At just 17, Dylan Schneider is wise beyond his years, especially when it comes to his songwriting. But perhaps even more impressive is Schneider’s ability and willingness to connect with fans on a personal level. “I used to freak out if an artist would respond or interact with me. It’s incredibly important to me that I do the same with my fans.”
A typical, small-town kid with dreams of playing baseball in the big leagues, Schneider’s direction shifted when he began listening to and connecting with country music. His love and understanding for music was instilled by his family, but his innate and seemingly effortless talent came out of nowhere. After receiving a guitar as an early Christmas present, he went to a meet-and-greet for country artist Brett Eldredge, who told Schneider, “keep playing until your fingers bleed – I believe in you. Never give up and always keeps jamming.” Though the early (and now signed) Christmas present soon took a safer place on the wall, Schneider’s parents bought him a second guitar, which he immediately took to playing relentlessly.
In high school, Schneider started a band with some friends. “It was fun for a while - but it became apparent my friends weren’t as into the whole music thing as I was.” Unwilling to relent, Schneider continued to pursue music solo. “I played out locally quite a bit. Playing acoustic sets for people was always much more fun than having a real job like most kids my age.” Schneider also began shooting cover videos for his YouTube channel and building his social following. “It was a slow build at first. But eventually my videos were getting 20,000-30,000 views each.”
The progress was enough to catch the attention of artist manager Sean Pace, who made the trip up to his hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana to enlist Schneider as a client in early 2016. From there, and with the addition of co-manager Joey Russ, the team continued to capitalize on his talents and grow his fan base. With a collective social media following of nearly 600,000, his videos have seen over 30 million views to date. In July 2016, he released debut EP Wannabe and, shortly thereafter, released follow-up EP 17 in October. The video for Schneider’s current single Two Black X’s recently released and his already garnered more than 1,000,000 views.
In working on new music, content, and tour dates for 2017, Schneider’s focus remains the importance of the fan. “At the end of the day, I’m nothing without my fans. When I write, I’m thinking, ‘how is this song going to sing live, and how will the audience react and identify?’ What I do, most importantly, is for my fans. My job is to connect and show them a good time.” Though just 17, it seems Schneider’s off to a great start in doing just that.