The Washington-raised, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Dreamer Boy’s easy-going riffs and smooth lyrics serve as the perfect backdrop to reminisce on simple, nostalgic sun-drenched scenes of everyday life. Zach Taylor, alias Dreamer Boy, uses his platform to bring likeminded people together, spread awareness on environmental issues and of course, love. Today, Taylor is gracing us with his second full-length album All The Ways We Are Together. The release coincides with Earth Day, April 22, and comes out via Harvest records.
Whilst he encourages us to seek comfort from loved ones in these unprecedented times, Taylor also cares about creating a sincere connection with his audience on his second Instagram account @allthewayswearetogether.
Could you tell me a little more about who Dreamer Boy is?
Howdy! I'm just an old soul making pop music in Nashville, Tennessee. I love playing basketball and going on runs, painting, and obviously making music. I love natural beauty and being outdoors. I’m a re-watch The Office kind of person but I really love spending an evening talking rather than just watching something. I've got some good friends around me and they are the ones who inspire a lot of what I do with my music and art.
How did you start out making music?
When I was 14, I literally would rip YouTube beats of my favorite rappers at the time. Like Lil Wayne, Kanye, Drake and make my own covers of the songs. Then I started to write my own lyrics to the beats. I eventually started collaborating with some kids around my town - Spokane, in Washington - and we made a couple mixtapes. I fell in love with writing and with artistry and started to really find my sound and my voice when I got to college. I feel like I didn’t make music that sounded like me until I learned more about myself which was around age 21-22. I’m 24 now.
Your new upcoming album All The Ways We Are Together is released today, on Earth Day, April 22nd, to reflect the global communal spirit you feel with people. Could you elaborate a bit more on this?
Not to be too cheesy but I believe there is a oneness that connects us all through love. With my music and my artistry, I am just trying to bring people together to observe that oneness, and spread a little love. The Earth Day release date also just feels like a great way to use my platform to bring some attention to environmental sustainability efforts and I have a few ideas on how to raise money and bring awareness around that. All The Ways We Are Together is also a community page @allthewayswearetogether where fans and friends can follow and I’ve been doing weekly zooms with people from the page to hopefully inspire community in a time where it’s harder than ever.
Do you think it is important that people with a following use their platforms for socio-political causes, like environmental awareness for example, and why?
For sure, I mean at this point it’s just so obvious and pressing, I don’t think I am doing anything special by making that a part of my message because this is really all of our concern. I will use my platform to spread awareness and hopefully do some cool things to partner with causes and grassroots organisations etc. in order to make a difference. But I think I’d be doing that even without the music. I’m also just looking to learn, and trust in people who know how to really affect change in any given problem category, and I would love to partner with anyone I can who has more knowledge on certain issues.
You go by Dreamer Boy and your music is often referred to as bedroom pop. Have you always felt connected to that genre?
In terms of the genre, I think it’s a beautiful thing but also a box that doesn’t really exist. Billie Eilish made her album from her bedroom with her brother and she’s one of the biggest musicians in the world. This is just how music is made now, and I am happy to be a part of the new generation of music production. It opens the door to anyone who really puts time and effort into their work to make it and I think that is beautiful. 'Bedroom Pop' is a label that will die out, but I think this is a cool paradigm shift in music to be a part of.
Since in-person performances have been on pause for some time now. How are you keeping in touch with your audience? Or is this a time where digital detox has been a priority for you?
I definitely have embraced places like TikTok more, I feel like that’s just a fun way to be expressive and reach people. I also have been putting a lot of time into the @allthewayswearetogether private Instagram community page to try and bring people together. Anyone can follow it but it feels like a focused and sincere way to connect with my audience. Getting to know a lot of the passionate people who make up your community as an artist is really inspiring and has been making me so excited for shows to come back.
Your harmonies bring comfort and joy to these unprecedented times. All the Ways We Are Together wasn’t necessarily written during the turmoil of 2020. How have the last few months influenced your creative processes?
Well, since finishing All The Ways We Are Together, I’ve been making a lot of music! Honestly I am just preparing to follow the momentum of All The Ways We Are Together with the next Dreamer Boy album, and try and make the expression more real-time after such a dysfunctional year. Everything happens in its own right timing, but I feel like I don’t want to wait another 2 years between albums. So, I’ve been going on lots of runs and writing lots of songs, hoping that the next project reveals itself. I think I have a clear idea for where I am going next, so it’s really exciting. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself but I just work that way, I am always looking towards the next album’s title, concept, design and world - that’s how my favorite artists do it and what I strive to do. I love creating the whole “era” of something and I think that all this time to dream up those details will only benefit the next project.
I was very intrigued when I heard your track Crybaby. How did this track materialise, lyrically and sonically?
I wrote this song 2 years ago as a stream of consciousness. I was having a good old fashioned psychedelic experience with some friends and the next day it just poured out. I wrote the entire song as a text message to my friend. I had received a facetime the night before and I just started crying because I missed them so much, I felt like I had been far away from some friends I loved dearly and somehow felt closer through writing this song. Some of the lyrics I wrote in my car before going into my retail job at the mall, I felt trapped and stagnant but also excited and ambitious. Crybaby is just meant to be a release of emotions in regards to all that. I can't wait to play it live.
Do you think music has changed ideas of masculinity today?
I hope gender doesn’t inform music at all. It’s such a pure experience that I hope none of it feels like it needs to conform to any gender. I love who I am and how I fall on the spectrum of gender expression, and I feel like music only gives me more freedom and confidence. Hopefully it does for everyone, music should encourage your purest self. Expression is genderless. It’s individual and collective at the same time. A sea of people in a mosh-pit doesn’t care what gender you are but brings every human together in expression.
In the music video for Easier Said Than Done, you included all your friends in the narrative, lounging around and enjoying each other’s company. Does your relationship change with your friends on and off set?
That day we captured exactly how it felt to just be around, and just be. It looks pretty much just like that, and that was the goal with the video. I wanted to just capture people at their truest.
In this social media age where this illusion of perfection is imposed on us daily, it can be a gift and a curse. But social media can also be an invitation to be part of somebody’s most vulnerable moments. How do you manage a sense of privacy today?
I feel like I want to be more vulnerable on social media and less careful - if that makes sense. Everyone is so careful, including myself, but I feel like I can keep a lot of things private and still be vulnerable. I try to do the same thing on social media as I do with music, connect with others and share my authentic self. It’s definitely a challenge, but I feel like the more I see the purpose as connection, the less I care about 'how' I do it online.
Looking into the future, what are you most excited about?
I am always excited to share my new music and especially All The Ways We Are Together the album, it's just been a long time coming and I feel like it will feel so good to have it out. I also am just looking forward to seeing the community growing as well as seeing everyone’s faces at shows again someday. I really am looking forward to touring again the most, but until then God has other plans for me and my time, and I feel like I want to keep searching for ways to make the most of it.
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