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INTERVIEW: Dar.ra

Hi & welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Buzzing right now! Not due to anything naughty, but just spent some of the best ever creative time working in the studio on follow up material to the ‘Dirty Lil Secrets EP’.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Heart Shaped Pill”?

So that track I wrote for a band I was working with but I couldn’t get the sound I was looking for, which was this Deep Dance Rock crossover vibe. I ended up getting what I heard in my head due to hooking up with one of the best producers in the UK right now, Harvey Summers who once he told me he had worked with Paul McCartney. I was like “right, you’re the One then!”.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Initially it was a kind of ‘You Don’t Need Drugs To Get High’ idea, then it became more of a track about getting into too much indulgence which always gets messy in the end.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

I had the idea of someone with the Midas touch who is a Gatsby type of character ,who has everything but is really looking for something to fill the hole in his soul. It’s ultimately a reflection of the need to find some kind of redemption from the excess’s we all push our fragile frames too.

The single comes off your new EP Dirty Lil Secrets – what’s the story behind the title?

The title is a dig at the fact we all have something to hide, the little things we do not want the world to know – it is also a dig at the politicians who keep us in the dark as too what is really going on.

Were there any secrets that you got to explore on this record?

A lot of this EP is driven by the fact I lost my brother to cancer last year, and his final words to me were ‘Do it Now And Do Not Wait Around For Things to Happen, You Make It Happen’. He was a boxer and worked with Chris Eubank’s trainers, so it was a shock to see someone go so young. Just made me push harder to make the best records and write the best books I can while I can and leave out the doubt that fills my head sometimes.

How was the recording and writing process?

I am not going to lie, this was a tough one to make as I had initially recorded the album with a band which became a headache to manage. It was emotionally draining and with my brother dying as well, I kind of ended up retreating for a while and finished writing my second book ‘The Night The Jimi Died’ – which is about a girl called Kirsty that can channel the spirit of Jimi Hendrix and ends up saving the world from X Factor. It was only after my brother died that I by chance met Harvey Summers who got the vibe straight off the bat, and got me back on track to make the record I had originally heard in my head.

What role does Brighton play in your music?

I have travelled so much and I wrote my first book ‘Road Tales’ about being on the road for long periods of time and meeting people who just did amazing things with their lives. So I am more looking Internationally for inspiration than just my hometown. Brighton’s cool though, don’t get me wrong. I gigged there at the age of 17 playing at the Top Rank Suite supporting massive reggae bands like Misty n Roots and Steel Pulse in the late 80’s so I know this place better than most of these new Sound Boy Hustlers.

What are you biggest influences and how do they affect your writing?

I think what you listen too when you’re growing up affects what you do, and I was listening to a lot of Ska and Reggae as well as classic Rock n Roll from The Beatles, Small Faces, Kinks and Hendrix. So that mixed with the Acid house vibe and a sprinkle of Prince is kind of what bubbles on my speakers when I need a top up of musical tuneage.

Any plans to hit the road?

Bands and touring is a complex deal, and to take it on the road without at least a Top Ten in the country you’re touring is kind of suicide. My next book is about a band on the road that end up killing each other due to the pressure and ego and excess of a lifestyle all cooped up in a bus for a year. Having said that with a Top Ten track in the States, I would be up for it. Heart Shaped Pill is Top 30 at the moment on USA Radio 365 so it could be sooner than you think. It’s an all energy show though and would be worth seeing, as some UK audiences will tell you when I was out warming these tunes up for this album.

What else is happening next in Dar.ra’s world?

So there’s that book out ‘The Night That Jimi Died’ which I’m doing some interviews for and getting the all essential reviews for.  There’s the follow up EP called ‘New Kinda Normal’ ,which honestly is sounding top brass, like probably the best stuff I have done, and got that killer Disco Rock, Giorgio Moroder meets Blondie meets Dar.Ra in the 21st Century deal going on. That should be done by September. There’s some film stuff to do for that as well so we’ll be bashing out story-boards and making something epic. Other than that, just trying to hold on in this mad period of time we are living through, and maybe try to write something to ease the pressure for the good people of this amazing world we share.

Watch the video for the new track on YouTube here now.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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