‘Delirium’ Explores Dylan Mars’ Struggle With Mental Illness & Gender Identity

Dylan Mars’ underground synth-pop hit ‘Mia’ has recently made waves in the club and gay scenes in New York City. Their follow up is a deeply personal but dance-able disco song entitled ‘Delirium’. The video is a combination of a live television performance with guitarist Matt Ellin and dreamlike visuals they created with several other performers, manifesting the song’s visual element of ‘Delirium’ itself. Both a nostalgic nod to the 80s and a contemporary look at queer culture, Delirium is a unique follow up to Mia, which recently charted on The Deli’s Top 100. Check out the video for ‘Delirium’ below.

Dylan Mars is also a film director, having directed six feature fantasy films, and is currently in production on their seventh. They wrote a children’s book about being non-binary that was nominated for the B’Nai Bris Diverse Minds Award, and is currently starring in and creating music for a new film from Lloyd Kaufman, the director of the Toxic Avenger, entitled “Shakespeare’s Sh*tstorm”.

What influences your sound as an artist?

My sound, especially for this song, was most influenced by Vince Clarke, (of Yazoo, Erasure, and Depeche Mode,) Stock Aitken Waterman, Giorgio Moroder, and Italo Disco acts like Silent Circle and My Mine!

Your latest video ‘Delirium’ is a mash-up of 80’s culture, as well as an ode to the queer world. What influenced the aesthetic for the video?

I wanted the video to look like a television performance from the 1980’s on a European television show, so I actually performed on a television show called The Special Without Brett Davis, got permission to use the footage from the performance, and then augmented the footage with additional images I took of myself and friends in a studio. 

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When was the last time you felt like you were in a moment of delirium?

I’d like to be honest and disclose that I deal with mental illness often. In my late teens I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I was hospitalized the month after this performance and am currently on medication to suppress symptoms of OCD and the severe panic attacks I was having. I experience a delirium so to speak whenever I dissociate, which is often. I am usually able to still function when disassociating, but nothing feels real. That isn’t a beautiful kind of delirium, it’s scary to me. However, I do think there is liberation to being outside of your own body and letting another you take control when you simply cannot handle it anymore. My song is about the delirium I felt from this dissociation as a teenager, having just come out as trans and struggling with mental illness. I am doing much better, especially as I write this. 

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Can you tell us more about the children’s book that you have written about being non-binary?

I wrote a children’s book a few years ago called Sid Doesn’t Feel Like a Boy or a Girl, which is the first children’s book for early education about being non-binary. It’s about a little kid named Sid, who discovers they are non-binary but doesn’t have the right words to describe it. The book was nominated for the B’Nai Bris Diverse Minds Award, and while it is available on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles online, it is also available as a free resource for anyone who wants to print it out – nonbinarybook.blogspot.com 

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Who would you love to collaborate with as an artist?

I’ve directed several feature films in addition to my music and someone I’ve always been dying to work with is Guy Maddin! He is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time; I think his movies are so beautiful. His movie ‘Careful!’ is one of my most favorite films! As a musician, I’ve always dreamed of collaborating with Sparks, which is my favorite band, Vince Clarke, or Giorgio Moroder! Thanks so much for the lovely questions!

Check out Dylan’s adventures on Instagram @dylanmarsgreenberg

Photographer: Bella Moon @moonmedianyc

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