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Dara Blaxx: “It’s a thing of wonder to me how a random idea somewhere in your brain can turn into a tangible thing”

Dara Blaxx is an Afro-soul British Nigerian singer/songwriter who recently put out a tune called ‘In My Cup’ that is sheer auditory pleasure! Encapsulating the alluring chaos and excitement of an overdue night out, Dara invites you into her immersive, flirty, and silky-smooth soundscape.

Intrigued to find out a bit more about this extremely gifted artist, I was stoked when she agreed to an interview! Chatting with us about what success in the industry would look like, who some of her biggest influences are, and what she gets up to on non-music days, please give a big welcome to our new friend Dara Blaxx!

Hello and welcome Dara! I’m super excited to introduce you to our audience! For those who haven’t discovered your musical prowess just yet, who is Dara Blaxx and when did your love affair with music begin?

Hi and thank you for the opportunity to share my music!

Dara Blaxx is a vibe you need to get into 😉. I was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK with my family at a young age. I was exposed to all kinds of music, from the gospel songs on rotation in my dad’s car to discovering this energetic sound called grime and then being enamored by the pure soul of someone like Nina Simone. I’ve had such a fusion of experiences and influences to draw from, all of which have contributed to who I am today.

My love for music started from a young age for sure. I remember being around 10/11 years old and writing a song called ‘Girls v Boys’ (because what else at that age) but I didn’t really connect to music as a creator till I was in my teenage years. I had been in a church choir just as a way to be engaged, but I didn’t really understand what I had till I met other musically inclined people who encouraged me to explore writing and performing. That was when I started to think, “Oh, I actually have a voice, a good one too haha.” Since then it’s been living, loving and exploring my musicality. 

‘In My Cup’ is the first we’ve heard from you since your debut EP ‘Arrhythmia’ was released in 2021. It offers up a different and seriously infectious soundscape compared to your previous releases. What brought about the change in style?

I guess being at a different stage in life. A lot of my releases prior to this year, except ‘Broken Pieces’, have been about love and relationships. Tracks like ‘All Mine’ and ‘Sail Away’ were me fantasizing about the love I thought I wanted. Humans are relational so love/relationships will always be something to write about. Even though it’s relationship-focused, ‘Arrhythmia’ was also kind of the beginning of me expanding my sound/style. There’s such range and versatility on that project which I’m very proud of.

I think I just recently shifted to expressing more about having fun, loving myself and being empowered because that’s the space I’ve grown into. Experimenting with different sounds also pushed me to tap into the feeling of a song and showed me you don’t ALWAYS have to talk about love/heartbreak to evoke feelings. ‘In My Cup’ is me stepping back out saying, “Hey, I’m multifaceted. I want to express all of me”.

With five singles and an EP to your name, I know this is a tough question and possibly like asking you to pick a favourite child. But…Which tune of yours are you most proud of to date, and why? 

Truly a tough question but if I was to pick right now I’d say ‘Boogeyman’ which is a song on the ‘Doingz Eternal’ project by producer Beezyx, who I also worked with on my EP. It’s such a fun, energetic and different song! I remember getting the beat and thinking, “What on earth am I going to do with this?!” and then I did something pretty amazing if I do say so myself. His production has a way of pushing and that’s why we have a lot more songs together. If I could sneak another one in it’d probably be ‘Reflection’. There’s a simplicity and free flow to it that I love. It’s probably the closest thing to a freestyle I’ve done and is a very introspective, honest and special one.

What would “being successful” in the music industry look like to you? And is it something that you think about when creating new music?

When I’m creating I try to let things unfold and flow as freely as possible. In that state, success to me looks like following the feeling and executing what I hear in my head to the best of my abilities. Success for me right now looks like connecting with as many people as possible and building a fanbase that feels as excited about my music and my experiences as I am. As long as I get to do that authentically and sustainably for the rest of my life, that’s a success.

We’re always intrigued by the different approaches that bands and artists turn to in their creative process or processes. Can you tell our readers a bit about yours? How do you take an idea and turn it into a complete song?  

Honestly, it is always a thing of wonder to me how a random flick of an idea somewhere in your brain can turn into a tangible thing that you can share. Usually, when I hear a beat, I’ll just take note of how it makes me feel, sometimes I’ll immediately get a melody or a word that jumps at me. It could be inspired by certain aspects of the song, what the producer has titled it, or what I feel as I’m listening to it. I’ll often wait till I have at least a rough idea of some core ideas and things to say/what direction it’s starting to head in before I start recording vocals. Once I start recording, it’s a process of refining, listening and adding more elements as I’m inspired to. So harmonies and adlibs will usually come after I have a solid section done. Sometimes the idea could have started from what ends up as just an adlib, so it’s always fascinating to see how the journey of a song unfolds. 

In terms of inspiration, you’ve mentioned the likes of Asa, Sade, and Lauryn Hill as being influential on your sound. Is there anybody else that you would credit, or give a shout-out to, for helping shape your overall musical soundscape? Who did you grow up listening to?

Listening to neo-soul, gospel, afro beats, rap, grime and funky house as a teen I think definitely exposed me to not only beautiful melodies and harmonies but also energy, flow and interesting ways to play with words/sounds, which my sound now is reflecting.

Artists like Erykah Badu, Wizkid, Donaeo, and Mali Music are some examples but of course, there are so many more. I grew up in the church so there’s definitely some gospel influence too. I think my tone and general singing style are very soul-based, I mentioned Nina Simone earlier as she sings with a rawness that is so unique and is something to learn from. Being Nigerian I’ve also been influenced by and continue to be inspired by a lot of major artists but also very much a lot of independent artists who have broken through over the last decade as well as emerging artists.

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” What would your life look like without music in it? And what fills your days when you’re not busy creating?

I’m not willing to imagine such a life, no thanks. I like to be alone as much as I go out so if I’m not out at events or meeting up with my friends then I’m in my room listening to music or thinking or sleeping. I like to spend time doing “nothing” a lot. I just feel like we all need “nothing” time. I’m also into perfumes so you might find me crawling the stores/online for new scents and hidden gems. Also, I have a full-time job on the side.

Thanks for chatting with us Dara, it’s been great getting to know you a little better! What comes next for you musically?

I’m going to continue working on rolling out some of the songs in the vault and I’ve got another EP that I hope to release at some point next year. I’m also open to collaborations so if you’re feeling the Blaxx vibe, make sure you reach out! And finally, I’m just enjoying this journey and waiting to see what adventures lie ahead.


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We also write about the music industry, the creative process, and modern culture. We tell stories and occasionally have strong opinions about art.


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