Irish born Darragh J Brady aka Dar.Ra has been in the industry for a while with hits in the UK and Australia, signed to EMI, Festival Records and various dance labels over the years, remixing Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Tears 4 Fears, Savage Garden, and writing for Rachel Brown (Faithless, Groove Armada) plus having music on various Hollywood films like ‘Snakes on Planes’, films starring Hilary Duff on ABC TV, Match Of Day (BBC TV) and US Documentary City Of Hope. He also has a book out called “Road Tales” which has been getting rave reviews and is based on people Dar.Ra met while being the road from the late 1990’s to 2008. The follow up titled ‘The Night that Jimi Died’ will be released spring 2018.
Back on the music side, Dar.Ra has hooked up with successful producer and writer Harvey Summers, who has worked with luminaries such like Paul McCartney, Alabama 3, selling over 2 million albums and runs one of the best studios in the South East Of England.
The two are busy carving out the new album ‘Planet X’ to be released in 208. The album is a unique blend of Rock energy and Soulful melodies crossing boundaries from those genres plus visiting the world of Reggae and Country and World Music soundscapes.
In anticipation of the aforementioned album, Dar.Ra fans can currently savor the 4 track EP “Dirty Lil Secrets”.
The song collection kicks off with the track “Phenomenal”, which is also to appear on the upcoming album. This is rock sophistication with none of the pretentiousness that often steals its soul.
This thing is an adventure, a totally unique experience.
The magic is in the production, every tiny detail comes with its own profound meaning, and just when you’re amazed at how these little things alone are so utterly satisfying, a beautiful unexpected psychedelic melody comes flooding in, asDar.Ra’s vocals take you to a bygone rock era and back.
Let me first confess that this is the first album, actually EP, in this case, by Dar.Ra that I have heard.
I only remember a handful of other albums this year that caused me such a strong impression in their own field of music experimentation. Those albums had the virtue of turning me, after several attentive listenings, into an ardent follower of each group.
It looks as if the same is about to happen here on “Dirty Lil Secrets”. A melting pot of different styles of music both in form as in function. At the same time, the songs are highly melodic, harmonically dense, and catchy, turning them into a part of a rock flavored oeuvre that can appeal to listeners of many musical extractions.
The texture of the sound and the atmosphere of the music is sometimes cinematic in its approach, as Dar.Ra infuses layers of vocals and instrumentation into each cut. The genius of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, came to mind while listening to“Rewind”, “Back To The Brink” and “The Beat”.
I cite this album, not because of any similarities in sound or style, but rather to give readers the parameters within which Dar.Ra’s music should be considered: the brilliant fusion between artistry, musicianship, and pop sensibility.
The songs’ structures are flawless, rock at the core and catchy on the surface, but profound and life-affirming beneath the surface. Dar.Ra is an incredible act to follow as he is always evolving on each song with incredible results. Who knows what he’ll do next!
Heart Shape Pill is in the top 30 Radio 365 USA now!
What are some words you would use to describe 2017 for you and your music? What were some of the highlights? What are you most excited about for 2018?
This year has been challenging to say the least. I lost my brother to cancer which put us all into shock as he was a boxer and was fit all his life. His last words to me was do not sit and wait for things to happen, get out and make it happen. I had been looking for a new direction after a band I was working with split up and was emotionally drained after recording an album with them but not being happy with the sound of it. So I had this record on hold for about 6 months. It was frustrating as I knew I had some great songs. A few days after my brother passed over I met this amazing producer and studio genius called Harvey Summers who kind of restored my faith in what I was doing and we started recording the album.
Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
First musical memory would be buying my first record Gangsters by The Specials. Being a Mod and loving The Jam and 60s Soul Music. Riding scooters and being into the whole lifestyle so Music was massive part of growing up and is still massive in my world. It’s always been a saviour to me when times get challenging. It’s like breathing so it would to live without it would be impossible.
When do you hope to release a new album?
We just put out the first EP Dirty Lil Secrets and the lead single Heart Shape Pill has gone into the top 30 in the US.
We’re still recording the album Planet X should be done by the end of the year. Probably put out two more EPs and then the album next year.
Do you have plans to tour this year? Where can people see you perform next?
Touring only really makes sense if your in the Top Ten and can sell out venues. We’re working on that though and would like to be out on the road next year.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? What musicians would you love to work with in the future?
I love the musicians I am working with who get the concept of what kind of record we’re trying to make. Believe is everything in this game. Some people get me and some sadly don’t. I just love working with cool open-minded people who do not have hidden agendas. Other than that John Lennon and Prince are my go to in times of need artists.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
My subliminal text in my music is about Love, Truth and Honesty. I write from the soul and if you check my work you will find diverse topics from Religion to Social issues to Relationships it’s 360 spectrum whole picture kind of deal with the music.
I just hope people can get some relief and have a moment of peace from the tracks when they tune in. There is so much going on in the world so anything that allows us to take time out from it is important.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves or your music?
I would like to thank your readers for taking the time to tune into what I do. If people want to stay in touch and work with me on future music that I put out connect via Instagram. @dar.ra.brady. I also have two books out about the music industry which you might find of interest on Amazon.