Growing Up In Public

Ned The Kids Dylan

I’ve lost count of all the pushy parents who have nagged and mithered us at BBC 6 Music over the years to play some selfreleased record by their gifted offspring. Such projects are inevitably driven more by the parents’ dreams and ambitions than by those of the young artists themselves. When it’s mum or dad who’s making the running, we very seldom get to hear the artist’s own authentic voice.

Which is why Ned The Kids Dylan comes as such a breath of fresh air: here is a selfconfident and ambitious musician on the brink of his teens who, you sense, is already very much doing his own thing. With no sense of some parental svengali hovering in the background, we hear and see Ned himself making his own musical journey.

With all due respect to Lou Reed, this is Growing Up In Public with a vengeance – a journey that will be interesting to follow through the inevitable developments of the coming months and years. Ned kindly agreed to write us a guest blog post about making the video for the lead track on his latest EP My Life.

My name is Ned The Kids Dylan and I’m a 12 year-old singer-songwriter who loves nothing more than going around playing gigs and festivals! In fact as I write this I’m on the train to my next gig in Manchester at The Jackalope. I recently just released my brand new EP in all digital stores world wide and to promote it, made my first ever music video!

I thought if I’m going to shoot a video then you need an idea and hopefully, a good one. For me music video’s should help get across the message of the song. My Life is all about living your life, and not sleepwalking through it, as we all so easily can. So I used the video to remind people it’s their life no-one else’s, yes they own it! To do this I got as many people as possible down to the local market square in Northampton and we all walked up the main street in our town, singing, dancing, and shaking maracas!

The biggest worry was getting as enough people down, but I did! I got more than enough! We didn’t have a big budget in fact we didn’t spend any money at all so the next issue was making sure everyone knew the song. However the portable CD player didn’t work on the day and we had to teach to everyone! But they all did great. Finally the last issue we had was making sure the people with cameras didn’t bump into anything as they were walking backwards. But there was no need for a big truck, no! All they needed was for someone to have their hand on their back and walk in front! But in the end I think we portrayed the song very well, I hope you enjoy the video!

Ned The Kids Dylan

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...


  1. Interesting …. There is also another angle about young performers..

    There used to be this young guy on the acoustic scene who was 13. He was playing 4 gigs a week, really big voice and great guitar skills.

    People would say “Did you see that little guy, he could really play”

    Trouble is he very quickly became 15, then 16, then 17 …. Before you could blink, he was just another guy with a guitar.

    But the good news is i looked him up on the good old internet, and he has matured and found his own voice, and own identitiy. And i think thats the key. You’re not going to be the young guy who can really shred forevor.

    I have the feeling that this little chap also has something in there. Lets call it spirit.

    Think he’s going to do just fine


  2. Tom

    I agree Skopje – in a sense Ned’s age is irrelevant – being 12 is just a passing phase for all of us. We all have to start somewhere and most people’s music changes and grows over years of trial and error before they finally settle on their own true musical path. But most people have the luxury of doing this in quiet obscurity before they’re ready to burst fully-formed upon an unsuspecting music scene.

    What’s canny about all this is that by calling himself Ned The Kids Dylan during this early phase of his career, Edward Mansfield (musician) has in fact left himself plenty of room to manoeuvre when he’s older. He’ll be able to strike out in a new musical direction under a fresh name whenever he’s ready to move on. Leaving yourself that kind of creative latitude is pretty smart forward thinking for an artist of any age.

  3. I hope to look forward to the day when Ned (The kids Dylan ) becomes Just ‘Ned’ the accomplished and well rounded artist. I truly hope that the hoards of (non existent. TR!) Svengali’s / Management team / publicists and other interested parties hovering in the background look after his youth and inner well being as well as His and Their professional interests.

    Good on yer Ned, enjoy your success but stay well grounded to learn from it.

    Remember Yoda’s wise words and keep your life in balance dude!

    ‘When busy you are, something else doing, Happens to you, Life Does!’

    Its a merry-go-round & sometimes you get dizzy so take time out!

    Clear enough!

    Honesty with love Ned

    Dan B-) xo

  4. Ned

    Thanks for asking me to do this Tom, also thanks to the kind words and advice in the comments section from Dan B and Skopje!

  5. Awesome! Hats off little fella 😉
    Debs x

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