Music Student Spotlight: Dylan Hollingsworth

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 at 9:08 PM

For senior Dylan Hollingsworth, a music performance major with a concentration in percussion, making beats has been a passion of his for several years now.  Pursuing this passion resulted in a deal with Bentley Records last August, along with an EP called “Fire & Ice.”

His journey into music began in the seventh grade when his father presented him with a guitar.

This carried into an eighth-grade talent show, where he was part of a two-man band playing the song “Wipeout.”

While he wasn’t confident in their sound, this was a great moment for him, along with a barn concert he played over the recent winter break, as he noted the support and enjoyment from the crowd.

His hobby of making and producing beats started in ninth grade. He would have musical ideas in his head and “wanted to get them out as quick as possible.”

Hollingsworth then joined marching band around the 10th grade, where he learned to read music in a week by playing percussion. At the same time, he was establishing a musical presence through homemade tracks.

Operating under the name Grimace, which he obtained after wearing a purple hoodie in high school, Hollingsworth explained that he likes that shade of purple because to him, it represents the word “soul,” as in the noun, the music genre and more.

He currently plays guitar, drums and keyboard, while using the software FL Studio for recording.  He has recorded with several others, including his late brother, who wrote the first two verses and chorus of “Fire & Ice.” He holds the EP and single, featuring Kaitlyn Hallock, as a tribute to him.

Other singles on the EP are “Kill ‘Em All (ft. VagueSounds)”, “Retribution,” and “Axe Kick (ft. Kyler Chance, Bizhop & Cody Martinez)”.

His influences come from various rappers from the ‘80s and ‘90s, including A Tribe Called Quest, Boyz II Men, Outkast and solo artists like MF Doom and Tyler, the Creator. 

Producing and making beats is cathartic for Hollingsworth, and the process is less pressure than marching band, which he still greatly enjoys. 

“What I can’t say, my music can,” he explained.

In an email with Bentley Records, Troy Beelen, executive of A&R with the label, said that Hollingsworth “is a very talented and growing artist. We are happy to have him with us, and we will give him our best support to grow as an artist.” He also said that his first single, “Here I Am,” was released on Wednesday, April 3.

His current goal is to get better as a rapper. He has made gradual adjustments from constructive feedback from both known and unknown listeners, which he prioritizes while also staying true to himself. 

Hollingsworth shared some words of advice for young musicians: “As long as you’re passionate with what you’re doing, you’re succeeding.” He also stated, “If you want something to be good, you have to take your time with it.”

Listeners can expect to be put on edge, in a good way, by the power of his deep voice, while each track also carries a mysterious feel and an authentically futuristic touch — already an ideal mix of rapping and EDM. This is intentional, as Hollingsworth says that he tries to be “a little bit different.”

Hollingsworth’s tracks can be found under the name GrimaceOfficial on SoundCloud and  Spotify.

Amber Chisholm |

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