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Interview: Dar.Ra opens up the Blood N Treasure on his much-awaited new EP

With a pure sound and meaningful lyrics abundant in each of his well-crafted tracks, London-based author, music writer, producer and remixer pioneer Dar.Ra kindly opened up his busy schedule to have a quick chat with us. Telling us more about the much-loved new EP Blood N Treasure, stories from the music world, and charting worldwide, he also kindly provides valuable advice for all musicians out there who want to be the best.

Llewelyn: We’re super excited to speak with you Dar.Ra. Firstly, how has your 2023 been so far and please tell our readers what it takes to be a successful musician in this stream-friendly world we live in.

Dar.Ra: The year has been flying by, I get up early, stay creative, try not to react to the global madness and meditate as much as possible. I think being successful in this industry is a measure of how you see success. I’ve been making music since the mid-1980s I got a job as a vocalist in a Reggae band called Bass Culture at 16 and went on the road to avoid working in a factory soldiering PCB boards. I think if you’re still going after that long and you’re still putting out good records then that’s success in my book.

Llewelyn: Secondly, let’s chat about your upcoming EP Blood N Treasure. Where did the process begin and what’s the vision behind the new project?

Dar.Ra: ‘No Time For Tears’ came first I wanted to do an epic ballad which moved around arrangement-wise and ended up with a 7-minute tour de force. It was inspired by the story of the last Russian Tsar and how the love they had for each other couldn’t be stopped by bullets that assassinated them. I believe we go on after this. I have experienced other dimensions through sleep paralysis, I know there is something else beyond this third-dimensional experience we call reality. When you ascend from your body and see yourself asleep you explore what your astral self can do which is beyond the physical experience. It’s happened quite a few times and each time it reminds me we are more than this body or ego or car we drive around in. ‘Cure For Jealousy’ came out of left field I had a jam going in C minor for a while and the lyric came into my head as I felt a pang of jealousy when some guy was chatting to my G friend in a club I was DJ ing at. I was being cool but I could feel that uncomfortable fear someone was trying to move in on my Goddess. I was jamming at home the next day and thought I wonder if there is a ‘Cure For Jealousy’. It’s a hard one to crack however much of a Zen master you think you are, it’s the universe’s way of testing you to say you’re not as cool as you think you are. The thing is when you’re too detached from people and things, the less you care about stuff like that, but when you’re connected to something its easy to get triggered when other people aren’t playing by the same rules. I’m still working on it and unless I go live in a cave and meditate all day and night I’m going to get triggered by people not showing respect for you or the things you care about. It’s hard to get the balance, but that’s why we are here on Earth to work through these things. The remixes for both tracks on the EP are equally awesome, both were done by Sri Lankan-born and based Viduala who also did ‘Lights’ which is one of my favourite tracks I’ve worked on to date and features on the ‘New Kinda Normal’ album.

Llewelyn: You are known worldwide for your music and the much-loved Kusha Deep Radio show. Do you still feel the rush of being on such an incredible show and what do you love most about what you do?

Dar.Ra: I go through stages with all things, sometimes I’m buzzing sometimes I’m chilled about things. I love putting together a killer set, be it Tech House or Reggae, when I hear tracks that take me to that next dimension, I’m diving in the deep end to get things rocking. If you’re happy though I’m happy. I’ve always been a crowd-pleaser when I’m out and about, I just want to see you having the best time of your life. I remember playing Camden Palace London in the 90s with my band Bliss I had a number 1 dance record called ‘New Dawn’ and we had 1500 people all unified and rising up as one, total love mixed with euphoria that’s what it’s always been about for me. It’s more than Music it’s a connection of human energy and when it ignites with Love the place explodes. If you come to a Dar.Ra / Kusha Deep show you’ll get what I mean.

Llewelyn: You’re known as one of the best writers in the game and have penned worldwide hits for various EMI and 21st Century Artists. What do you feel makes a truly great song and do you go into a different zone when writing or does it just flow when you want?

