Dylan Jakobsen knew from a young age he wanted to be a musician. The Seattle native started playing guitar at age eight and was writing songs by the time he was in the seventh grade. The summer before eighth grade, Jakobsen’s parents convinced him to perform at an open mic at their local mall and he never looked back.
“I was one of those kids all through middle school and high school who just wanted to grow up to be a rock star,” he says.
By the time he graduated high school, Jakobsen booked his first tour and found himself on the road regularly much like his songwriting heroes Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp and Bob Seger. He moved to Nashville three years ago and says it was important to be in the city where the music is getting made.
Jakobsen never forgot where he came from and fondly recalls locking himself in the music room of his Seattle home after school where he wrote songs and played guitar. He still handwrites all his songs and has kept a box of lyrics which includes all the songs he’s written since childhood. Current single, “Six,” is one of those songs.
Jakobsen wrote the autobiographical song in 2019 by himself. While the final product is an uplifting tune that tells of his passion for music, “Six” actually started from the disappointment of his previous single “I Am” and its chart standing.
“I was upset because we were pushing a song of mine to radio, ‘I Am,’ and it was in its final push week and it was sitting at No. 16,” Jakobsen recalls. “It was set up to make the top 15 on MusicRow and we were so excited! And then there was one station that dropped the song. We came up six spins short.”
Instead of focusing on the disappointment of his single not hitting the top 15, Jakobsen saw the silver lining. So, he decided to spin the idea of the number ‘six’ into a positive.
“When you’re six years old you feel like you can do anything,” he says. “Then flash forwarding to my 26th year, we were out — me and six of my best buddies — touring the country going 60 miles an hour, 600 miles to go play for caller six on the radio station. You almost get that feeling that you do when you were six years old. You get that feeling of you can take on the world, anything is possible or the magic is there. It completely took a different meaning then.”
The lyric video, out now, includes home videos of Jakobsen around age six playing guitar and singing into a microphone. His parents found the footage, and his team made it into the music video. An extended version is included in the new lyric video, available below.
“Before I even played guitar, I was just sitting there holding the guitar dancing around and singing into this little microphone from one of those toy karaoke machines,” he says. “It’s definitely a special video for me that we were able to put together.”
Jakobsen says the idea to release a video exclusively of clips from his childhood came from his fans. They wanted to see all the home footage, as the initial “Six” video has the singer performing in present day at a theater with video snippets in the background. So, he decided to release that footage as a lyric video giving the song added meaning.
“There’s so many special moments in this song for me,” he says. “If I had to pick one, the first line of the song: ‘When you’re six years old/ You believe everything that you’re told/ Like the moon it follows you/ And you can do anything you want to.’
“That whole phrase is really special to me,” he says. “I remember growing up and I’d be riding in the back seat of my mom’s car. Driving down the road at night she’d be like, ‘Look, Dylan the moon is following you.’ That holds a special place in my heart.”
“Six” is featured on Dylan’s 2021 album, Set Fire to the Night. He says the record as a whole is about taking the darkness from the pandemic, being able to navigate it and seeing the silver lining in it all.
“One of the reasons that we felt ‘Six’ was a great song for this project was because that’s exactly what I did when I was writing it,” he says. “It took a whole new meaning, and it went from this negative scenario, and I was able to flip it into something really incredible.”
Jakobsen has had more time to write during Covid-19 and says he is continuing to spread a message of positivity within his music.
“I was writing to help other people and inspire them, but along the way it’s almost been a form of self-therapy for me,” he says. “We wanted to continue to put out that kind of music and continue on setting fire to the night and having light prevail.”