Jared began lessons with his greatest goal being able to compose original music. “I wanted to be a songwriter more than anything. As a kid, I wrote a lot of songs that I ended up just throwing away because I didn’t feel like they were good enough. I felt strongly that I needed to make my own music if I was going to play. I wanted to have a connection to the music. It means so much more when it’s your own piece of art.
Jared is an artist in every sense of the word. He has won awards for drawings,paintings and sculptures he has created, and studied acting at the New York Film Academy. While Jared’s passions were supported at home, he didn’t have a lot of close friends who were as committed to music as he was. His school had a School Of Rock program and Jared tried out – however they didn’t really need any more guitar players. Jared was asked to try out for a male vocalist spot. The only problem was that Jared had never sung for any one before! He shared his plans with his father, who encouraged him to take one vocal lesson just to get the rudimentary basics of singing live. Jared, accompanying himself on guitar, performed “New Perspective” by Panic! At the Disco and aced it. He was part of the program until he graduated.
While there was prestige in being associated with SOR, Jared wanted to perform anywhere he could. He was active in Pathways for Exceptional Children, a program that mentors kids with special needs. Jared began Pathways Rock with the Executive Director, Melinda Jennis, forming the first ever all-inclusive rock band. Young people with and without disabilities came together to perform music, and while Jared led the program through graduation, he left an important legacy as the series continues to inspire children to express themselves through music performance.
Before leaving for college two huge life-changing events occurred: Jared spent time at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, participating in their summer immersion program two years in a row and he wrote enough original music to pique the interest of a composer/musician Eric Alexandrakis, who introduced Jared to Producer Anthony Resta. “I was getting really serious about music so I put two covers on YouTube. My dad posted them on his Facebook page and his business associate, Eric, asked him if I could write any of my own music. I decided the time was right for me to start writing lyrics to my music. Eric liked what he heard and introduced me to some people he knew. I was invited to work with Anthony Resta (Elton John, Collective Soul, Duran Duran) in Massachusetts.”
The result was Jared’s first EP, IN PANIC featuring the tracks In Panic, Mistakes, Ready, Set Stun, Drive Me Crazy and Always Faithful. The swagger and lyrical prowess of these tracks belies Jared’s young age. From the brit-pop flavor of the title track to the 80s sounding vocal driven first single, 'Mistakes' to the gorgeous string-enhanced ballad, 'Always Faithful' about a friend hurt while serving in the military, IN PANIC packs a musical punch. Jared filmed videos for each song on the EP with Director Matt Valluzzi, a school friend with his own Production Company, Inspire Me Pictures. The exceptional videos have garnered Jared a strong following on YouTube.
Mistakes was featured on both MTV.com and VH1.com and several tracks from the EP received National and International airplay and were licensed for television. Jared submitted his song In Panic to the BMI Foundation’s 16th Annual John Lennon Scholarship competition, a program that recognizes the best and brightest young songwriters between the ages of 17 and 24. Among the top of the thousands of entries was Jared Dylan, coming in second place, receiving a scholarship, an interview on BMI.com and much respect from his peers. In addition, Mistakes was added into rotation at WMRQ, Connecticut’s #1 alternative rock station, as well as receiving airplay on stations in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.
Next up for Jared Dylan?
Jared is nearly done with his second EP, titled MAN BEHIND THE MASK. “I am almost done and am hoping to release this EP in the summer of 2017. I have eight songs, with two bonus tracks. The title comes from the song by the same name. "It’s about asking a younger version of me if he's happy about who he has become. It is also the first song I ever wrote FOR myself. I write music to connect with other people but when I started to create the music for this track I was feeling distant from myself, sort of overwhelmed with school, girls and fighting Lyme disease. This song helped me come to terms with everything that was happening in my life.”
Jared, who is looking forward to playing more shows with the EP’s release (“I’ve played up and down the east coast but would love to go on a proper tour”), knows he is in music for the long haul. “The most important part of music is the story that it tells. It doesn’t have to tell it with words– it could be instrumental. As long as a song reaches you emotionally and tells a story, then it’s a work of art. To me, music is the finest form of communication, and I plan to keep communicating for a long, long time.”