Dar.Ra: I think just being as real with what you’re channelling is key, not getting in the way of inspiration and letting it flow without censoring and editing it before you’ve let it flow out of you. There is this space that we can all go into when we silence our thoughts, it’s in that space where genius lies, where all ideas come from it’s a frequency or a universal matrix of vibrations. All ideas come from that silence. You never solve any challenge by thinking about it, it’s when you turn off from thoughts that the ideas flow. Think of any great idea, Tesla for instance would go into that space and feel the energy grid then find the alternating current for instance that makes your car work. He also understood the power of vibration and how to harness it to create endless energy. You can have anything you want you just need to know how to ask for it.

Llewelyn: Cure For Jealousy certainly has our attention. It’s ridiculously infectious and mega catchy (in a good way). Is this your favourite song off the new project and may you kindly provide the A&R Factory readers with some further insight into this terrific track?

Dar.Ra: It is a cool tune and one which I enjoyed making, once they are out I’m on to the next thing though writing the next thing of hearing a new melody in my head, I do not look back too much once they are mastered. It’s fun though to go back and re-learn how to play them if you have to do it live. Each track brings a new challenge and that’s what keeps me interested in making music. I remember meeting Debbie Harry when I was at Chrysalis and I remembered her Heart of Glass track and how Georgio Morroder, produced it and got vibed up on that live Disco/ Rock feel, and I just went down that road with it. It’s got a lot of flavours on the track which you are not hearing on a lot of tunes out at the moment. It’s real and all played live. I do not rely on loops, auto tune or AI to make music, it’s all 100 organic like a Veggie Stir Fry.

Llewelyn: Do you have any funny or wild stories you’re allowed to share from a past gig or a moment in your career that makes you laugh or cringe a little?

Dar.Ra: I played a gig in Queensland Australia in 2003 and the place had been used as a wake for a person who had died earlier in the afternoon. When we came on the coffin was standing on the side of the stage in the wings but you could see it every time you looked right. We just got on a rocked the place, everyone dancing and going off and the coffin was moving to the vibrations of us playing, I was praying it didn’t fall off the stand and the dude roll out into the crowd. That was a weird one. I wrote a book called ‘Road Tales’ (Darragh J Brady) about being on the road with all the crazy people I met from 1995 to 2007 who all had incredible life-changing experiences. It’s on Amazon and tells you more about that kind of intense but cool moments. It goes from the UK to Australia to America and Central America, worth a go if you’re looking for a good read. My other book is the ‘Night That Jimi Died’ which is about a girl who can channel the Spirit of Jimi Hendrix, she changes the world through using certain types of frequencies that alter people’s DNA in order to awaken them to the great takeover of human freedom from the powers that be. They both have 5-star reviews on Good Reads.

Llewelyn: Lastly, do you have any plans for the rest of 2023 and what exciting projects or shows are scheduled?

Dar.Ra: I’m recording some Audiobooks, producing a new album later this year and looking to leave England for pastures greener setting up a well-being centre which will hold music and yoga and meditation workshops. You will all be welcome!

Check out the video for the lead single Cure For Jealousy on YouTube.

Follow this experienced artist on all his adventures via IG.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Found Myself Again: Jen Eve is beyond couragous on Persistent Flattery

Bravely recording her music despite the ominous ticking clock of osteosarcoma, Jen Eve shows us that music may heal so many wounds on the excellent Persistent Flattery.

Jen Eve aka Jen Eve Taylor is an inspiring, terminally ill, classically trained musician and writer who has tragically been told that she doesn’t have much time left.

My cancer is really rare; 75 per cent of people get misdiagnosed. No one knows about it, and it’s very, very fatal unless you catch it early, which no one ever does because no one knows about it. Any opportunity I have to say, ‘hi, I’m Jen and I have osteosarcoma’ feels worthwhile to raise awareness.” ~ taken from her Islington Tribune article by Izzy Rowley

Performing with outstanding poise and superbly intricate passion, Jen Eve is a true modern day hero who opens up our minds into what is actually possible during this short time on earth.

Persistent Flattery from the hugely determined UK-based musician/writer Jen Eve is such a stunning soundtrack which will take our hearts on a wonderful journey. Sung with true love and gorgeous vocals, this is a lovely release from a brave soul who refused to leave this planet without recording her music.

