Dylan Conrique Says Songwriting Helped Her Come into Her Own: 'I Think of Writing Music as Therapy'

·4 min read
Dylan Conrique (2022)
Dylan Conrique (2022)

Lauren Dunn

Dylan Conrique is ready to prove herself as a triple threat.

The singer-songwriter, 18, built a devoted following with acting roles in shows like The Rookie, Henry Danger and Chicken Girls, but has found her footing in the world of music since the release of her debut EP, Baby Blue, in 2020.

Conrique is known for her honest and relatable lyrics, telling PEOPLE she prides herself on crafting tracks that maintain a level of vulnerability. "Over time, I've realized the importance of writing from personal experiences," she explains about her songwriting process, which abides by the mantra of, "You have to live life to be able to write about life... I think of writing music as therapy and it just helped me overall."

Dylan Conrique (2022)
Dylan Conrique (2022)

Lauren Dunn

The California native previously struggled with writer's block and eventually realized how important new experiences and adventures with her friends are to spark creativity. "I get inspiration from my friends, and breakups or friendships that they're going through," she adds. "I kind of just take pieces of that and try to just make something people can relate to."

Transitioning into music was "always the plan" for the rising star, who took singing lessons as a child before moving to Los Angeles with her family to pursue acting roles. But it wasn't until she signed with a label and began writing songs that she realized "this is it, this is for sure what I've always wanted to do my whole life."

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Now Conrique is celebrating the release of her latest single, "i miss you (skin to skin)," a yearning ode to the struggles surrounding one's earliest heartbreaks. "I think everyone has kind of gone through it with friendships, with relationships... there's always a moment where we miss that person and you hate that you miss them," she says about the track, which premiered Friday alongside an angst-filled music video. "This is just all the emotions I've ever felt after a heartbreak put into a song and I just feel like so many other people will relate to it."

Despite a following that now includes over 3 million followers on TikTok and 1.4 million followers on Instagram, Conrique admits she still finds it "crazy" that people are discovering and responding to her music. "I can't really comprehend it," she says about still receiving positive feedback about her earliest attempts at songwriting. "It's insane how people still listen to those songs."

The teen star, who is also a professionally trained dancer, is gearing up for her first tour, including a sold-out stop in London, marking her first time visiting the United Kingdom. And while she couldn't be more "excited" to perform her songs for the first time, she is still feeling "nervous" about making her live debut. "I'm excited to meet everyone and just hang out, vibe to music and scream my songs," she muses about her first live trek.

As she figures out how to balance her growing careers in multiple fields, Conrique commends her family and team for helping her manage everything at such a young age. "I've never had so many people support me at once keeping me going, scheduling and making sure nothing's running into each other," she says.

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Like any teen, the performer enjoys documenting her journey on social media while still retaining a sense of privacy in her life. She reveals that she once felt everything she posted had to be "very filtered" and curated, but has since realized the importance of being honest with her followers.

"I'm a human, people who follow me are humans and they want to see the real me," she says. "I'm very open to talking about everything because I do feel like that it is a good outlet for people and I just want to help people overall."

She confesses that she does keep some things in her life off her grid, but ultimately wants to "be open with people and tell them how I'm feeling" in order to maintain a personal connection with her fans. "If that other person who's watching it behind the other screen is feeling the exact same thing, you want them to know they're not alone," she says. "So I try to be as open as possible."

Conrique is also grateful to have a community of friends like Kenzie Ziegler to help her manage everything going on in her life because they are in similar fields and know what she's going through. "It's fun because me and my friends will show each other our music and just hype each other up," she notes, adding how "healthy" it feels having a cheer squad with her friends. "My best friends are amazing, I love them and they're super supportive, but we also just get to be kids when we hang out, so it's really fun and a really good environment."