So Many Questions: Pop singer Darnaa works to surpass the one-hit wonders
I t wasn't too long ago when the thought of a recording artist releasing music without the support of a major label was unheard of. These days, social media has given emerging artists the advantage of cutting out the middle man and removing any obstacles to accessibility. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have proven powerful platforms that provide a direct line between artist and fan.
For indie pop artist Darnaa, that accessibility, coupled with a strong support system and an exhausting amount of work, has proven to be a key to her success. Going it alone, she managed to rank No. 1 in New York and No. 4 in the nation as an “Indie Artist” on ReverbNation, while also opening for the likes of Chris Brown, Travie McCoy, DEV, Lil Debbie, and Sky Blu (LMFAO).
On the heels of hosting a three-day music showcase at SXSW and the release of the infectiously catchy single “Cowgirl,” the days of waiting to catch the eye of a label appear to be long gone.
Question: Given the power of social media these days, is there still a lot of pressure to sign with a label?
Answer: Not really. I'd say it's probably a lot of pressure when it comes to a lot of money involved. But I know that there's, so far, two labels that are interested in putting up a lot of money, and I will probably have to choose, eventually. But there's really not that much pressure because I don't really feel that labels spend money on artists anymore. They did in the beginning and in the early years when you were just ready to get signed.
Q: With the rapid accessibility between artist and fan, is it hard to keep up with the demand?
A: I'd say no, as far as in music, because I like actually singing and I like making new material, especially if it's a catchy song. And there's a lot of stuff that I record, and, then, I'll just leave it alone and keep recording. So, it's not really demanding because I already have it.
As far as looks, that's a whole other thing. If they're going for a certain look, I'd say there's pressure involved. I'm really picky. I have to make sure my body is toned and my face is 100 percent clear and everything. I try to get everything perfect by a certain date and make myself crazy. So, there's a lot of pressure when it comes to that because you want to look your absolute best. People let themselves go, and I am not one of them.
Q: Is there a downside to technology that connects artist and fan so closely?
A: Personally, I like connecting with my fans because even though I've been doing this a little bit — not too long, but I'm still relatively new and a lot of people don't know about me. When fans are interested in my music or writing about me, I like that, because I'm like, “Oh, you really like me?” I like when people are interested and can relate to my music — I love that. I don't mind connecting with my fans on that aspect because a lot of the stuff I have written is personal and from true life events from my childhood and other relationships. And I want to connect with them that way.
As far as directly contacting me, there's a lot of people that would be nasty — and I mean in a sexual way, not rude comments — there's very few, I get maybe one hater out of the bunch. Most of all, I think it's a pleasant surprise. Until I get onstage, that's a whole other thing. I've had people bite me and go crazy on me.
Q: What's the biggest misconception people have about the music industry?
A: I think people think it's easier than what it is. Sometimes it can be, but I think it depends on how you look at it. Some people think, “I can sing,” and they think they're going to get signed just like that. But it's not that easy. You have to have a team and people that support you — investors, great music, don't look trashy, you have to stand out.
And there's another side to it, where, when people look at me, they think that I looked like this all my life and a lot of people come across to me like I'm this huge sex symbol or whatever, and I may look like I have a major attitude. I think they get personalities and the way I look completely out of whack. They think I'm wild, but I'm actually not. So, in a way, it's easy, and in another way, it's really hard. Once you're in the door, you have to keep at it because you'll be gone in a month. You'll get one hit and that's it.