An Interview with Dear Blanca

Even before Dylan Dickerson knew that he wanted to be a musician, his grandmother, Blanca, could tell. She would watch him as a child playing music and encouraged him to pursue it when she saw the joy it brought him. Years later, when Dickerson figured it out himself and began writing and performing his own original songs, he chose to call himself (and the band that would soon form with him) Dear Blanca, after the woman who encouraged his passion even before it was his passion.

When Dickerson first began performing as Dear Blanca, he was a one man band. Soon after, however, he asked his old friend Marc Coty (now the drummer for Dear Blanca) to start playing with him. Together with their friend Bo White filling in the gaps, Dear Blanca put out their first album entitled Talker. Another member, bassist Cam Powell, was officially added to the band by the release of their second album Pobrecito. Dickerson and Coty discovered Powell when they saw him play at a house show. They all had mutual friends, and eventually were introduced and Powell became a member of the band.

Dear Blanca consider themselves an “open door band.” Dickerson says they are not afraid to break routine. They view their in-studio recordings and onstage performances as two separate things, and never succumb to one exclusive vibe. They also try to incorporate at least one new element per album, often with a guest artist adding new instruments or vocals. Some of their guest artists include Secret Guest’s Brett Nash and Andrei Mihailovic. Dickerson says they even have one record, called To Tell A Half Truth, in which all the songs are inspired by or adapted from a book of poetry written by Powell’s uncle who passed away. Dickerson likes to challenge himself in his songwriting sometimes by giving himself a certain goal to narrow the focus of the song and help get his creativity flowing. He likes the sense of accomplishment that he feels when he satisfies his parameters and writes a good song.

Dickerson grew up with older brothers who played house shows and made records, which began his love affair with music. He spent his elementary and middle school years learning to play instruments and forming bands. When he was in high school he began writing songs he intended on singing. “I was focused on finding a voice and figuring out how to sing,” he said. “I think it’s important to remember when you first took the dive in learning how to perform.”

Dickerson cites many musicians and bands who contribute to his love of music and inspire him, from the Descendants to power vocalists like The Temptations and Amy Winehouse, but he says that Dear Blanca has always had its own sound. Their method is to make music they enjoy and hope that other people enjoy it as well. “We sound like one giant instrument and together we play it very well,” he said.

Dear Blanca currently has their first two full albums Talker and Pobrecita as well as To Tell A Half Truth and I Don’t Mean To Dwell available on Spotify. Those albums as well as five others are also available on Bandcamp.

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