Autumn has arrived and festival season is a distant memory... Or is it? First Fifty is here to save us from the doom and gloom.
Meet the man with the afro amalgamating psych-rock, indie, soul, funk and hip hop into one wholesome and inspiring cocktail.
23-year-old genre-defying Dylan Cartlidge.
Cartilage is a connective tissue found in the body mostly at joints between bones… Dylan Cartlidge is a singer-songwriter connecting pop-soul with grungy hip hop. In the same way, your elbow needs cartilage to bend successfully – Cartlidge is the necessary catalyst for his catchy, soulfully sung choruses and raw, fast-paced rap verses sounding seamless. The young talent oozes charisma and has been compared to everyone from Beck to Andre 3000.
The multi-instrumentalist makes alternative hip hop tunes with interesting beats and groovy instrumentation. Dylan Cartlidge explores topics such as the self and mental health through a social-realist lens, channelling his working-class background and challenging upbringing. Sonically he’s not unlike previous collaborator Jamie T, this comparison doesn’t tell the whole story however as there’s quite a lot to sink your teeth into throughout his brief but varied discography.
Dylan Cartlidge was born in Stoke and spent a chunk of his childhood in different foster homes before he ended up in Redcar, North Yorkshire with his adopted mum at 16-years-old. The next few years saw Dylan garner acclaim as the frontman of a local band named Bi:Lingual – his first taste of fame and the spotlight.
Unfortunately Bi:Lingual disbanded despite Dylan dropping out of Uni to focus fully on the band’s efforts. Cartlidge took jobs in a call centre and at his local Wetherspoons in his early ’20s while trying to get his solo career going. He appeared in a BBC documentary called The Mighty Redcar, spotlighting local young people with little opportunity trying to branch out and succeed.
Big things have happened for Dylan Cartlidge since this doc was filmed in 2017; he has a record deal, he has received widespread acclaim from the likes of Annie Mac, NME and Huw Stephens to name a few. He has toured the UK and has been steadily releasing high-quality music in the lead up to his debut album due out soon.
The visuals for Wishing Well dropped last month and they’re great fun:
The World Outside tackles the issue of social mobility and it’s a top tune:
His debut solo release Love Spoons is a Northern-tinged take on Atlanta rap.
Where can I see him live?
For upcoming Dylan Cartlidge shows go to ticketweb.uk.