Q:You have been a professional musician for over a decade. How has your artistic voice changed throughout your career?
DYNAMYTE: As you get older you start to learn more what you specifically enjoy. You have more of a voice just as a young adult in general. I think growing up as a kid, my artistic voice was always part of an entity with someone else (being half of the artistic voice as a member of a duo) and now it’s me on my own as an adult saying what I want to say. It’s a new level of artistry for me and it feels so exciting.
Q:You note that you are an intellectual singer/songwriter. Who are your lyrical influences?
DYNAMYTE: Well, my biggest lyrical influence since I was young is Lily Allen and I know that may sound startling to know that at age 10, those are the lyrics I was studying, but what I liked about her as a lyricist is, first of all, the fact that she says what she thinks and has strong opinions about the world, about politics about how people are in general and she doesn’t shy away from saying, quite frankly, anything. She’s unapologetically outspoken. Growing up you hear lyrics about trivial things like parties and dancing but she tried to get the most mileage out of every single second in the song. Every single word down to every single syllable had so much intention. The power in that inspired me.
Q: Can you tell us the origin story of Dynamyte?
DYNAMYTE: I had been in a duo basically my entire life (my childhood and teenhood). Then I went to college and my brother went to college and it was really my first time being an individual out in the real world. Part of that helped me to find who I am as a person and what I want to say. My brother was releasing solo music and I spent so much time writing material and thinking about whether that’s the music I want to put out as Dynamyte. I never settled and took a step back because I felt the older I got and the more I was growing into an adult, the more interesting my songs became because there is a new depth to them that wasn’t there and new people, experiences, and perspectives that I hadn’t known prior.
As far as the branding of Dynamyte as a Wonder Womanesque character, that’s always been who I am. As a child, I was always the one girl at Tae Kwon Do and would win all the trophies sparring guys twice my size (they would get so mad lol). Or the girl at recess arm wrestling the biggest boy and winning. Or the only girl in a room full of musicians and holding my own as the drummer. I love challenging stereotypes and what people expect of me because a lot of the things I am interested in doing are not what people would expect. I think people have a really simplistic view of what girls and women like and that stunts their ability to pursue things that they don’t think are for them. This never occurred to me and I didn’t even really realize until I was a teenager that I was the only girl in these settings. It just didn’t occur to me that people would have thoughts about my interests being unusual. When 8 year old me would get asked why I like to do Tae Kwon Do or play the drums, my answer was always simply that I like to hit things. So that’s what Dynamyte is about. Not shying away from being badass or beating all the boys up in Tae Kwon Do and being your own Wonder Woman.
Q: Walk us through the production process of “Show Me You.” Did you record from home or at another remote location? How did the pandemic affect the collaborative process?
DYNAMYTE: I took the train from Providence to Boston and recorded it in my brother’s apartment (so sorry to his neighbors by the way haha). It was pre pandemic but a lot of the other songs I released were recorded in the pandemic. I really enjoyed being in my home studio with my brother.
Q:You’ve accomplished a lot at such a young age. What is one piece of advice you would give to young, emerging musicians?
DYNAMYTE: Don’t try to be what is already there or try to fit into the mold of what you think people want. Be entirely you and authentic. Don’t overthink it. It’s easy to care about what people will think of your music, but the best music is the music people made without worrying what the listener would think. I remember SZA saying that when she was writing her album, she was writing lyrics containing thoughts and feelings that she wouldn’t even tell her closest friends. You have to be comfortable being honest and vulnerable, and I think the more vulnerable the artist, the better. People resonate with that and finally feel like they’re not alone. It shows you’re human, and people like humans 🙂
Interviewed by Sarah Scott