Sydney’s Dylan Rass proves he’s Australia’s answer to Shawn Mendes at his debut show

Seven years ago, New Zealand-born Sydney-based singer-songwriter Dylan Rass had a goal of going on tour and performing a headline gig in front of a live audience. That’s according to his high school mate and guitarist, James Norcott.

On Saturday night, Rass’ prayers were answered (see the four videos below).

Organised by 5 Seconds of Summer’s original manager Adam Wilkinson (who now works in real estate), Rass, Sydney band Drawing North (Po, Jake Allen, Drew Southwell), and Rass’ mate Norcott performed to a full house for $20 a ticket at The Lair (inside Sydney’s Metro Theatre). 

When I say Rass is Australia’s answer to Shawn Mendes, I’m not joking. This guy can sing – and really well.

Like Mendes, Rass clearly loves his acoustic guitar. But there’s no acoustic faffery from this boy – just original bops and covers.

Rass’ set was a mix of 11 songs, four of which were originals: Where Did You Go, Waves, Move On and You.

Rass stunned me when he said he wrote You the day before the Sydney gig. Like holy crap, how can you be that confident to perform a song you wrote and composed yesterday?!?!!!!

Here’s Rass’ set list:

  1. Youth – Troye Sivan’s (here’s a Rass cover)
  2. (A song I didn’t catch the name of that went something like “Everything’s going to be alright”) – Cover
  3. Where Did You Go – Dylan Rass original
  4. Waves  – Dylan Rass original
  5. Supermarket Flowers – Ed Sheeran  (here’s a Rass cover)
  6. Love Yourself – Justin Bieber (here’s a Rass cover)
  7. Move On – Dylan Rass original
  8. Mercy – Shawn Mendes
  9. Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran (here’s a Rass cover)
  10. You – Dylan Rass original 
  11. Sign of the Times – Harry Styles  (here’s a Rass cover)

Having just turned 19 after returning from a songwriting trip in Sweden, Rass began on Saturday what he is calling his mini “East Coast Australia Headline Tour”. It also comes shortly after he performed some covers and originals at the Bring It On! Festival at NSW’s Fairfield Showground in early April (see an interview he did about that here).

As outlined in an article I wrote about Rass earlier this week, Rass has so far only published one original song online. Called Made for Him, it explores an apparent relationship between a girl and two separate guys. The girl picks one of the guys over another (to pursue a relationship with) while the heartbroken one is left “drowning in pain” from the anguish of the breakup.

The lyrics of Made for Him go like this: “Your heart was meant for him; my heart was meant for you. Yes, our hearts they never knew”. Another line: “Your kisses burn me slow; they cut deep into my soul”

Like all good artists who follow in the footsteps of Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, The Vamps, Troye Sivan, Rass began his music career online. His first posting on YouTube was a cover of 5 Seconds of Summer’s Out Of My Limit. It was published May 6, 2014.

Dylan is the type of artist that sends chills down your spine whenever you hear his voice for the first time or a new song. His songs have meaning and seem like they refer to journeys he’s been through before.

If I had to sum Dylan up, he’d be Shawn Mendes meets Justin Bieber, meets Shakira meets Swedish pop meets Troye Sivan.

Dylan has a big future ahead of him. While he hasn’t been signed yet, he has just returned from a songwriting trip to Sweden where he collaborated with, according to a website plugging one of his gigs, “some of the world’s most prolific writers and producers for his debut release”.

If you live in Melbourne or Brisbane, you can still catch Dylan while he’s on tour. The tour dates are below.

Meanwhile, I recorded some of his originals on my iPhone. See below.

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Saturday May 13th
The Milk Factory, Brisbane U18:
Doors 1pm – 5pm

Saturday May 13th
The Milk Factory, Brisbane 18+:
Doors 7:30pm – 10pm

Saturday May 20th
Wrangler Stuios, Melbourne All Ages:
Doors 2pm – 5pm

Where Did You Go


Move On


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