Saturday, 19 July 2014

Artist Dar.Ra. Title:Fire Fly

My take on the crap thats happening round the round. As John Lennon Once Just Gimmie Some Truth!

Friday, 18 July 2014

sanctuary vocal edit


I have just done this
new release  for the World Wild Life SOS Fund
and for Raju the Elephant. 
Proceeds to aid other endangered animals

Friday, 2 May 2014

Artist: Dar.Ra Title: Kenetic

Friday, 25 April 2014

Skope Magazine Interview

Skope Magazine Interview
Dar.Ra  Battle Hymns 

Stoli: Where are we talking from today and are you excited that spring/summer is upon us?  

We are deep in the countryside of East Sussex, and you do not know how much I am looking forward to the Summer, and some clear weather, after the wettest winter ever!

Stoli: At what age did you take on the name Dar.Ra and really start to see music as more than just a hobby? 

Ah! Well, I was born with that name but its spelt a bit differently, its an Irish name, but growing up in England was difficult as no one could say it properly. Music was a no brainier for me as my options were to join the army or work in a factory. 
I got signed to EMI when I was 21 and from then on I just kept making music. It was never about money though I just wanted to put out great records. 

Stoli: You are with Kusha Deep Music. How did you hook up with them and how do you both work together to get your music out there?

I set up Kusha Deep Records after I got back from my second tour of Australia in 2003. After the change in the music industry in the late 90's it was becoming harder to get record deals, so instead of waiting around I decided to give a home to all the music I was working with. 

I got a distribution deal in America and started putting out music myself. The first album I put out was a compilation of all the best material I had worked on from 1992-2002, which included big dance tracks by Urban Harmonix ft Rachel Brown from Faithless. 

Stoli: What kind of mood and setting must you be in to write and play music? 

Good question, It needs to be quiet and away from people, I always feel slightly shy of anyone hearing what I'm doing till I'm mastering the tracks, then I'm like, full blast, have a listen to this.
Its a great process to take something from a idea in your head to a fully mastered track.

Stoli: Your new album 'Battle Hymns' is out now. How did you choose the songs from the past 4 years to put on the album? 

I think as an artist your never really happy with what you do and always think you could of done better. I had an album out called Soul Hours in 2009 and liked some of the tracks but felt they could be remastered better. 

I took off the tracks I liked the most and mixed with with tracks from The Now Is Now EP then wrote two new tracks Kenetic and Firefly. I remastered the whole album in my studio and got what you hear.

I never thought I could master my own material, as your taught by major labels that your job is just to write and perform and all the technical stuff is done by engineers, but over the years I have sat in on so many sessions, I just thought, you know what? I could do it better myself. 

Stoli: Why was the title 'Battle Hymns' appropriate name for this collection of music? 

The album title reflects the fact that all these songs are about getting though the pressures that the world throws at you, be it financial, family issues or relationship issues. 

The songs I write are always from some experience so when I listen back to a track like Kenetic I feel the energy of what I was going through. 

Thats mainly about people always putting you down to make themselves feel better about their lives, and the lyric is saying 'Enough Already' I will not let you beat me down anymore.

Stoli: I love the song "Start Again." What is that song about and what inspired you to write the lyrics?

I wrote that in Auckland New Zealand while touring the North Island in 2002
Its about people believing that money will solve all your problems and finding out that the demons in your head will not stop shouting until you dig them out. 

When you finally get free of the things that have been holding you back you can Start Again, fresh. 

Once you have cleared the debris of the past and your mind is clear you can do whatever you choose, theres no limit to what you can achieve with a clear head.

Stoli: What comes first for you, the lyrics or the instrumentals? 

I like to get a storyline first usually and then work the music out, but a lot of the time they come from jamming on the guitar and piano and signing a melody. 

One thing I do not do is start programming beats and bleeps before I have a song to record.

Stoli: If you were to do a music video for 1 song from the album what would that be and what would be the theme? 

I think as Kenetic is the first single it will be that one, although we just shot some footage for a track called Girl Like You. 

Kenetic, is about, not letting peoples jealousy get the better of your plans and dreams. The chorus has the line 'Were Out Of The Shadows On Wings Of Wild Horses, Nothing To Stop Us For Miles'
So it would feature horses galloping on vast beaches in the sun, horses being the symbol of freedom. I love that theme of rising out of the darkness and into the light.

Stoli: You have been in music was before downloads/streaming. Do you prefer the digital music or the physical format with CDs and vinyl?

Mmm! another good question. I will always love vinyl as thats what made me want to get into making music. 
When I signed a deal with Chrysalis Records and walked into the first meeting and saw all those records on the walls from bands like The Specials, Elvis Costello and Blondie, I just thought thats what I want to do is make those 4 minute symphonies. 

The internet has changed the way people feel about music, I do not feel the MP3 has the same impact as a piece of vinyl. Music is more throwaway now. I still produce for Cd and vinyl release, and try to make records in the way they did back in the 60's and 70's with a 21st century buzz about it.

Stoli: Who are two musicians/bands that you listen to and enjoy their music? 

