Dylan Owen — Ghosts Revisited [Music Video & Interview]

Posted by on December 17, 2013

There are very few artists shy of national recognition who seem to have really found themselves as artists; those who have truly discovered their sound and taken advantage of how it connects and resonates with people. Dylan Owen most definitely has, and with each release his understanding of his sound—that carefully crafted blend of highly-skilled lyricism, indie song-craft, and honesty—becomes more illuminated. It’s no wonder that he’s gained such a tight-knit following as quickly as he has. He’s not afraid to wrestle with conflict or to embrace his vulnerability, and that’s where his talent as a songwriter and rapper pays off the most. Today, Dylan has let go of a new video for “Ghosts Revisited”, a song that originally appeared on his 2012 EP Keep Your Friends Close. The song has been revised and updated (and now features additional vocals by Kiah Victoria and Kaleigh Young), which is fitting, given the time since he wrote the original, and how the experiences depicted have shifted in his mind throughout time. To give you a better understanding of how this process began, what he envisioned for this version, and what we can expect to see next, I reached out to Dylan, and below you can see what he had to say.

Fresh New Tracks: I’m really interested in how this revision of “Ghosts” came to fruition. It’s my favorite record off the album (as noted by its number four slot on my best of 2012 list), and even though your EP came out almost two years ago it’s seemed to have this lasting impact and remain highly relevant among your fans. Why do you think this is? What is it about this record?

Dylan Owen: Thanks for that, Jeff. This song’s meaning, in the context of Keep Your Friends Close, can be interpreted in a range of ways. It might mean something different to you than it does to me, though I think we’d both agree that everyone has their haunts. I’ve gotten a lot of messages about this track in particular, with such a range of emotional responses, and that’s incredible to me—that this can inspire people for all sorts of reasons and personal connections.

On a similar note, what was that process of re-envisioning the song like for you? While I know many artists have famously said that they never feel a record is complete, I imagine that the version on the EP is one you felt good about. Where did you see an opportunity for growth or improvement, and how did you go about making that happen?

The original “Ghosts” is completely finished as it is, and it belongs just that way on the EP. I chose to revisit the song because I wanted the video for “Ghosts” to be longer and more orchestrated—to add more dynamics and drama to the original record. It’s been awhile since the relationship that “Ghosts” and Keep Your Friends Close largely talks about. Since then, my perspective on that situation has evolved to view it in a special way that I wanted to capture with the new version of the song.

The video for this song is one that has been long in the works, and something that you were interested in publicly. Why has it taken so long, and what has the process been like shooting multiple takes of it? What was the vibe you were reaching for?

Finding the right director took a long time in itself. I’m a super perfectionist, way too neurotic about everything, and this especially had to be right for me or it wasn’t worth doing. I’m so happy I found the right director, Mike the Wagon. We shot the video at the end of the summer and have been tweaking it since, making sure it has all the working parts to communicate the haunted, nostalgic, reminiscent feeling that “Ghosts” has for me and everyone who enjoys the song.

I think your fans will be really impressed by the addition of Kiah Victoria on the record. How did her part come to be?

The new chorus gives the song a chance to look back on the situation with more conclusion. How do I feel about things in retrospect? Kiah has been a great friend of mine and it was a blast finally working with her. Another friend and fellow artist, Kaleigh Young—who you hear in the background in the verses—helped write the hook as well. Couldn’t be more honored to be joined by such humble and talented artists. Way sick.

Any insight you can give us as to what’s currently in the works for Dylan Owen?

It may seem like I’ve been laying low. I know I didn’t put out as much music as a lot of artists in 2013, but really I’ve made so much new stuff. I’ve been writing and writing to make sure everything is documented. All those stories are on the horizon and I plan to put them out in 2014 following this release.



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