by D. Wild
When I was sixteen years old, I wrote and recorded a song called Infection. Eleven years later, it’s become completely cringe-worthy for me to listen to, but that song lead me to some of the most profound realizations I’ve had in my music career so far. The lyrics of Infection were about unrequited love, the negative feelings that come along with it, and the ability of those feelings to spread into other aspects of life.
At that time, I was extremely self-conscious about my voice, and my good friend Ravi Adams would sing on the actual recordings of my songs. Ravi was able to capture the things that my voice was not yet capable of, and for the first time in my life, I experienced the joy of having a completed musical project that I was proud to share with the world.
I continued striving to write better and better music, but one day Ravi stopped me in the middle of recording and told me “Dillon, you write awesome songs, but everything is sad and slow. Imagine what you could do if you changed things up and wrote a happy, more upbeat, song.”
Listen to the songs while reading the text.
As much as Ravi’s words were a shock to my system back then, it took me a long time to adapt and actually start putting out music based on positive emotions. Originally, it was much easier for me to incorporate that upbeat sound into the instrumental portion of my work than my lyrics. Between 2012 and 2013, I wrote an album with some of my best friends called Galactic Beach. It’s a compilation of songs we released under the name Spacecoast. Even though the instrumentals on Galactic Beach were dancey enough to put a smile on anyone’s face, a lot of the lyrics on the album were still based on negative emotions I was feeling at the time and my insecurity with sharing those emotions held me back from releasing that album until 2016, years after the project dissolved.
My best friend Lee played bass on all of the Galactic Beach songs and in the period of time between when we finished writing and recording Galactic Beach and when it was finally released we started writing new songs that were far more alternative rock oriented. Once our friend Tim officially teamed up with us as the drummer, we started sprinting in that new musical direction full blast. Spencer, who played keyboards on two of the Galactic Beach songs, joined up with us as well and Tim moved to lead vocals which left us in need of a replacement drummer. Our good buddy Quinn moved from Virginia to Florida (where we were located at the time) in order to fill the drummer role.
We renamed ourselves Wild Flyer, started playing shows regularly, got our songs prepared to record, and truly started experiencing what it was like to have others appreciate our hard work. The good vibes in Wild Flyer made it really easy for me to finally realize I was bringing Ravi’s words into reality. The instrumentals were as sweet as sugar, and the combination of lyrics Tim and I were writing were made for people to sing along to and feel a positive connection with.
At one point, we took our complete live setup (including drums, huge amps, and a PA system), some power strips, and extension cords and set up in the middle of the campus at the University of Central Florida where we started jamming out. It took almost no time to get a huge crowd of people interested, smiling, and bouncing around! Unfortunately, we got the boot when a really nice librarian came out and informed us that it was finals week and she could hear us on the fourth floor of the library (the silent floor) a quarter mile away.
On Christmas Day 2015, our EP called Newtonhall was released for the whole world to take in and the moment I saw the cover of that album on iTunes and Spotify I realized I was in this for life. That music isn’t going anywhere. It’s out there forever. I still feel that same excitement each and every time I release new music (which makes me stoked for 2019 as I’m putting out at least one new song each month).
Bright Sun Calling
By the time Newtonhall was released, life had taken each of us in different directions, and for a while, I felt really musically lost. It had been years since I was writing music that wasn’t meant to be played by a five-piece band and the idea of writing music with people I didn’t have the same connection with as I had with Wild Flyer was daunting. It took years to put that band together, and I honestly was considering giving up music for good.
Luckily, I met my great friends Matt Welsh and Mike Wheeler around this time and seeing after how productive they were with their own music, I was again motivated to believe in myself and give my own songs another swing. The first tune I ever recorded for what would become the D.Wild project was called Step Outside, and it was recorded with Matt, Mike, Quinn from Wild Flyer, and another one of our friends named Phil in early 2016. The reaction I would get when I showed Step Outside to people was the most rejuvenating feeling I could imagine. I’d thought my journey with music had come to an end after Wild Flyer, but I gradually realized I had barely even started.
About a year later, Mike and Matt were helping me record what would become my first D.Wild release, an EP called Bright Sun Calling. That name came from that feeling of being filled with positive emotions from seeing the reactions to Step Outside and the motivation I felt to keep going. As hard as things may have been at that time, my mind kept reassuring me that I was progressing in the right direction. Each time I would tell myself that, someone else would come into my life and help me get even better. I could hear my songs getting closer and closer to exactly what I wanted to be putting out, and I was writing them faster and faster.
The title track from Bright Sun Calling explains my outlook on the music I write today. Let the music you are taking in help heal you (it can bring you down just as well). Don’t just talk about it, be about it. Live without fearing. I knew what I wanted because Ravi’s words back in the day eventually helped me find out how amazing it felt to bring positive feelings to people through music and I have yet to feel anything better than sharing that connection with people singing my songs along with me. That’s love. Obviously, I don’t feel perfect one-hundred percent of the time, and during those times I will catch myself writing lyrics that take me back to darker feelings I’ve had in the past, but I do everything in my power to look at those works from a different perspective and spin them in a positive light (as long as it fits the song). I’m only moving forward from here.
I’ve never felt so motivated in my life as I do right now. More and more people are connecting with my music than ever before and I’m bouncing off the walls with excitement to share this feeling with all of you. I’m surfing a wave in the sky and I’m not coming down until the bright sun calls my name.
Spread love, live wild.
D.Wild, Category: Artist, Singles: Crazier Now, Sign of the Times, Bright Sun Calling, Top Tracks: Sign of the Times, Crazier Now, Back to the City, Right Here, Write It Down, Monthly Listeners: 10, Where People Listen: St. Petersburg, Costa Mesa, Doylestown, Washington, La Vergne
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Wild Flyer on Spotify
Wild Flyer on Bandcamp
Galactic Beach on Spotify
Galactic Beach on Bandcamp
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