Thats a hard one, if I only have two choices it would always be John Lennon and Otis Reading. 
John Lennon has always been someone that I found the greatest solace in through dark times and good times. 

Otis is someone who just had the best vocal I ever heard, mixed with Booker T + the MGs and you got magic right there.

Stoli: What is coming up for Dar.Ra and where can we follow you online?

At the moment I am writing a book called Road Tales which is about the coolest people I met while on touring for ten years. All the stories have a twist to them and are uplifting tales of inspiration. 

If your feeling like life is all uphill, these people will make you feel you can make it through the hardest times if you have faith in yourself and a higher power.

Also In the middle of that, I am promoting the Battle Hymns album and laying down songs for the next EP which I am hoping will be out before the end of the year.

If you would like to keep up with my adventures tune in via
Thanks Stoli.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Battle Hymns Tales From An Everyday Frontline

Battle Hymns
An album 
by UK writer and musician Dar.Ra

Track by Track guide

Battle Hymns is a collection of songs written by UK writer and musician Dar.Ra , taken from various album and EP releases from the past 4 years. The songs go back further than that and actually chart from 2002 to 2014 making it a best of that period.

If your not fully aquatinted with my work, then you will find a source of music that is rich in text as well as harmony, keeping the spirit of a golden age British and American music alive. 

The tracks as they happen!

The album kicks off with a song from the EP Now Is Now titled You Kill Me written 
in the UK around 2008 and based on the films main female character in the Betty Blue film starring the amazing Beatrice Dalle. It deals with the crazed relationship that keeps on fuelling more unhealthy behaviour, a subject well documented by the psychologists of the world and this tracks serves the same master. The thing about these relationships is that when your in them you know it is wrong, but you cannot help getting caught up in them. Like sinking sand it will keep dragging you back until you either drown or someone saves you.

Start Again is pretty much what it says on the tin, breaking through demons and illusions that ruin your life until someone hopefully can switch a light on an say it is just a dream, nothing to fear, some of us are lucky in life and get the chance to Start
Again, others are not and do not make it through the twists and turns that this journey throws at us. Written in Auckland NZ back in 2002, while touring Down Under, it was a lucrative time for being creative. I had come back to the UK with a bag of tunes for my first debut album Soul Hours and a half written book called Road Tales which is soon to be released.

'Wolverine', written in the UK in a place called Tenterden in Kent while hanging out in 
suburban bliss, where mothers jog in the park with the prams, then rush off in their oversized 4 x 4's to have lunch to talk about how well their husbands are doing in the city. The perfect lifestyle, every thing planned with no room for the unexpected. Mmm! What if you could turn into a wolf or 'Wolverine' and escape the boredom.

'Pressure', follows the lack of being able to escape that easily, although this one was written further back in 2005 and was originally released on the Soul Hours album in 2008. Back in the UK and living with family for a short period was like living in a pressure cooker.  However old you are, families never let you grow up. You are always the  younger sibling or older one and those roles never change. Imagine a Christmas day that goes on for longer than a day, everyone picking apart the holes that made you insecure in the first place, and for some reason you just let it eat you away, until you either crack up, leave or maybe even both.

'Red White And Blue', was written in a basement in Vancouver during the summer of 2007, while flags were flying and boys were dying in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Out on a musical excursion to North America the 'War On Terror' was in full swing, the fear was being sold, and we were buying it in the truck load. Although, while the flags fluttered in the wind, someone was burying their son, brother or daughter, as a result of this new sleeping giant that we had awoken. We all know silently what the history books will write about this new fear of each other.

'Shadow Of The Sun', takes me back to Australia on the 2001-02 run, endless summer and endless adventures, with someone who could take you out of the ordinary world and into the Shadow Of Sun, a place where you could be whoever you wanted to be, and breath the air of freedom away from other people expectations. 
Mixing my favourite flavours and reggae baselines, soulful James Brown drum-lines, rock guitars and soulful vocals is pretty the blue print for everything I do.

I am hoping that this album isn't sounding like a travelog, but I get most of my ideas from being out on the road and the next track on this collection titled 'Girl Like You', was penned while lying on a bed in a hotel room in Venice, smashed on brandy to numb the pain, from having the worst toothache I have ever suffered. Image being stabbed in the face and you'd be close, it was beyond anything I had felt. I just laid on that bed for days after landing, not knowing where I was, watching Italian Music TV and seeing some of the most amazing looking girls in the world. I imagined for moments what it would be like to be, in a girl like that's, world. The lyrics have references to Venice The Bridge Of Sighs and walking down the backstreets in the city of lovers, only this boy doesn't get the girl.  Its a homage to the city of lovers.

Kenetic is one of the most recent tracks, written in the UK while living deep in the countryside of Sussex a last post of sanity, where you can feel what England was like before it went into meltdown and became a clone state of its now overbearing offspring. It sees a changing mindset and landscape, during the economic austerity shakedown. As a result, people have become more aggressive as the survival instincts kick in, and the words 'everyman for himself' ring out from the mouths of the majority. Its about finding a way through this minefield, with like-minded people who still believe in the beauty of life and humanity.

