Dylan Gardner was born in Aurora, Illinois and raised in Plainfield. He comes from a musical family with his father being the bassist of the 1980s pop group The Kind, as well as owning Naperville Music, a music store in Illinois that sells and rents instruments. His brother Mark Gardner is a drummer who played on Dylan's album Adventures in Real Time. Dylan began by playing the drums, eventually picking up piano and then guitar. He attributes his guitar playing to Jimmy Page and his love for the piano to Ben Folds. Dylan moved to Arizona with his parents in 2010.

After moving to Arizona, Dylan built a recording studio in his bedroom, using his closet as a vocal booth. He purchased a Baldwin piano at a Goodwill store and used equipment such as a laptop, MIDI keyboard, and drum machine to record his music.

Prior to the release of his first full-length album, Dylan paid tribute to The Beatles on the anniversary of their breakup (April 10, 1970). In April 2014 he recorded 15 second clips of Side 2 of Abbey Road and released the clips on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The tribute reached over 6.7 million viewers and was dubbed #DylanBrokeUpTheBeatles.

Dylan released his debut album in 2014 at the age of 17. Titled Adventures in Real Time, the album was compiled from over 100 songs that were written and recorded by Dylan. The album was co-produced by John Dragonetti, mixed by Michael Brauer, and recorded by Dylan in his bedroom. The album was recorded during the summer of 2013 with the final cut worked by Dragonetti for additional input and instrumentation. He released the lead-off track from the album on Spotify in 2014. Titled Let's Get Started, the song reached more than 2.7 million plays.

Dylan also opened for Emily Kinney during her 2015 summer tour, playing 31 concerts in cities throughout the United States. He also performed at SXSW in 2015, and is out touring now.