While a four-stoplight upbringing may be enough to keep a person eternally grounded, 10 years in the Hollywood jungle is enough to taint even the purest. Though some might recognize her from many notable television roles, 23-year-old singer/songwriter/producer Dara has always been rooted in her musical upbringing. Hailing from the small town of Denver, North Carolina, Dara moved to LA to pursue an acting career at age 12. Recollecting her unconventional childhood, she explains there were “no hallways or campuses involved”. Forced to grow-up sooner than most, Dara spent much of her tenure in Los Angeles opening her mind to new ideas of the human experience. She was influenced by everything around her, and the near- cinematic experiences of Dara’s real life (for better or worse) fueled her creative experimentation. Determined to continue to carve her own path, Dara continued to work on her music alongside her acting career, in the least ‘Hannah-Montana’ way possible; “People will find out on their own that I’m not part of that machine.”
Soon noticed by well-decorated, 4x Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb (credits including Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, and Chris Stapleton) at age 14, Dara would spend the next 4 years refining on her own before reconnecting with Cobb in 2015 to release her debut EP, Boom. The intersection of Dara’s awing Americana vocals, only comparable to a Lesley Gore or Diane Renay, and the playful, summertime-60’s motif carved by Cobb combined for a mystifying debut. Richly layered and reverb heavy, the project was well-received across the industry, with critic John Apice calling Boom “Refreshing[;] A bold, brave move”.
Touring twice before taking a three year break to develop her sound further, an invigorated Dara returned to the scene in 2018. Taking time away from Hollywood and relocating to Nashville, Dara’s newest art is a culmination of her truest self - “a songwriter’s creation from the ground up”. The icons of her childhood like The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, David Bowie, and The Cure begin to shine through, and the experimental range of her abilities take precedence. With a powerful string of singles in the chamber leading towards the release of a second EP in 2019, Dara’s lead single ‘Liar’ delivers frission inducing vocals two-stepping with a smooth folk-rock melody. While her singles each live in a completely different space, they are connected through story and meaning, after all, it is her story.
Teaming up with some big names to work on her forthcoming studio release, expect a big year from Dara.