Safe In Your Arms goes back to a trip out to the Island of Majorca in off the coast of Spain in 2007. The island is incredible with its laid-back lifestyle, a writers paradise, as Robert Graves found when he lived in the mountains just north of Palma in a place called Deia. Despite this amazing setting, I was feeling a longing for someone who I was beginning to get close to, that added with the space between us made me feel that longing for home. The song is a depiction of being away from everything that makes you feel safe and secure.

Firefly brings us to the end of this part of the musical journey and takes its light from the stories I have heard about soldiers becoming numb to their experiences in the zone. The very word soldier takes its name from being sold into something that is beyond your control. The game that the elite play with the rest of society to aid their lust for resources and power. The words and lies which are feed through the machine and repeated over and over again until we all become numb to the reality. I felt the need to pay homage to those people who go out to do someone else's dirty work, get used and never thanked beyond a piece of metal hanging round their necks, if they are lucky. I doubt we will ever see peace in our lifetime but I guess we can always pray!

Battle Hymns is out now on Kusha Deep Records and across the digital highway
for more info have a wander over to
Thanks for listening 
Dar.Ra - Battle Hymns, Tales From An Everyday Frontline - Battle Hymns, Tales From An Everyday Frontline

Monday, 3 March 2014

Dar.Ra Discography



Artist:Taste Of Paradise: 
Title: Reach Out 
Label: Chysalis/EMI
Year: 1992  

Artist: Bliss 
Title: New Dawn
Label: 21st Century/Core Records

Artist: Bliss 
Title 2 4 Joy
Label: 21st Century/Core Records

Artist: Ultra Love Machine ft Janet Coffie
Title:Feel Surreal
Label: Sky High Recordings

Artist: Ultra Love Machine ft Sonia Chemarin
Title: SensualWonderland 
Label: Festival Records
Year: 1996

Artist: Ultra Love Machine ft Sonia Chemarin
Title:Pleasure Zone
Label: Mushroom Records
Year: 1997

Artist: Urban Harmonix ft Rachel Brown
Title Pleasure Zone
Label: Sky High Recordings
Year: 1998

Artist: K-Collective
Title: Breathe (Album)
Label Kusha Deep Music
Year: 2002

Artist: Chillium ft Sonia Chemarin
Title: The Mirror
Label Kusha Deep Music
Year: 2002

Artist: Chillum ft Dark Lotus
Title Elevate
Label: Kusha Deep Music
Year: 2002

Artist: Dar.Ra
Title: Haunted Dancehall
Label: Kusha Deep Music

Artist: Dar.Ra
Title Soul Hours (album)
Label: Kusha Deep Music
Year: 2008

Artist: Dar.Ra
Title: Now Is Now EP
Label: Kusha Deep Music
Year: 2009

Artist: KDX 
Title: If I Could Be Your Pill
Label: Kusha Deep Music
Year: 2011

Artist: KDX
Title Transmission EP
Label: Kusha Deep Music

Artist: Dar.Ra 
Title:City Of Hope EP
Label: Kusha Deep Music

Artist: Dar.Ra
Title: Battle Hymns (Album)
Label: Kusha Deep Music
Year: 2014

Act: Frankie Goes To Hollywood/Jon Stevens
Title: Two Tribes
Label: BMG

Act: Tears For Fears
Title: Mad World
Label: Festival Records
Year: 1997

Monday, 10 February 2014

Can Humans Fly!

Can Humans Fly

Like a warrior she stands
on the edge of the white mountain
ready to take to the air, the clear blue winter sky
calls her to take to take flight, and she heeds the call.
Effortlessly her body rolls its first step, the speed of the wind
hits her without mercy, though she knows how to use it to her advantage.

Lifting her wings she glides over the first roll of the mountain peek below
twisting and turning, creating geometric shapes that only the few could experience, know or feel.
The blast of the first full 360 degree turn in the air gives her confidence
to try pushing the boundaries further with the next acrobatic manoeuvre.

The aerial rotations take on an ever more complex visual overload, flipping frontside and back switching directions which move so fast in the air they create a blur to the human eye. 
The tones of the white snow below and the piercing blue sky above give the sky rider the canvass to perform this passionate airborne ballet, which defies time and space.
The movement of the dance increases its pace to perform ever more daring dynamics, inverted rotations bend her body into positions that no ordinary physical body could perform. 

The wind speed becomes more intense as the mountain now drops lower coming closer to the ground level where the grand finally awaited the lucky eyes who could glimpse the bird like gladiator at work.

Perfect mixture of power and beauty she enters her last spin at 180 degrees 
switching back, her wings manoeuvre into a backward flipping, backside spin, rotating into a 540 degree twist, followed by another backflip rotation.
The degree of complexity twists and turns her body like a rodeo rider holding onto nothing but air, and a belief that humans can fly.

written by 
Darragh J Brady
after watching the snowboarding world cup in Russia 2014
I am blow away by those athletes.