It’s early in his career, but Indiana-born Dylan Schneider definitely qualifies as a modern-day success story. His social numbers are through the roof — over 600,000 followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
He has garnered over one million Spotify streams, and recently watched as 17, his sophomore EP, hit No. 32 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and No. 3 on the iTunes list all without the benefit of a single on the radio.
So far, Schneider has made a name for himself online. His videos have been viewed over thirty two million times — a number that he admits surprises even him.
“My manager, Sean Pace, found me, and we started doing cover videos online. We put it in front of the people and got a really great response,” Schneider tells Billboard. “I’m so happy that the people who have seen them really seem to love it, and they show it to their friends. It’s been astounding to watch the numbers grow.”
As a teenager, the numerical title of Schneider’s EP reflects his age. He says his generation is very much influenced by all things viral, and he’s tried to take advantage of the trend.
“It’s important to know what people like to see, and what they want to hear — just being of that age. One of the things I like to do is be as active as I possibly can with people, and let them see what is going on in my life. I know that some of my favorite artists, like Luke Bryan or Dierks Bentley, one of the things that they do is that they make YouTube videos so you can see what is going on in their lives. That’s definitely an important thing. It makes me want to stay connected to my fans so much more. It’s a cool thing to do, getting to let them see inside my daily life.”
With the social numbers he has generated, he says that the last year has been amazing in terms of exposure, which has led to some interesting experiences.
“Last summer, I went to a lot of concerts with my dad in Indianapolis. This year, I would notice that for the first time people would stop me and want to take pictures. I remember one time I was at a Brad Paisley concert, and we were walking between the lawn and the pavilion seats, one person stopped me to take a picture, and I was doing that for twenty minutes. Eventually, one of my dad’s friends pulled me to the side, and we had to leave. People just kept coming up. I was very excited by it all.”
Schneider’s story begins in the Midwest Terre Haute, Indiana, to be exact. He says his formative years were very much idea. “It’s not too big or too small. It’s got a little bit of everything. I used to play baseball and basketball. I love playing sports. It seems that you would play against everyone you know when it came to sports growing up. Everybody pretty much knows everybody. I used to live in Terre Haute itself, but now I live in the country, and really love the lifestyle.”
Of appearing on the album charts, he says he had to take a second look just to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. “That was an amazing feeling. When I put out the EP, it was on my birthday. It got all the way up to No.3 on iTunes that day. When I heard it was on the Billboard chart, it was so insane to me. That was one of the coolest achievements so far.”
When asked to describe his sound, he said, “I would say it’s definitely a newer sound of Country Music. It’s not exactly too Pop or too Country. It’s definitely got a rock element, and I think that people can have a good time listening to it. I think it’s just fun sounding music. That’s what it is to me.”
Schneider has been introducing his music to crowds on the road as of late, and will be opening up for Granger Smith on several shows this winter. He has just released a new single to radio, “You Heard Wrong,” and Billboard is excited to bring you the world premiere of the video. When asked about the song, he said it made an instant connection with him.
“That one got pitched to me by a couple of songwriters down in Nashville. I fell in love with it the minute I heard it. We were trying to find something that sounded cool, and fit the sound I was trying to go for. We ended up cutting it and putting it out. We’ve gotten a really great response from all the fans, and everyone right off the bat, so I was really excited about that. I finish my set with it on the live shows, and people scream it back to me, which is always an amazing feeling to have.”
Watch the “You Heard Wrong” video below.