not dvr Debuts New Track “Darkroom”

not dvr Debuts New Track "Darkroom"
not dvr photo by Maxwell Grainger

not dvr, has had a busy 2023, recently moved to London from his hometown of North Berwick in Scotland. This year, he has also released singles “emptyhouse”, follow-up “prettynames” and stripped-back “wishuwerehere”. Today, the artist and producer, returns with new single, “darkroom”. Drawing inspiration from a film of captured memories in his new city, “darkroom.” The track is now available, via XL Recordings.

not dvr arrived on the scene with a series of self-released projects, tape_01, thru the city and the u can call me dillon EP, that were created from his home studio in Berwick, Scotland. The distinctive DIY productions saw him become an organic, word-of-mouth success story, racking up millions of streams and amassing a committed Discord community that included renowned US producer Kenny Beats. Within a year, not dvr went from a bedroom producer to collaborator of Kenny Beats, signing to XL Recordings to release his EP, dirty tapes, in 2022. With a growing fanbase that includes Omar Apollo, FINNEAS, Snoop Dogg, Clara Amfo and Joy Orbison, not dvr, continues to build on his successes with a more prolific musical output over the coming months.

n less than a year, not dvr went from a 16-year-old Scottish kid on the hunt for a cracked copy of Ableton, to an XL-signed artist collaborating with Kenny Beats at 17. As though A-Levels during a global pandemic weren’t enough to contend with, the prodigious singer, songwriter and producer also self-released two EPs – tape_01 and u can call me dillon – lo-fi gems full of frank lyrics and endless promise. “Lockdown was a creative renaissance,” he says. “It gave me all the time and resources to do exactly what I wanted: wake up every day and work on music.”

With his soft, hybrid accent (“somewhere between Scottish, English and South African”) Dillon explains that when it comes to music, he writes straight from the heart. “My songs are basically diary entries,” he says. “If they seem kind of personal, it’s because they are. In fact, I might be oversharing.” He began building beats on Garageband at the age of 12, having just had his mind blown by the hip-hop on his friend’s iPod. Up until that point, Dillon’s experience of music looked a little different — his parents, both South African, had raised him and his older brothers on legends like B.B. King and Jimmy Hendrix.

At 15, Dillon taught himself guitar from a series of YouTube tutorials breaking down songs by Frank Ocean and quickly realized that making instrumentals on Garageband – though it had given him a solid foundation for songwriting – wasn’t going to cut it. Inspired, he convinced his school to reintroduce a long-shelved music technology A-Level course. “They had a really shitty old studio,” he says of the state school he attended in North Berwick. “All the equipment was falling apart but it was a space that I could go to make music.” Finding his feet through playing with influences, Dillon was beginning to think he might be onto something when the pandemic shut down his school. With the news that they’d be sent home in just two days, he set out on a mission to complete the song he had been working on. “It ended up being “Am Sleep” from tape_01,” he says. “It was the first proper song that I ever made; I was like, oh shit! It actually sounds quite nice!” The internet would soon agree.

“This is where Kenny comes into the picture,” explains Dillon. Newly confined to his home, the teen started hanging out on Twitch and quickly landed on Kenny Beats’ channel. “I went straight into the Discord and asked if anyone had a crack of Ableton,” he remembers. “It’s what I had been using at school but I couldn’t afford it.” After almost being banned for the request, Kenny himself chimed in and told Dillon to go grab himself Ableton’s 90-day free trial. “I was like… 3 months?! That’s all the time in the world!” In that 90-day period, Dillon wrote, produced and mixed his debut project, tape_01. On release, in June 2020, the mods of Kenny’s Discord urged the US producer to give the EP a listen, which he did… live on stream. The next day he reached out to Dillon directly.

not dvr is feeling good and the future excites him. Like a lot of young musicians coming of age during the pandemic, Dillon has never played a gig before and only attended one. Currently a one-man band, he aims to keep it that way when he takes to the stage; with dreams of jumping between instruments like his idols Tyler, the Creator or Dave Grohl on Foo Fighters’ self-titled debut. The dichotomy of his idols evidenced in his visionary, genre-fluid sound.

What Dillon’s really excited about though, is the fact that people are already sliding into his DMs asking for production advice. The speed at which things have come full circle, without a doubt testament to both his ambition and talent. “I think the coolest thing ever is inspiring people with my music, in the same way that Kenny or Tyler or Dave did for me,” he says. “I just want to make other people want to make music.”

Order “darkroom” by not dvr HERE


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