Feeling You, Baby
Nashville-based artist Myylo is inspiring others and bringing them together with honesty, passion, and a whole lot of fun.
While rushing to my car on a drizzly Thursday morning in June, I lost a heel in the grass and swore loudly, earning a scandalized look from a neighbor walking past with their children. Yanking my shoe free from the ground and tossing it into the passenger seat of my car, I groaned in frustration. I was stressed over my giant to-do list, not to mention the fact that I was running late for my interview with Myylo, which would potentially make me late for a lunch date with a poor guy I’d already rescheduled on twice.
Shaking my head, I opened the file Myylo had sent me of his soon-to-be-released single, and hit play. Within 30 seconds, the frown was melting from my face and my head automatically bopped to the beat. I set the song on repeat, and by the time I got into Nashville to be cut off by a reckless driver waving their middle finger out the window, instead of yelling and getting angry, I simply shook my head and laughed.
The power of this song was only further proven yesterday, July 6th, when the single was released to the public. The instantaneous response from fans across the country was amazing. All day, Myylo’s Instagram story was overflowing with happy people filming themselves (and their dogs) dancing and singing along to his song — and he’s been continuing to share more fan videos today.
If you don’t believe that one song can turn your entire day around, you need to take three minutes away from this article and listen to Be My Baby right now. With a fun, plucky beat and easy-feeling harmonies reminiscent of calypso music, mixed with Myylo’s own folky pop twist, this bop is undeniably irresistible. Whether you’re looking to lift the mood while on vacation or release some tension after a long day of work, Be My Baby is a must-have for everyone’s playlist this summer — and beyond.
Between bites of avocado toast, Myylo tells me that although he’s been performing Be My Baby around Nashville for quite a while now, he never thought it would be a song he released as a single.
“The fans made me do it.” he says, adopting a mock-ominous tone. Laughing, he explains, “The people who come to my shows and stuff, they love that song and sing it back without it having been released, so that’s the reason I’m releasing it — because people have asked me to release it. I want to have a relationship with the people who are coming to my show. As much as I’m creating things that are from my own soul, if they want something, I’m going to put it out if I get asked enough.”
When asked what inspired him to write the song, he laughs and shakes his head. “Dude, Be My Baby is a silly little tune.” Myylo goes on to explain that he had a created a lick — which is now in the verse of the song — and he and his friends Jessie Smith and Katie Colosimo wrote it from there.
Reminiscing, he says, “We were writing at Jess’s house and she has this sort of Civil War-esque library that’s been passed down to her husband from generation to generation, so we were writing in this really weird room filled with weird shit, and were just like ‘maybe we should write about sex, you guys.’ That very much came from the musical motif and us being kind of boy crazy.”
“[My music] is about being an American man who lets himself feel things very deeply.”
For Myylo, his music isn’t just about having fun in his career — it’s also about creating real connections with other people. When asked how he would describe his style, he seems stumped, explaining that he views his first EP, South, as Country, but it’s a “weird amalgamation” that also includes pop music, with a lot of trumpets and saxophones that he arranges himself.
While he may struggle with defining his genre, Myylo is certain of the purpose behind his music. “I don’t think American men are allowed to feel things, and my project, to me, is about being an American man who lets himself feel things very deeply. It’s integral with the show, even. It’s very much about creating a relationship with the audience where they get to know intimate details about my life that the average person wouldn’t necessarily know.” He pauses and grins. “But I’ll leave you to describe it.”
Delving further into what he hopes to give to listeners, he says, “I think I want people to feel that they can connect to it in some way, and even if they can’t, that they feel it’s a true human experience I have that they can empathize with. Part of the job of art and of my art is to make people feel empathy… so I hope they can reflect on it, see themselves and other people in it — and be okay with whoever that is, whether they’re black, white, gay, jewish, yada yada yada.”
“Life can be a conversation with a song where the song influences how you feel, just as much as you are choosing the song to identify with it.”
If you can’t get enough of Myylo after “Be My Baby,” his 2017 EP, “South”, is also available on Spotify & iTunes — and he has several new releases planned for 2018. His goal is to get one single out each month.
“Are you planning on releasing an album, as well?”
“I don’t know yet,” he says thoughtfully. “I think the music industry model has changed a lot, and part of that change is that albums… they’re not dead, but they’re not alive. I feel more inclined almost towards the Drake or Cardi B model — just a constant stream of content — which is obviously easier when you have the sort of funding those people do. But I think it’s easier to keep peoples attention if you’re releasing that constant stream of content.”
Along with creating regular content and fun live shows, Myylo is also driven to support the LGBTQ community. After participating in LGBTQ activism through his high school and college years, Myylo teamed up with Emily and Jamie Dryburgh to found RNBW, a project to support LGBTQ artists in Nashville.
“It was a project started because Nashville’s a growing metropolitan area with, in my opinion, a starved LGBTQ community,” he explains. “I’ve lived in New York and Philadelphia and LA and coming here was definitely a shock culturally in many ways… and one of those was that there wasn’t a bustling scene where fans could come together in a space about music. Most LGBTQ spaces that are afforded to young people have to do with drinking and sex, which I love — love love love — but there’s other things, and we’re all multi-faceted people with different interests and this is one in particular, so we’ve been building that community out.”
So far, RNBW has been a huge success. “We started with house shows and so many people were coming that the floor started caving in, so we had to move to Tribe, who’ve been great partners. I wanted this space and saw that it could very easily be created — it’s very easy to make things when a community is starved.” Myylo smiles thoughtfully. “There is a community here, and it’s worth cultivating.”
“I think art is full of make-shift lineages — we’re all inheriting things from our influences and giving them to people that might be influenced by us in the future.”
One look at Myylo, and you can clearly see that he is comfortable with where he is and who he is as an artist — so when I ask if he wanted to be a musician as a child, his answer startles me.
“No, I’m not one of those,” he says, shaking his head. “I was a nerd. I loved school — I mean, I don’t know if I loved school, but I loved learning. I didn’t know what I wanted to do — I just knew that I wanted to go to a great college and figured that I would figure it out there… and I did. But it wasn’t what I thought — I thought it would be something a bit more practical and straight-forward.”
Preparing to wrap up the interview, I ask, “Is there anything that you want to tell readers, that you think is important for them to know about you and your music?”
Myylo seems struck by this question, murmuring “Whoa” under his breath.
“I guess this goes without saying, but it’s always evolving. Like any other human being, your art becomes new things with you. A lot of times it’s pretty real shit — to me. I don’t know if everyone will feel the same, but to me it is a slice of my soul, a labor of love.”
He smiles genuinely, clasping both hands over his chest. “I hope they enjoy it;
“I hope they like my heart songs.”
Listen to Be My Baby, available now on Spotify & iTunes, dance with Myylo LIVE in Nashville at The Back Corner on July 13th, and stay up to date on future releases and shows by following him on Instagram & Facebook.
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