Dar.Ra has been referred to as a “Rock and Roll diamond in the rough” by the media. Currently, this talented British artist has his eyes on the U.S. market. He talks about this subject and much more in this exclusive interview. Scroll down and learn a bit more about him.
1 — First of all, does your artistic name have a special meaning?
My actual full name is Darragh, an Irish name.
Growing up in England with an Irish name was always a challenge as people could never say it properly or they would knock it because it was different from Jack or John, so I got a lot of stick at school and didn’t really fit in. It did me a favour as I found a friend in Music.
I ended up making it shorter to Dar.Ra to make it easier for people to get their heads around.
2 — At this moment, what stage are you in your music career?
An exciting stage of the journey. Making bigger and better-sounding recordings than ever before. Singing stronger, playing better and writing material that I hear in my head clearer.
I also have an amazing team around me from Harvey Summers who co-produces the releases, to HIP agency in NYC who help get the message out to the good people of America.
3 — We all know you have made a name for yourself in your homeland. Are you currently willing to expand your music into the American market?
America is where its at for most people with ambition. I have always looked at working in the States. I love the way Americans think. They always seem to see the bigger picture and are open to new ideas. That’s why its the biggest country on earth, it sees new ideas and runs with them. A lot of places do not think like that and do not support their homegrown talent, that’s why the biggest ideas find there way across the pond. Like the internet, television, fashion, music.
There has been a feedback loop from the US to the world. Like say Rock n Roll which is an American invention, which the Brits took on and re-shaped it and sold it back with a new package, which the UK did well for a few years. America has the biggest potential because of that openness to new ideas even the reshaping of their own ideas. As long as it carries on doing that it will always be the vanguard. God Bless America for that.
4 — How would you describe the lyrics of your new singles “Heart Shaped Pill” and “Night-Stepper” to someone who hasn’t listened to them yet?
“Heart Shaped Pill” is about redemption from excess. The main character has everything but is living with a hole in his soul, and is crying out for something or someone to show him the way to something more than sex, drugs, and whatever kind of vibe you drop.
“Night-Stepper” is basically about someone who only comes alive at night.
It’s based on the lifestyle of a musician, when you’re touring you sleep a lot of the days away and live your days at night. Its hard to switch to a normal routine when you have lived your life like that. When you get into a relationship with someone who has a day job, they think your from another planet cause your awake all night making music in the studio while they are crashed out. Then you’re saying goodbye when they leave for work in the morning. It’s hard to keep those relationships going when you’re wired up like that.
5 — Do you believe Rock music is still relevant despite the EDM boom in America?
As long as Rock Music can reinvent itself, with vibes like what we’re doing then yes I do believe it will remain relevant. The thing about Rock music is it can take many forms, its organic which means it will always sound fresh, unlike a lot of EDM which let’s be honest has a sell-by date. A live drummer can switch the feel change the tempo, accent the groove, whereas a 909 ain’t going anywhere other than the 4 on the floor.
You put on “Rubber Soul” by The Beatles or “My Generation” by The Who and it will sound fresh to anyone who turns it up loud and allows themselves to go beyond the need to fit in with what everyone else is saying is dope.
The same rule applies for EDM as it does Rock it has to reinvent itself and dare to go to other places otherwise it will eat itself.
6 — Are you interested in experimenting with different styles or genres in the future?
Always experimenting, that’s what we do at Kusha Deep Music which is my label. The sound I create for my releases at the moment is what we are calling Rock Step which is a mixture of Rock music and dance grooves.
I grew up in the Era where House music exploded in England but was aways into the Mod vibe. If you look at a band like the Small Faces they did the same kind of thing but mix guitars with classic RnB. In a track like “Night-Stepper” I was jamming a House music bassline with a distorted electric guitar and that’s how that track was born.
I will finish off this album which will comprise of the Three EPs and some extra remixes and then move on to something else. I am looking to make a more Ambient record with more space and less pace, something that just floats around in the air a bit. Like Sex After Cigarettes who are my favourite band at the moment. They featured on the Killing Eve soundtrack and just knocked me out when I heard them. I thought the singer was a girl, so it blew me away when I found out he was a guy with a beard.
7 — You have recently released two amazing music videos. Which one is your favourite?
