Hi Darro, tell us about yourself?
My name is Darro, and I am an Asian-American, Pop-Punk and Alternative Rock artist. In 2017, I underwent surgery to remove a Brain Tumor that I didn’t realize was the cause of a lot of hardships that I had been dealing with over several years. When I finally got it removed, I had to start with my musical journey all over again.
What is your songwriting process?
Every song is different, but I almost always write out an instrumental arrangement first, usually stemming from a cool riff or a chord progression I like. Then I try to figure out what that sound ‘feels like’ to me. It could feel like ‘walking in the streets of Boston’ or ‘extremely tired, but I can’t fall asleep’. Once I figure out what the song feels like to me, then I try to put it into words, my songwriting is constantly evolving, and most days, I like to think I’m getting better. After writing the lyrics, it’s just a lot of production and engineering. I’m a huge control freak, so I really fine-tune every single aspect, whether it’s voicing or phrasing of the bass lines, or the positioning of a microphone on the amps.
Tell us about your latest release?
I wrote this song after having my first panic attack in New York City. I had only been in the city for about two months, and I only had two friends in the entire city, and I just had brain surgery like less than six months ago. I definitely moved here way too soon because I was still dealing with PTSD from the whole tumor situation, and it was in the middle of winter.
I was doing something really boring, like walking to the grocery store, and I just remember seeing all of these faces in the street, and no one was looking at me or noticing me, and it just felt like I didn’t exist. And I was really scared because I just left the comfort of my home after the surgery and decided to move to one of the biggest cities in the world, and I felt really small and alone. And then I felt really guilty because my mom wanted me to stay longer, but I was too restless, and now I felt like I needed to prove to her that it was a good decision to come to New York. And I also felt anxious about failing and having gone through all that trauma for nothing. This song sort of encompasses a lot of those feelings for me. I like to describe the track as the feeling of screaming at a wall, but no one is around to hear you.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
I’d like to think that my message is “We are all messed up in our own ways, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional or a little bit of everything. But those experiences are part of the DNA of our personalities, and we are all extremely unique and special. Regardless of what people see or perceive of us from the outside, we should be proud of how far we’ve come in spite of our obstacles, and that’s something to be celebrated.”
Who are your musical influences?
Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Frank Ocean, SZA, Daniel Caesar, Steve Vai, Chon, Intervals, Dream Theater, Maroon 5, and so many more!
Who are your non-musical influences?
Hmmm, I’d say, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Christopher Nolan, and Spider-Man.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
Three years ago we played on a Thursday night in Brooklyn at this venue called The Paper Box and literally like two people showed up. I mean we had been playing out a lot that summer so I think we oversaturated, and it was at the very beginning of us playing out. But that was the best show I think we ever sounded. Everything just sounded perfect, and it’s so sad because only two people got to witness us performing at our best.
What is your funniest gig moment?
There was one show we played where our Drummer’s snare drum fell off from his stand. We went like 16 bars without a snare drum, and he fumbled around during the song to grab it, put it right back on his stand just in time for the chorus. And I never knew it happened until someone showed me right after we finished playing.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
Right now, besides COVID itself, I think it is the fast-changing environment induced by Social Media. Every time a new app or trend takes off, we never know if it’s going to be long-lasting, or only provide 15 minutes of fame. The best example of this is Tik Tok, there have been countless viral videos that have made certain songs a smash hit. The question is whether or not this formula will last, and if it’s a smart idea to jump on the wagon and try the same.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Find the one thing that makes you more excited than anything else, and follow that passion with all of your energy. That’s the only way you will stand out. There’s so much saturation in the market right now, and millions of artists pouring their every ounce of energy into their artistry. Do that, and be patient.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
I hope to release an album at the beginning of 2021, and follow that up with another fully produced music video, and a US tour! I’m super excited for all of the potential shows, and I have a lot of cooking up when the world is ready.
FV Music Blog July 2020
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