A Journey Through Bedroom Pop: A Conversation with Babyblu

Babyblu © 2018
Dylan McBrayer has attained a critical position in the musical panorama with Babyblu, tackling ubiquitous themes whilst gleaning his own experiences.
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21-year old Tampa, Florida native Dylan McBrayer, better known as Babyblu, is making music on his own terms.

© 2018 Babyblu

© Brooke Nolan

I want people to know that Babyblu is a project that I literally make in my bedroom in my apartment,” McBrayer says. “It’s all real, it’s all genuine, and I hope to share my bedroom pop with the world.”

McBrayer’s alternate persona, Babyblu, has slowly but surely gained traction within the last year, most notably online, and he’s released a plethora of glittering, dreamy bedroom pop tunes that have helped him prove his DIY craft. Reminiscent of ’80s synth-pop blended with mid-2000s pop punk, Babyblu has curated a sound that feels entirely fresh, yet familiar. His debut full-length, Petals, released in mid-2017, and subsequent follow-up EP, 2786, released in February of this year, both offer smartly crafted and narratively holistic songs, showing McBrayer’s innate knack for music making.

Listen: 2786 – Babyblu


Songs like “Finish My Heart” and “I Think I Found Love” — songs that both yearn for companionship, albeit in different ways — have gained worthwhile streaming numbers online, and not for nothing. Their bouncy, technically-solid production, layered with McBrayer’s genuine vocal strain and authentic lyricism, give the songs undeniable earworm status, showcasing a uniquely mature talent from someone who still has so much to offer.

And maybe if I confide in you
Maybe I’ll break up in two
Of decline with lack what I really want
And maybe if I lie with you
And say I’d never lie to you
Maybe we can make this all work out
– “I Think I Found Love,” Babyblu

It’s not all purely romantic love, however; tracks like “Carsick” and “Smile Lines” tackle heavier themes, telling stories of suicide and depression, and navigating through life during times of heartache and struggle.

I am only human tonight,
So afraid to take my own life;
Can’t take this for granted.
Like when you felt so carsick;
You could never sit,
Feeling so heartsick now.
We’re almost home,
I can promise you that now.
– “Carsick,” Babyblu

“I personally like to write in the moment; a lot of times I’ll be in a situation and I will just write things down in my notes on my phone and come back to them,” McBrayer notes. “I tend to write lots of poems about life, and they just become songs over time.”

With a devout, ever-growing fan base and a knack for tapping into the human condition, McBrayer has attained a critical position in the musical panorama with Babyblu, tackling ubiquitous themes whilst gleaning his own experiences. Through beauty and pain, McBrayer navigates life through triumphant narrative ability.

My favorite part about making music is kind of making a soundtrack to your own life, creating this world you can enter and let others join,” he says.

Listen: “Finish My Heart” – Babyblu

A CONVERSATION WITH BABYBLU

Atwood Magazine: How did you first get started with the Babyblu project?

Dylan McBrayer: Babyblu was a project I started in 2015 with a friend, she sang and I produced the music. As time went on, we parted ways, and I still wanted to continue making music and thus I restarted in 2016 on my own. 

Did you do anything musically before this?

Dylan: I tried doing various projects when I was younger. I wrote little emo rock songs in middle school in my garage with some friends; I tried producing instrumentals for rappers. It took a long time to be in the place I am now.

Nowadays, content is the most important to people. People want to be immersed in the world that an artist creates, and social media is the perfect platform to create such a realm.

You seem to have a very passionate fan base online, especially Twitter - how do you think that's helped you move along in the industry?

Dylan: The dedication of people on social media has been absolutely nuts. I don’t believe I’d be doing the things I am without them. The fan base that I have is so important to me. They are so helpful and so caring about the Babyblu project.

How do you think social media has impacted the music industry as a whole?

Dylan: I think that the internet is the most crucial factor to being an artist nowadays. Creating an image both sonically and visually is important in building a fan base that wants content. Nowadays, content is the most important to people. People want to be immersed in the world that an artist creates, and social media is the perfect platform to create such a realm. Social media for me is where I’ve given a glimpse of me as an artist to people that want to be apart of this whole thing I call “Babyblu.”

The new EP, 2786, was released recently. What was the process like, making those songs?

Dylan: The process of making 2786 felt like one of the fastest but most rewarding times I have ever endured. I started demoing ideas in May of 2017 but truly started working on the project in October, and by December I had the entire EP fully recorded. Each song has all different journeys, but I am happy with the outcome. 

Listen: “Maybe When We’re Lonely” – Babyblu

What inspires you when you're writing?

Dylan: I personally like to write in the moment; a lot of times I’ll be in a situation and I will just write things down in my notes on my phone and come back to them. I tend to write lots of poems about life, and they just become songs over time. My biggest inspirations at the moment are the people around me, I have surrounded myself with some of the best people and the worst people in the past year and that has really developed myself as a writer.

My favorite part about making music is kind of making a soundtrack to your own life, creating this world you can enter and let others join.

Do you have a favorite song of yours? Or a favorite lyric? Why?

Dylan: My favorite song right now that I have written would be an unreleased song called “Dear To Me”. It’s a really personal song that I can’t wait for people to hear. My favorite lyric right now is from a song called “Maybe When We’re Lonely” on the 2786 EP. It is “I could have my heart etched into my hand, just to give in again.” It’s a reference to my tattoo of a separated heart on my hand, and I just really enjoy the concept of keeping your heart on your sleeve – but in this case I keep it on my hand. 

Why does music matter to you? What is your favorite part about making music?

Dylan: Music has been a life-force for me personally my entire life. From the time when my dad got me my first guitar in fourth grade to moments that I’m going through right now, music is something I can’t live without. My favorite part about making music is kind of making a soundtrack to your own life, creating this world you can enter and let others join.

What does this year look like for you?

Dylan: Touring, more music, music videos, and overall just more content.

What is something you want people to know about Babyblu?

Dylan: I want people to know that Babyblu is a project that I literally make in my bedroom in my apartment. It’s all real, it’s all genuine, and I hope to share my bedroom pop with the world.

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Babyblu © 2018

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Maggie McHale

Maggie is the Chief Music Director for Atwood Magazine, currently living in Philadelphia. She also works as a Digital Marketer for Fame House, a Philly-based Universal Music Group subsidiary. She is heavily involved in the arts and music scene in the City of Brotherly Love, often enjoying (and even preferring) going to concerts and museums alone; just generally loving and exploring the city that she calls home. A self-proclaimed “hug enthusiast” and dog lover, Maggie also enjoys fashion, travel, the paranormal, and drinking way too much coffee. In addition to writing for Atwood, she freelances and contributes to JUMP Magazine. (Fun fact-She also once slow-danced with Boyz II Men in Las Vegas.)