Inspiring all listeners, we find a single that shows us the resilience needed to be truly remembered.

Hear this fine new single on Spotify. See more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Felix Kay moves on forever from the distant connection with powerful EDM release, ‘Surrender’

Using his financial skills to the max in every facet comprehendible, Felix Kay has dropped a surefire banger that shall slap the sense right back into your face again on ‘Surrender‘.

Felix Kay is a Vancouver, Canada-based indie electronic artist, film producer and writer who just seems to improve after each track.

As a ghostwriter, Felix has helped edit, update and contribute to many manuscripts, teleplays, and screenplays. He has also helped with other early stages of movie and television development.” ~ as per the article on

Slicing the tires without even trying that hard, Felix Kay is in heavy form with a thunderbolt of electricity that might shock your senses awake.

Surrender‘ from Vancouver, Canada-based indie electronic artist, film producer Felix Kay, is a booming experience for anyone who needs a fresh start. After certainly feeling the harrowing climates lately that have burnt a massive gap between two former close companions, this is a striking song for us all.

Packed with a seriously stomping beat, this is a track made with monumental proportions that make force you to rethink everything. Life is all about being happy about the humans you connect with.

Hear this new single on Spotify and see more vibes on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Susan G wants that smell of his cologne all over her body on ‘Could You Be’

Urging her new lover to take her home so that they may share another round and start to move closer as their lips tingle with excitement, Susan G returns with a song so sensual it might cause heart palpitations on ‘Could You Be‘.

Susan Galbraith aka Susan G is a Seattle, USA-based indie-pop artist, lifestyle writer and content creator who makes that finger-clicking music you can’t help but enjoy.

You’ll often find her collaborating on projects with her husband Jake, writing about the harsh realities of trying to get anything done with kids at home, and laughing too loud in public with her ride or die group of friends.” ~ Susan G

With a wonderfully electric atmosphere that has your eyes wide awake as you imagine this drink-filled moment of feeling like you have met the perfect connection for tonight, Susan G is at her imperious best with a saucy new single that will have you grinning broadly with a cheeky wink.

Could You Be‘ from Seattle, USA-based indie-pop artist, lifestyle writer and content creator Susan G, is a stranger-packed story that will steam up the windows as the danger unfolds right before our eyes. With salacious vocals and naughty lyrics that might have you unwrapping this hot picture, this is a single that will warm your whole body as you remember meeting that new lover who took your breath away.

Take another sip with this hot new track on Spotify and see more of this incredible talent via her IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Lost And Found: Auke Hulst swims through the considerable moods of ‘The Inner Sea’

Taken off his brand new 4th album which is due for release on the 22nd December 2021 and is called ‘A Most Present Absence‘, Auke Hulst returns with the voyage-laden and pristine single all about ‘The Inner Sea‘.

Auke Hulst is a multiskilled Dutch indie musician, writer, journalist, and photographer. Recorded in his home studio during the COVID-19 lockdown, this is a deeply crafted single that has this profound creative dreaming vividly about travelling again.

Showing us his creatively thoughtful mind as it gazes longingly through his memories of being free, Auke Hulst delves deeply inside his perspective to open up that road again that he keenly seeks. His style is extremely relaxing to listen to, as it’s so easy to get intertwined into his smooth vocals which are composed with a serene feel to proceedings.

The Inner Sea‘ from the highly imaginative Dutch indie musician, writer, journalist, and photographer Auke Hulst, is a multitude-filled single that has this respected talent in a supremely reflective mood. He flourishes here on this well-constructed single, that embraces the mood of the world right now. We are all a little bit lost and a tad seasick, as we yearn for those calming days when we can travel anywhere we want with no restrictions to worry about.

Hear this peaceful soundtrack on YouTube and see more on his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Been A While: Boston’s Stephen Route returns to the top after dealing with adversity on ‘Up Now’

Taken off his 13-track ‘Being Me‘ album, Stephen Route shows us that he is inclined to see the fruits of his labour flourish on this bass-heavy new single all about steering in a lane others can only dream of on ‘Up Now‘.

