recording and putting it all out. We had these ten songs in a row and we just loved the way they felt and loved what they were about, and we decided to make my debut album!”

CS4U: What is your writing process?

Dylan: “I’ll get a melody first, from anything standing anywhere. I could be at a movie theater, at a restaurant, in line at a store and I could get a melody in my head, and most of the time I get the lyrics with it. I get the name of the song with the melody, and I’ll just rush right home and immediately work on it on my iPhone, just working out the entire melody. You can see it in your head. And then, you know, put it down on guitar or on piano, and just get it out very, very hot. I don’t like an idea to sit for a long time.”

CS4U: And I was going to touch on that. How many instruments do you play?

Dylan: “I play guitar, drums, bass, piano.”

CS4U: If you could collaborate with any band or artist, who would you choose?

Dylan: “I would collaborate with the guys from fun. or Vampire Weekend. Those are my two favorite bands. Or Grouplove! Those bands are my musical idols of today that I look up to. To get to work with any of them would be incredible. I think we could make a very fun song or record.”

CS4U: Why do you think our readers should check out your music?

Dylan: “I make pop rock music. I make pop, upbeat, catchy, melodic songs inspired by everything going back to the 60’s transcending to tomorrow, and I want to introduce a new musicality to pop music. And if any readers are looking for new music or looking for anything exciting, something to blast when you’re riding in the car, or you’re looking for a full album experience, I urge you to listen to Adventures in Real Time.”

CS4U: So this is just a guess, you said you’d like to bring back the 60’s, so are The Beatles a big inspiration?

Dylan: “The Beatles are my biggest inspiration in the entire world, my favorite band, and they’re the ones who got me to pick up an instrument in the first place, to want to be a musician, just like everyone else that saw them.”

CS4U: And is there any specific song that kind of influenced you the most?

Dylan: “With The Beatles it was albums. I had A Hard Day’s Night on cassette and I would play it until it actually broke. They were the band that got me into record collecting. I’d collect all the UK LPs.”

CS4U: And since our website is called CelebSecrets4U, do you have any secrets or hidden talents that your fans might not know about?

Dylan: “I’m very good at mashing buttons really fast in video games, like on an arcade machine or if you’re playing a game where you have to press X a million times. I can go surprisingly fast. You’ll stop being able to see my thumb. I guess that’s the first thing that comes to mind. I also have a pretty good baseball swing.”

Juliet Schroder

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.