Interview: Dar.Ra

Hello Dar.Ra, and welcome to How have you been?
I’ve been rolling with the punches, coming back with a swing, and letting all comers know we fight this battle till the last bullet. In short I’m good. How are You?

The single, “Rock Steady” comes off the album New Kinda Normal and it certainly has a lot going on, with gigantic guitars and epic drums. Can you tell us more about the song? Where did you record it and who joined you in the studio?
Well let me take you back in time before the days of masks and viral madness. I was in fact seeing some changes coming as the 21st stretched out and yawned its way into our lives. There where many huge earth shaking events mixed with a mad tech revolution and a new sense of nothing really matters as long as we have the digital escape hatch.
I thought we had already entered a ‘New Kinda Normal’ and built the songs around that theme of a post apocalyptic dystopian survival game where the rich played with the poor like pawns. ‘Rock Steady’ came out of that idea that whatever was being thrown at this character, they would be intent on standing strong through the new storm of ever decreasing freedoms. They would take stock of the thread of reality they called their own and drive forward like a last solider on a battlefield driven by the focus of finding their way home.
It’s a theme you will find if you dig deep into those songs questioning everything from loyalty to flags and dogma on ‘Heavier Than Rock N Roll ‘to coping with the dark thoughts that haunt a mind that’s sometimes overwhelmed by thoughts of not fitting into a world driven by greed on the track Lights.
I recorded the whole album in Broadoak Studios in England with an incredibly talented guy called Harvey Summers. We played everything on the record except the drums. We had Gerry Rafferty’s drummer fall in for that duty, and very well he did, if I may say so!

Along with writing and producing music, you’ve also written two books. Tell us about your literary experiences and how it compares with your musical works.
Yes I took some time out again before the ‘New Kinda Of Normal ‘ period and knocked out a couple of books which have had some mightily fine reviews and some happy readers. Road Tales was about being on the road for what seemed like forever living in a state of flux and meeting amazing mind blowing people who all had life changing tales to tell.
From aboriginal faith healers to Guatemalan freedom fighters, to artists and witches. I make no judgment I just tell their stories in the hope that other people will draw some inspiration from it. ‘The Night That Jimi Died’ is about a girl who channels the spirit of Jimi Hendrix and guides her to pull back the curtains of illusion on the fame game and work certain frequencies to heal the world. The kind of kid that would of happened if Jimi had a child with Janis Joplin.

You’ve also had some of your music appear in film, which is a dream for a lot of musicians. Can you tell us how that happened and what it was like?
I live for merging music with film so any time it happens I feel a buzz. The video for ‘Rock Steady’ tells the tale of a New York Werewolf vigilante, while Londinium tales a tale of a London family through the ages and notes how things have changed over two centuries. Snakes on Planes comes to mind and a film starring Hillary Duff that used a track of mine called ‘Haunted Dancehall’. I’ve had a lot of stuff on TV as well used for segments and beds, which again is a buzz.

The video for “Rock Steady” is a small movie in it’s own right, complete with a major twist in the middle. How did you come up with the idea and what was it like filming?
At the time I was looking for telling a story of someone that didn’t fit in with society but wanted to see things change beyond a decaying city of crime and poverty.
I had the idea of a Werewolf who wants to save the city they love but can’t tell anyone even his girlfriend who kicks him out for always staying out at night, it’s a kind of a super natural persons tale.
I had an amazing team in NYC with a friend Brendon McGowan directing it. He also did ‘Night Stepper’, ‘Heart Shaped Pill’ and Diamonds n The Shadows. He is a bit of a special guy, give him a budget and he make the Godfather for you, he is that good.

Circling back to your books, will we ever get to see one of them adapted to the big screen?
I think ‘The Night That Jimi Died’ would make a killer movie, music industry and the supernatural hasn’t really been done. Plus there’s a scene where the main character is in a coma and meets Elvis and John Lennon and all of the great Rock n Roll and Soul masters who are all jamming in a massive room just north of heaven. Even that scene filmed would be one of the coolest rock n roll epic tales ever performed for a cinema audience.

Are there any dream collaborators you’d like to work with?
I would like to make a kick arse Rock n Roll flat out record with Britney Spears, Miley and Billy, have Dave Groll drums Flea on Bass, Tom Morello guitars, maybe an album of Rock versions of 21st hits, but just full ball in your face.

What impact has the pandemic had on your creative projects?
Its made me put out more music. I’ve put out 50 tracks on my label just this year alone. Last year I put out Three EPs plus a Christmas track, and wrote another album. I also did a US online tour and was interviewed countless time for TV and Radio and picked up 100,000 streams for ‘New Kinda Normal’. I started a radio show called the Kusha Deep Radio show broadcast across the USA via BBS Radio in LA.

What’s next for Dar.Ra in 2021 and where can people find out more about you and your music?
There is a new animated film for a track on the current EP Kings N Serfs called ‘Sweet As’ about a guy who is down on his luck and finds a bit of Gold in the River which changes his life. That’s coming out soon, Vol 2 Majestic Retrospectives best of my dance remixes over the past few years and a new EP out this summer tracks are sounding Epic so exited for You to hear that.
I will put out another Christmas EP as well as I like doing tracks with that mid winter lullaby feel.
But as John Lennon once said ‘life has a way of happening when your busy making plans’ so I will just take each day as it comes.
Let me say a Big Thanks and Gratitude to you and your listeners and readers. If you interested in digging deeper please search Dar.Ra or Kusha Deep Music.

Cheers and Stay Loved Up!


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