I listen to Johny Dar…
and hear the words he says and, in many ways, he puts me in mind of musical innovators like David Bowie – inventing a new language and taking the listener somewhere intergalactic. Dar reveals the story behind his single, Gigi, and what ‘Alien-Rap’ entails – which musicians have made a big impact on his life.
I learn what we can expect from the album, Dardelica, and when the songwriter will be touring; if he has some favourite albums; why a relocation to L.A. was so pivotal to him; if he has the chance to relax away from music – he ends the interview with a rather stunning track!
Hi, Johny. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been great, actually. I’m working on a new body-art campaign and had some shoots in California this week. It’s a very intimate series that I’m photographing myself, in nature; without a crew - highlighting the strength, beauty; fragility and tenderness of the earth, the feminine and their connection to each other.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m an alien - coming to Earth to deliver a new experience in sound (smiles).
Gigi is your new single. What is the story behind the song?
Gigi is, basically, about that feeling when your body overtakes you and you let go into the sensation of what you are experiencing and lose yourself in it with no inhibitions.
It operates in the ‘Alien-Rap’ realm. Can you talk more about that genre/style and what it entails?
'Alien-Rap' is a new sonic language that I have developed - which I’m now fusing with Electronic Dance music, thanks to my producer, Dan Vinci. It doesn’t really fit into any existing genres except the one we are creating - 'Dardelica'!
Gigi is from the album, Dardelica. What sort of themes and ideas inspired the songs?
I start with the sound - the Alien-Rap – and, from there, the vision for the song unfolds and the theme develops as we write it. I can be quite unpredictable with my process so we don’t have a fixed methodology - that’s how I have learned to create pieces of art that are timeless and not based on any existing formula.
But, Dardelica plays with an alien theme - exploring outer space and journeying into the depths of the universe and parts of the body we don’t usually explore consciously.
You moved to L.A. to study Fashion and then moved into music I believe? Was there an artist/moment that influenced that choice?
I actually moved to L.A. to study Film, but then I got into a motorcycle accident, so I couldn’t go to film-school on my football scholarship - and I ended up going to fashion-school instead. But, now, I am making films anyway! My novel, Darya, is the first part of a trilogy movie that I’m working on...
In terms of influences, I guess you could say that Star Wars is a benchmark for me because I want to bring people the new Star Wars - that is truly futuristic in its conception and production.
How, do you think, fashion and music integrate? Is there a close association?
For me, they are both mediums through which it’s possible to rediscover the potential of our bodies and our experience as human beings - I aim to create fashion and music that empowers the super-self in everybody.
You have collaborated with a series of great artists. What has that taught you about the music industry and, maybe, your own self?
To stay focused on what I am doing and then, when the collaboration is right, it just feels natural. I was never one to imitate but always one to initiate. Then, the rest of the pieces just fall into place.
Did music come into your life early? Which artists caught your ear at a young age?
I was always a big fan of Michael Jackson...
Do you have any gigs lined up? Where are you heading?
We have some gigs lined up - mainly in London and also in Europe, but those are still to be announced, so I can’t share too many details just now. The main thing is that we are working on a live show that incorporates art; technology, costume design and performance to bring people a new evolution of entertainment and sensory experience.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
A lot! I like to aim high...so, in the immediate, to deliver Dardelica live to the people of Earth; to release my new art book, DAR the BOOK 4, and my first novel, Darya.
Those, but there are so many more projects in the pipeline - I had to invent my own time just to keep track!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I have a few - I used to go to a lot of festivals in California and all over the world. You can’t beat that sublime feeling of dancing to great music at sunrise. Although, having said that, that’s exactly what I want to do with Dardelica - top my own and everyone else’s previous peak experiences...
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Never give up.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Other than me? That’s a tough question...can I say Dardelica (smiles)? Honestly, there are a lot of amazing artists out there. But, I try to stay focused on my own thing. That’s the only way to keep breaking through my own limitations to deliver the next groundbreaking expression.
If you had to choose the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Michael Jackson - Thriller
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland
The Doors - The Doors
Because they are all timeless, breakthrough albums that introduced people to new ways of being and seeing the world...
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I like to go to the beach whenever I can - and otherwise - sleeping on the plane!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World
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