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How singer Dylan Reynolds used his musical expression to battle cancer

The mini-doc Just Learning It Somehow focuses on the artist’s resilience.

March 26, 2019

You might not be able to control what happens to you but you can do your best to control how you react to outside forces. Singer and songwriter Dylan Reynolds couldn't have acted more brilliantly under that mantra since last year. Diagnosed with lymphoma on January 29, 2018, Dylan went through a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions but finally landed on a newfound drive to keep creating music and make the best of what potentially would have been his final days.


This new FADER mini-doc Just Learning It Somehow covers Dylan's musical childhood up through his battle against lymphoma. But there are reoccurring themes that go beyond that challenge — specifically his love for music, which became a focus after a concussion while playing football. Even after making a full-time switch to music, he spent two to three years just writing without recording much new material. He further explained over the phone, "I was finding myself under the influence of other creative people around me. I focused more on what I wanted to say as a songwriter."

His childhood was scattered among multiple cities due to the capricious nature of his father's professional career (poetry studying under Allen Ginsberg, advertising, academia). But as he related over the phone, “All my childhood memories took place in Pittsburgh.” It was there that he also met one of his best friends, Malcolm McCormick or, as the rest of the world came to know him, Mac Miller.


Reynolds detailed their first meeting which was a sign of their inevitable tight friendship: "We met at the little league fields in the dugout. I was immediately drawn to him because his face was painted like Spider-Man. He was the most magnetic person I had seen. I was only like six years old but I could tell there was something special about him.”

The video ends with what appears to be his victory over cancer. He's since been attending maintenance therapy treatment to keep it in remission. With that light at the end of the tunnel, his appreciation for music and the little things have never been stronger. Dylan recounted, "I get a little reminder everyday to be grateful more so than an everyday enlightened kind of thing. Little things like to be able to go to a movie without a mask on, take the dog for a walk and feel the sun. There was so much time spent in a sterilized hospital room."

He continued, "For some reason, my music has drawn a certain type of person maybe looking for that [support] in their life. Just giving people a sense of connection and being able to relate to somebody else’s experience like the song 'No Control.'"


For Dylan, music was the one constant in his life.

Watch the full video above and check out upcoming live dates for Dylan Reynolds below.

4/7 Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
4/18 Los Angeles, CA @ The Hotel Cafe

Listen to Dylan Reynold's track "No Control"
How singer Dylan Reynolds used his musical expression to battle cancer