Listen to Young Dylan’s 360 MAG Podcast with Vaughn HERE.
Rapper/actor Dylan Gilmer has taken the entertainment industry by storm. Known by his stage name of “Young Dylan,” at the mere age of thirteen years old he has accomplished triumphs that resembles that of long-term professionals in the business. 360 sat down to chat with Dylan about his rapping and acting career, and what exactly we can expect to see from him in the future.
Young Dylan was first noticed at six-years-old when a video of his rapping skills went viral. Soon after, he was brought to ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ at age seven to showcase his rapping talent on a widespread scale. At such a young age, Young Dylan captivated his audience and drew them in with his charming rap talent while performing DJ Khaled’s “For Free.”
His later amassed fame came from his performances on Season 14 of ‘America’s Got Talent.’ At only ten years old, Young Dylan rapped advanced tracks from popular rappers Drake and Kendrick Lamar that allowed him to display his impeccable musical rhythm and flow. Since he gained widespread critical acclaim, Young Dylan has made several appearances back where he got his early beginning into the industry on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show.’
He attributes his rapping skills back to cherished moments with his father growing up. “Ever since I was a baby, he’d be playing music in the car… I have great memorization, I remembered the beats, the lyrics, just like I do with my lines.”
Young Dylan’s apparent natural confidence in performing is one of his most recognizable and admirable traits. When asked about how he transforms himself to become Young Dylan on stage, he attributes everything to energy.
Dylan gets his pre- nerve jitters out by stepping on stage confidently and giving each performance his all. Once the curtains open and he starts performing, “Voila! The butterflies are gone, my heart is pumping, a good pumping, I’m getting the crowd lit, everything like that!” He explains the energy that the crowd gives him is his fuel for his vibe while taking the stage.
Continuing his career with such early success, Dylan has only continued to blossom into a well-versed working young professional. Popularly starring on ‘Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan’ on Nickelodeon as Young Dylan, the show follows the story of the Young Dylan character’s hip-hop career and personal life.
Immersed in the Nickelodeon world, Young Dylan also co-hosts Nickelodeon’s ‘NFL Slimetime’ with Nate Burleson. Young Dylan spoke about how much he’s learned from Nate while working together on the project and how it’s been “great working with him, on set and off of set.”
Young Dylan launched his career into new heights after landing his co-host spot on ‘The Kids Tonight Show,’ which just so happens to be executively produced by the host of the original tonight show, Jimmy Fallon. Dylan recalls the leadup to this experience and how he landed such a stellar roll. “It was my last day of school, I was laying on my floor just watching TikTok’s, stuff like that, and my father calls me out of nowhere and says, ‘You need to get on the Zoom! I forgot all about it, you need to get on the Zoom!’”
On this Zoom call, Young Dylan got to chat with his future kid co-stars and the rest of the team with the show. The producers absolutely fell in love with the relatability and transparency that allows viewers to connect with Dylan. “I felt like I was supposed to be on that show,” Young Dylan says about ‘The Kid Tonight Show,’ and we couldn’t agree more.
Dylan made sure to mention how all the kids working on the project possess innovative qualities that contribute to the success of the show. “I think we all bring something different to the show, and that’s what I really like about them, and that’s what I really liked about the show.” Working alongside his co-hosts Mykal-Michelle Harris, Olivia Perez and Recker Eans, Young Dylan raved about the chemistry that they all had working together. Stepping into some big shoes to fill from the acclaimed Jimmy Fallon, Young Dylan and his co-hosts are swiftly keeping up with the kid-friendly spin off just fine.
Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, he still resides in the city with big dreams to move to a major city in the new few years. “I travel a lot to Atlanta, New York, Cali. So, I’m hoping to move to one of those states by 15.”
At the forefront of Young Dylan’s mission is giving back to the community. “I just want to be there for my community, and I always want to have Annapolis, Maryland in my heart… most people don’t know what Annapolis is… I want to be the person to make Annapolis well-known, and I feel like I can do that.”
Amidst the ongoing duration of the pandemic, Young Dylan has been able to appreciate the blessings that he has received regarding the advancement of his career. While going through quarantine, he recalls how he had the time to analyze how strained he was, and how he got through this with help from his support system.
“Quarantine, for me, taught me a lot of things. I was really stressed out at one point balancing school, acting, rapping; all of that. You know, you just have to have a great support system.”
Young Dylan credits his success and motivation to the help he receives from his strong support system. He explains how without having the support of the people around him, he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what he has thus far. He encourages fans that are going through tough times to find those people around them that they feel comfortable to talk to and can confide in.
In terms of giving back, Young Dylan has never been shied to fighting for causes that he believes in. Throughout the duration of the pandemic and the first quarantine, Young Dylan made it one of his priorities to help out where he could.
“During quarantine I was giving food to hospitals, people that were still working during the pandemic.” Having found joy in helping those who needed it most during the pandemic, giving back is now at the heart of Young Dylan’s mission.
We can expect a lot more to come from Young Dylan in the next few years. Aside from recently landing a spot as a host on ‘The Kids Tonight Show,’ Young Dylan has recently signed with Puma and is planning to release his very own mixtape this summer.
His partnership with Puma has allowed him to grow and see new sides to business endeavors he hasn’t witnessed thus far. Concerning the excitement around his new deal with Puma, Young Dylan raved, “I was like, ‘WOW, I’m getting a deal with Puma? PUMA?’”
In regards to his highly anticipated mixtape, Young Dylan told 360 that it would consist of eight clean tracks that kids will be able to admire. He aims to make kid-friendly hip-hop/rap inspired pieces that are still as hype and innovative as modern-day explicit pieces we see from older rap stars.
“We can bring clean music but also be as lit as the other songs that have cursing, but just clean!” Young Dylan has been working on this project for quite some time and has made sure that each track is perfected to his standards. “You can definitely see we put a lot of work in on this mixtape that is coming out this summer. It’s gonna be lit!”
As such a prominent child star, Young Dylan has some advice to give to younger children, or anyone that has a dream to have a career just like him: “never give up, if you have a dream, chase it man, don’t let anyone stop you.”
Young Dylan preaches to maintain a humble mindset, and never get too cocky with yourself. He encourages us all to “always be yourself, always be dripped out, and when you step in a room, shine your light.”
This or That with Young Dylan
Football or basketball…basketball, because of the rich cultural influence and abundance of fans that the game has over football.
Hamburgers or hotdogs… hamburgers.
Pizza or hot wings… hot wings, they’re one of Young Dylan’s top ten favorite foods!
Rapping or singing… rapping, Young Dylan indulges in rapping more than singing.
Television or film… television.
Scripted or improv pieces… scripted pieces allow Young Dylan to pick up scripts quicker and add his personal flare to them.
Article: McKinley Franklin x Vaughn Lowery