That’s like asking a mother who is her favourite child.
I love them both for different reasons.
“Heart Shape Pill” is a search for some kind of meaning in someone’s life who has everything and nothing. It’s the pull to find something that makes your mind ask that eternal question what is this thing we call life really all about. Once you have everything and there is still a void inside you, eventually you have to go deeper into what we are here for. Once you start going deeper and looking at spirituality then the journey begins. The only real freedom in this life we will ever find is through a connection with a higher way of thinking. Going beyond just yourself and what you can have and rising into a place some call the divine. I read the Tibetan Book Of the Dead when I was 16 and it changed the way I looked at things. One of the things that stood out for me was the statement if you limit your material wants you limit your suffering. Basically the less you desire the freer you become. It kind of goes against human nature though and that’s why a lot of people can’t go there, they see having everything is the goal, and to tell them that all they become is slaves to material things makes a lot of humans think you’re mad.
8 — What do you want people to take away from your visuals?
It’s all about going on a journey with the music and films, I love concepts so every song works on a different theme that I think might say something about life as that’s what an artist should do is reflect what they see or hear and put it into some kind of context that might shine a light on a certain situation. I do think its best though to leave people to put their own spin on what its about and get whatever they can out of it. If whatever that makes someone feel something about what they see or hear or moves an emotion inside then its job done.
9 – Are you currently working on new music or planning upcoming live shows?
The Next EP titled ‘New Kinda Normal’ has just been mastered and we are planning some killer new films to go with the two lead tracks “The Beat” and “Diamonds In The Shadows”.
That should be out in Jan 2019 with the next EP in production now. Expect big epic tunes as you heard with ‘Dirty Lil Secrets’.
I am in a constant state of writing and if I’m not writing I’m thinking about what I’m going to write about.
10 — Finally, what’s the best moment you remember in your life as an artist?
Doing this interview with you of course.
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Quickfire Interview With: Naizon
Originally from Brescia, Yassine Mokdad grew up listening to his parents playing the sounds of Barry White, Lionel Richie, Peabo Bryson, and Elvis Presley. Since then Yassine’s fascination with music began, he went on to study vocals and piano before finding himself learning how to produce and DJ.
Representing the Tech House sound, he strives for perfection and the attention to detail, which makes crowds tick. He has taken his sound all over the world in over 300 gigs spanning Thailand, Australia, Switzerland, and Italy. We caught up with Naizon for a quickfire round to find out a little more about the rising star.
1 — Music or acting?
2 — CDJ or vinyl?
3 — Favourite club?
4 — Favourite festival?
6 — Streaming or downloads?
7 — Last album you bought?
Kygo – Cloud Nine.
8 — Dogs or cats?
9 — Favourite food?
10 – Early bird or night owl?
12 – Favourite colour?
13 – Last artist you listen to?
14 – Ibiza or Berlin?
15 – Best gig you’ve played?
16 – Funniest career moment?
I actually fell whilst on stage, most people would be embarrassed but I thought it was hilarious!
17 — Preferred BPM?
18 – Favourite sub-genre?
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Exclusive Interview: Dhyan Talks Debut Album ‘The Sun Never Says’ & More
In our latest interview, the Maryland-based artist, Dhyan talks about his debut 10-track album, ‘The Sun Never Says’. So many emotions, it’s been quite a sonic journey so far. Press play on the album below and dive into our interview to learn more about it. He has revealed a music video is on the way, and more…
1 — Thanks for your time, how long did it take you to produce your new album ‘The Sun Never Says’?
‘The Sun Never Says’ took me about 4 months to fully create it. I put out “Lady In the Shadows” and “Speak of the Devil” as singles a while before tho haha.
2 — So, what was the initial concept for this record?
Initially, I wanted to make the entire album have a darker more mature vibe to follow my two singles. I eventually wanted the project to be more diverse to show I can capture different types of emotions.
3 — In your opinion, which track has the most memorable melody?
I would say “Back in Business” has the most memorable melody while “Lady in the Shadows” has the catchiest beat.
4 — Is the acoustic sound part of your signature style as an artist?
I LOVE THE acoustic sound and incorporating into Pop and Hip-Hop. I usually am not the biggest fan of putting myself in a box for genre but I would say I definitely say the acoustic melodies are part of my sound.