Stephen Route is a well-respected Boston, Massachusetts-based indie hip-hop artist, sound engineer, music producer, and writer, who looks at music differently than most. He is a true visionary who loves to assist others with capturing their ideas and following through with the vision presented.

He’s been passionate about music from a young age and believes that the process of creating music should be an honest, inspiring, and most importantly, fun experience.” ~ Stephen Route

Showing us his hardcore bars that throws shade on other small-minded fools who are playing a childish game while you are making boss moves, Stephen Route is at his best on this hungry track that shows us his inner determination that can’t be taught. He was born a winner and flows with much conviction, on an underground beat that seems to suit this message just right.

Up Now‘ from the Boston, Massachusetts-based indie hip-hop artist, writer, sound engineer and music producer Stephen Route, is a statement track about seeing how the world works when you are down and almost out. After having to deal with many things that kicked him to the floor for a while, he has seen how others are begging for money as they see he is doing much better than before. Rapped with a contemplative bite and a look into the future, you feel that this is a multi-talented artist who has discovered so much about himself during a dark time previously.

Life is all about standing up tall when you are winning, as you vow never to go back to those character-testing moments when you doubted yourself to ever succeed.

Hear this new single on Spotify and see more news via his IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

A Dramatic Crescendo Of Enveloping Sonority: Virginia-based composer/pianist Martin Graff takes us places beyond our current mindsets with ‘Sonare’

Taken off his recent eight-track album called ‘Trips for Piano‘, Martin Graff brings us much enlightened peace for our worried souls with a song that will have you feeling purified again with ‘Sonare‘.

Martin Graff is a mightily skilled composer-pianist, illustrator, writer and spoken-word performer, who based in safe and flourishing Arlington, Virginia.

With one of the most impressive chin-beards you will ever see, he uses these superpowers to make the type of music you can just sit back with, and let it lather a web of pureness all over your willing body.

At four, his family inherited an old, anonymous piano, and Marty surged with an uncontainable energy to climb onto the bench and dig his hands into those eight-eight bits of clay, instinctively molding them into little aural landscapes. Crude and square at first; at last, faceted gems after a lifetime of practice, polish, and love.” ~ Martin Graff

With a calming ambiance and featuring a wizard-like level of genius proportions, which certainly has you dazzled and perhaps a tad flustered at times. His remarkable style is truly translucent – as he picks up your bad mood to flip it around – and brings you back into a much happier space in the world, where you may feel so much more satisfied with life.

Making this music is the opposite of death, like the centrifugal force around the sharpest bend of the greatest roller coaster. A re-harmonizing of my most tumultuous internal cacophonies and maybe yours. So, listen up as I bang on this gong from the Gods! As the resonance of these radiant compositions fill your ear and make their way to your heart.” ~ Martin Graff

Sonare‘ from the multi-skilled Virginia-based composer-pianist Martin Graff, is a lovely piece of art from a highly skilled artist who brings so much joy to many. His excellent technique is truly incredible and sadly underrated, as he plays with a true love for what he does. This is a song which will sooth many a soul, and bring you back to a place in time where you feel most content.

The true aim of music is to bring us together and heal the wounds of the past after all.

See this new video and score on YouTube and see more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

My Body Is In Your Head: Russell Leedy (Kings of Carlisle) is getting calls all night with ‘Dirty Little Secret’

After previously performing with his tragically lost best friend Keith who has sadly passed, Russell Leedy (Kings of Carlisle) tells us the story of dealing with someone who can’t get get enough of you with ‘Dirty Little Secret‘.

Russell Leedy is a Pennsylvania-based indie pop solo artist, writer and music producer, who was formally living in California. He performs under the stage name of Kings of Carlisle, and is a well-respected artist who makes music for the love of the art form.

KOC’s style includes, soul, rock, gospel, & country.” ~ Russell Leedy

There is much to like on this new steamy single from a vocalist on the top of his game, as he sings with such strength and electrifying vocals which streams vividly through your perked-up speakers. He is in the mood to wave goodbye to this mysterious lover but sees their miss calls all the time – as he wonders how to end things – with a confident woman who does as she pleases.