My favorite lyric would probably be “Lookin in the mirror and I see / the person staring in front of me / does he know who he is?” in “Speak of the Devil”.
6 — How many people participated in this project?
Me, the producer, and the two people I collaborated with! And, of course, the people in my life that sometimes spark inspiration. 🙂
7 — What’s one thing you could change about this finished album?
If I could change anything I wish I could have included the Lady in the Shadows Remix I’m currently working on. 😉
9 — What about upcoming music videos?
I definitely have a music video coming soon. I have an insane animated music video coming up for my song “Hypocrites”.
10 — Finally, why people should listen to ‘The Sun Never Says’?
People should listen to this album because it’s a lot about raw emotion and honesty. The project name is inspired by a poem by a Persian poet named Hafiz which discusses loving without expecting anything back. ‘The Sun Never Says’ you owe me. The project was meant to capture feelings like lust, infatuation, curiosity, confusion, harmless fun, impulsiveness, and ends with a message selfless love. I think a lot of people my age would relate to a lot of the songs because of the sheer frustration we all share in this aspect haha. Lastly, I have a diverse variety that could be Pop, RnB, Hip Hop, Latin Trap and more. Hopefully, there’s something for everyone.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With PhiloSofie
PhiloSofie like many new rising artists is making her way into the music industry with a high level of originality. Here she talks to Electro Wow about the early stages of her career, plus, the new single “Go-To”, which is a favorite among her fans. Singing, and songwriting ain’t only a hobby but also her true passion. Learn more below.
1 — First of all, how did you come out with your artist name PhiloSofie? What does it mean to you?
My brother was the one who initially came up with the name and suggested it to me when I was about 15 years old. I was attracted to it because the word ‘philosophy’ itself asks people to look inward towards values and thought. The name ‘PhiloSofie’ captures an ongoing search for wisdom and purpose. My music serves as a vehicle to get me closer to whatever that may be. Songwriting and producing allow me to explore and cross boundaries within myself.
2 — When did you start your music career? Was your family supportive?
I’ve always been writing and making up little songs since I was little, six years old. As I grew older, I would borrow my dad’s work laptop and use Garage Band to make music and then post what I made to SoundCloud. Writing, singing, and producing have always been my passion. Putting the three together into music-making served and continues to serve as an outlet for my emotions as well as a way to tell stories. My family always supported it because they saw how passionate and happy creating made me feel. When “Do My Thing” with Lucian came out, I realized I could do this as a career.
3 — How has your music style changed over time?
My music is constantly evolving and expanding over time. The collaborations allow me to stretch in ways I wouldn’t normally do and put me in genres I wouldn’t normally listen to. This helps inform my own sound as I can take what I like about a particular collaboration and apply it to my own music. No matter how simplistic or sophisticated each song may sound, there is still a dreamy element to my music that is distinctly ‘PhiloSofie.’ No matter how my sound may change, I would like to keep that.
Prince, Prefab Sprout, Stevie Wonder, The Gorillaz (still have the T-shirt from their second album “Demon Days” which is my personal favorite album of theirs), David Bowie, Gene Kelly, Lily Allen, Empire of the Sun, Norah Jones, Queen, Fergie, The Internet.
6 — Let’s start talking about your newest single “Go-To”. What was the inspiration behind its lyrics?
0:12 – 0:35 seconds and the vocal chop that comes after was recorded a year ago. I decided to revisit the project and write additional vocals centered around the ‘you’re my go-to’ line because there is someone in my life who is indeed my ‘go-to’ and who the song is directly inspired by. I wanted to capture the feeling of being in love and being with someone who is your everything. Not everyone is in love, and not everyone wants to be, but I want to be able to create what one may not have in his/her daily life, even if it only lasts for 3 minutes and 31 seconds. If I can do that, then that is a day made in my book.
7 — Are you planning to release a music video in the near future?
Yes. To begin with, a video of me singing with the song playing in the background, I’d like to have some visual so people can see how I move and create. There will definitely be a music video to one of the tunes I’m currently working on. There is a note in my phone that contains a huge list of scene ideas. It is high on the list of priorities to turn these ideas into videos.
A professional music studio offers a creative space that is optimal for collaboration because you can hire an engineer to do the technical work. You can also work just as well on your own or with other musicians in a bedroom. I still use the same midi microphone I used when I was in high school. Owning a preamp and monitoring speakers do really help the production and recording process but these are still tools you can easily put in your bedroom and that you don’t need a studio for. It really depends on how you work. I would love to get inside a studio that has all sorts of gadgets and analog instruments to play with as well as work with an engineer and musical team to produce some insane music.
9 — What equipment or basic tips do you recommend for beginner artists?
Find a DAW that works for you. It is relatively easy to learn the layouts of other DAWs when you have a good understanding of your own. I use Logic pro but would love to learn how to use Ableton as Ableton is a great DAW for live performances. Get yourself a pair of over-ear headphones. These block out most outside noise and keep you in the zone. One of the biggest tips I can give for beginner songwriters that I wish I had listened to time and time again is to be truthful in what you write about. You don’t need to tell the truth, but whatever you’re writing about, let it come from the heart.
I see myself being able to live within my means from the music I create.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With FUREA
The Internet is a magical place where you can discover so many great artists. Such is the case of FUREA, a genuine Electronic Music Producer/Singer from Germany. Electro Wow caught up with him to know all the facts about his latest gem, “This Can’t Be Happening”. A fresh track I’m listening on repeat mode!
1 — Thanks for your time. You have put out a new song called “This Can’t Be Happening”, can you tell us more about the lyrics?
Thank you too! Yes, sure. The lyrics are about the younger generation, my generation and how suppressed we are when it comes to doing things that we love. We fear a lot of things and it is even cool to be negative these days.
2 — What do you expect listeners to take from it?
I want people to understand, that they should believe in themselves because everyone is unique and you can do a lot of beautiful things in this world. It is just a matter of time!
3 — What were the steps you took to produce it?
I was in The Hague in a hotel lobby when I was producing this song. I started with a House song and ended up with an experimental witchy Trance sound like this. I like Trance but I wanted to use my own sounds.
4 — What challenges did you overcome during the production process?
Vocals were pretty much all over the place because I layered them a lot. It worked well though.
Absolutely, I think that it is something different. So yes!
6 — What kind of music did you grow up on?
I always tried to do my own thing with my music so I don’t know if a genre exists for me. My label also focuses on this element, Graycrest wants artists to name their own genres.
7 — Do you draw inspiration from contemporary artists?
Yes, for example, while I was growing up a really big Bring me the Horizon fan. I still am. They still inspire me.
I’m going to dissatisfy people with my answer but I guess I just like nice computers. Otherwise, if I had a retro synth I would use it but I don’t really own one.
9 — What do you like to do when you’re not working in the studio?
I like to be in nature and meditate. Sometimes I go out with certain people I love and care about.
10 — Finally, what made you want to start a career in music?
Everything and especially my perception of happiness. I thought I could be happy if I persuade the right thing in my life. The people who have supported me really increased my courage to do so. Thank you all!
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Quickfire Interview With: Mr Hudson
I had the absolute honour to interview Mr Hudson. The artist who is ahead of his time is back with a futuristic album entitled ‘When The Machine Stops’. This 11-track project is probably his best work to date and it revolves around modern isolation. As a music fan, I wanted to find out the intimate details about his career. Scroll down for more info.
1 – You’ve been Songwriting and Producing since…
I was nine and wrote a song called “Will You Be Mine” always the sensitive soul.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
It’s the closest thing to a religion that I have.
3 – Your sound is…
Sad robot music.
5 – Fans should listen to your new album ‘When The Machine Stops’ because…
It’s the best thing I’ve ever made.
6 – If you want to know who Mr Hudson is, listen to the track…
“There Will Be Tears”.
7 – Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Meeting Elton John on the beach and taking him to the studio to work on MBDTF with Kanye.
8 – Your dream is…
9 – Your next release is called…
“When The Machine Stops”.
Bowie’s “Space Oddity”.
11 – Your favourite venue/club is…
The Greek Theater in L.A.
12 – If you weren’t a Songwriter and Producer you’d probably be…
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I lose my hearing.
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
Sitting on a plane to London.
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