Dirty Little Secret‘ from the Pennsylvania-based indie pop artist Russell Leedy (Kings of Carlisle), shows us into the kiss-filled story of being with someone who wants to have you for themselves behind closed doors, when no one else is looking. He is looking for more and wonders why they seem to be so ashamed of being with you, while you are ready to tell the world. Sung with a strong presence from a man who knows what he wants – this is a love struck single full of intrigue and late-night romance you should probably be avoiding – but just can’t get enough of either.

Hear this fine new track on Spotify and see more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

You Want Me To Worship You: Lyon Amor Brave urges all the ladies to trust their intuition on ‘Myself First’

Bringing us a vividly intriguing video that is so compellingly honest, Lyon Amor Brave shows us a self-image and beauty standard track we all need to experience on ‘Myself First‘.

Lyon Amor Brave aka LAB, is a Columbus, Ohio-based indie singer-songwriter, University of Akron graduate, pianist, guitarist and writer.

Myself First” is about self empowerment and self improvement and trusting your own inner voice about the voices in society, the media, school, teachers, even religious voices who pretend to speak for God”. ~ Lyon Amor Brave

With a ravishing rap style, provoking lyrics and a vocalist who tells the truth, we are soaked into a hair-brushing video which shows you how much effort so many put into their looks. Fooled by the false influences on all the different medias who put on a show to lie to millions, this is exactly the opposite of what young and impressionable eyes need to see.

You feel her true intentions come to the fore on this courageous art work – as she leads us into the process which can take many, many hours – and can consume your mind from what is actually the most important thing. Being the real you.

I put on a wolf mask as a visual representative of body dysmorphia, which is something many women struggle with. Many see themselves as ugly duckling when they are in fact swans and this can cause eating disorders.” ~ Lyon Amor Brave

Myself First‘ from the Columbus, Ohio-based indie singer-songwriter and multi-talented musician Lyon Amor Brave, is an inspirational story from a young woman who is expressing herself to the fullest here. She has seen so many young ladies damaging themselves – after getting sucked too deep into the fake social media world – and altering things about them that they don’t need to do. Sung and rapped with a real tender and loving care, this is a totally authentic artist who does what she feels is right to assist others.

Loving yourself and being the best version of you, is the way to that true self-enlightenment after all.

See this new music video on YouTube and see more via her Twitter music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Set You Free: Christian Prior amazes our ears on spacey new single ‘Why Should I Care?’

With a reflective glance up to see this massive planet in its full glory, Christian Prior wonders about the magnitude of everything around us with this superb music video for his latest track which has recently got some well-deserved BBC Introducing love called ‘Why Should I Care?‘.

Christian Prior is a London, England-based indie jazz solo singer-songwriter, keyboardist, writer and music producer, who was born in a small town in the North. He has a vivid imagination which is always looking at what is possible, as he expresses himself through a wonderful array of dazzling music creations, which are certainly satisfyingly progressive.

Christian’s music brings together his love for jazz, rock, classical music, electronica, as well as traditional music from across the globe.” ~ Christian Prior

You sense that he is always looking for something new to bring into his music as he strays away from the boring norm, as a blend of contemplative thoughts come crashing into your fragile mind during this exciting new single. Each second feels like it is truly special and the old school video only adds to the nostalgic effect of imagination, which we all have hidden somewhere inside us.

Christian grew up in a tiny, remote village on the beautifully bleak moors of the North of England. Without much to do and nowhere to go, music became his companion and escape. His days became filled with it: writing songs, playing piano, singing, and listening to as much music as he could.” ~ Christian Prior

Why Should I Care?‘ by the London-based indie jazz artist Christian Prior, is a stunning track that has you thinking about everything around us. Made with a deep look up to our whole world which in turn has your mind alive with the power and possibilities we have in our fingertips, this is a song to feel inspired by. With vocals that has you feeling that you can indeed achieve something special if you put your mind in the right process, you might feel a different perspective after viewing this music video experience.

See this planet gazing new music video on YouTube and see more on his IG channel.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen