Interview with inspiring artist Darshae Kiér

We got to chat with the talented singer-songwriter Darshae Kiér around the release of his latest anthem “Activate”.

– Can you share a bit more about your personal journey and how it has influenced your music?
Growing up in foster care was a challenging experience, to say the least. It was a period marked by uncertainty, instability, and a constant longing for a sense of belonging. The lack of a stable family environment and the constant shuffling between different homes had a profound impact on me. I often found solace in music, using it as an escape from the harsh realities of my childhood.
Childhood challenges were not limited to foster care alone. I also experienced bullying during my school years, which left deep emotional scars. Being different from my peers, both in terms of my background and financial circumstances, made me a target for ridicule and isolation.
However, these experiences taught me resilience and the importance of staying true to myself, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Music became my north star during those challenging times. It was a constant source of inspiration and motivation. I poured my emotions, experiences, and dreams into my music. It
became a way for me to express myself and connect with others who might be going through similar struggles.
Rather than allowing my environment, which was riddled with negative outcomes for many people, to define my path, I chose to let my love for music guide me. It became a driving force behind my goals and aspirations. I wanted to use my music to not only tell my story but also to inspire and uplift others who may be facing their own hardships. In essence, my personal journey has been a journey of transformation, and music has been both my refuge and my vehicle for change. It has allowed me to turn adversity into art, and I hope that my music can serve as a source of hope and strength for others who may be facing similar challenges in their lives. Through my music, I aim to convey the message that no matter where you come from or what obstacles you face, you have the power to shape your own destiny and follow your dreams.

– With such a diverse background, from the Marines to pursuing a PhD, how have these experiences shaped your approach to creating music?
My time in the Marines and my experiences in foster care were like the two pivotal chapters in the blueprint of my approach to music. They not only shaped my "no quit" attitude but also paved the path that ultimately led me to pursue my dream of making music. Joining the Marines was a decision born out of necessity and ambition. I came from a background where financial constraints could have easily derailed my dreams of pursuing higher education and a
career in music. The Marines provided me with a structured environment, discipline, and a sense of purpose that I craved. It instilled in me the ethos of never giving up, no matter how tough the situation. The Marines taught me that challenges are opportunities to prove one’s mettle, and this mentality became a cornerstone of my approach to music.
In high school, I was voted “most likely to succeed” which was a small but significant recognition, especially considering my financial limitations at the time. It was a pivotal moment that gave me the determination to overcome those barriers. I knew I had to find a way to make my dreams a reality, and joining the Marines was a strategic choice. It provided me with the opportunity to earn the financial support needed to attend college and pursue my academic aspirations. I saw it as a stepping stone towards attending college and achieving the highest academic degree possible, a PhD. Music was the one constant in my life, the one thing I could
always turn to, no matter the circumstances. It became a way for me to make sense of my experiences, to heal, and to inspire others who might be facing their own trials.
I seek to create stories that draw from my formative years, capturing the struggles, triumphs, and the unwavering spirit of resilience that I’ve learned from both the Marines and my pursuit of higher education. Having achieved a PhD and being a part of the Marines means that I carry the torch for multiple communities. I want to inspire and uplift not only my fellow Marines but also academics, foster kids, and anyone who is striving to find success in life, no matter their background. I want my music to inspire others to pursue their dreams relentlessly, no matter the obstacles they face, and to let them know that success is attainable with dedication and
unwavering determination.

In a way, the blueprint for my approach to music was etched in the crucible of life’s challenges. It was a path that led me away from the easy road of quitting and towards the fulfilling journey of creating music. I realized that my experiences in the Marines and foster care had uniquely equipped me to tell stories, to convey the essence of resilience and hope through my music. It was a calling that I couldn’t ignore, and it continues to be the driving force behind my musical journey – a testament to the power of determination and the transformative nature of music itself.

– Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your latest single, “Activate”?
“Activate” is not just a song; it’s the next chapter in an ongoing musical autobiography. It serves as a vivid scene in a story I have been weaving through my music, drawing from life’s experiences from childhood into adulthood. These experiences, both in my formative years and during my adult life, have left an indelible mark on my songwriting. “Activate” is no exception; it’s a snapshot from what I aptly calls “life stories by Darshae”. The inspiration for “Activate” sprang from the transformation of a shy kid, one who may have felt he lacked the social finesse, into the right guy with the right focus on the right girl. It’s a universal theme – the idea that anyone, regardless of their initial reservations or insecurities, can find themselves in a moment where they become the person they’ve always wanted to be when the right connection is ignited.

“Activate” aims to transcend barriers, especially those related to societal status, and brings to light the deep emotional, physical, and mental crescendos that can occur when two people connect on a profound level. It’s a song that captures the essence of that intense, electrifying attraction that can draw two individuals together, even if it’s just for one unforgettable night.
In essence, “Activate” is a musical revelation of those moments where the world fades away, and two people find themselves in a unique and powerful connection that only they can truly comprehend. It’s a testament to the storytelling prowess of Darshae, who continues to craft songs that resonate with audiences by drawing from the rich tapestry of his own life experiences and emotions. “Activate” is just one more vibrant scene in the captivating narrative of his musical journey.

– What was the creative process like in bringing this particular track to life?
The creative process behind bringing a track like “Activate” to life was an complex and intricate journey, and my experience with this song was no exception. Crafting “Activate” presented its own set of unique challenges, particularly in the context of following up on the success of previous tracks like “Lit” and “Levels”.
One of the key challenges was developing lyrics that could evoke a multisensory experience for the audience – allowing them to see, hear, feel, and do as they connect with the song. It’s about designing a narrative that goes beyond the auditory realm and truly immerses the listener in the story I was trying to convey.
To meet this challenge, I had to design a mood board for “Activate” that struck a delicate balance. It needed to reflect desire without veering into desperation and attraction without becoming overly explicit. This careful curation of emotions and imagery was crucial to creating a song that could resonate with a wide range of listeners while maintaining a sense of sophistication and authenticity.
Unlike previous songs, “Activate” also required the imagination to choreograph the various phases of the song. The goal was to portray a magnetic narrative that left no room for escape, drawing the audience in and keeping them engaged throughout the song.
In essence, the creative process for “Activate” was a meticulous endeavor that demanded careful consideration of lyrics, emotions, and the physicality of performance. The result is a song that invites listeners to immerse themselves fully in the story, feel the magnetic pulls of attraction, and experience the music on a truly multisensory level.

– Having found solace in music during challenging times, do you see your music serving a similar purpose for your listeners?

Absolutely, the connection between an artist’s personal journey and their music often extends to their listeners, and my experience is no exception. Having found solace in music during challenging times, I indeed envision my music serving a similar purpose for his audience.
Music has a unique power to transcend the complexities of life, offering solace and understanding when situations seem incomprehensible. I recognize this transformative quality of music and has made it my goal to harness it to create a platform for underrepresented sectors of society.
My music is designed to provide a stage where the voices of those who have felt marginalized or unheard can rise to the forefront. Not marginalized through oppression, but simply by life’s many tests where the outcome seems bleak. It’s an opportunity for individuals from all walks of life to have their moment beneath the stars, where their stories and experiences can be observed and celebrated.
My decision to pursue excellence in music is not just a personal ambition but also a way to send a powerful message to foster kids, bullied kids, youth, and adults alike. I want them to see that life is a compilation of chapters, each with its unique challenges and triumphs. These chapters, much like the pages of a book, come together to weave the intricate tapestry of life. My ultimate goal is for people to find their own footprints in life’s sand when they listen to my music. I would like my music to resonate with listeners on a deeply personal level, allowing them to see their own struggles, dreams, and victories reflected in the songs. It’s about creating
a connection that transcends the boundaries of age, background, and experience, reminding us all that we are part of a collective human story.

– Do you have any messages or advice for aspiring musicians who might be navigating their own difficult journeys?
Absolutely, I appreciate the opportunity to share some messages and advice for aspiring musicians who might be navigating their own challenging journeys. I hope my insights and experiences offer valuable guidance for those embarking on their musical paths. First and foremost, finding one's identity within the vast sea of music is crucial for long-term success. In a world saturated with artists and genres, it’s essential to carve out a unique niche that sets you apart. This process doesn’t happen overnight; it requires self-discovery and a deep understanding of your artistic vision.
It's also important to recognize that music doesn’t simply find you; you must curate the path to music through your own journey. I would offer, my story is a testament to this. I didn’t let rejection or obstacles deter me; instead, I viewed them as stepping stones on my winding staircase to musical success. Rejection is a part of the journey, not the end of it. I have heard “no” more times than I can count, yet I’m still here, pursuing my dreams with unwavering determination. It’s a powerful reminder that persistence and belief in your own potential can lead to meaningful success in the music industry.

Another piece of advice is to find inspiration within yourself before seeking it from others. Your own experiences, emotions, and life story can be the wellspring of your creativity. Coming to terms with your own narrative, regardless of the stage you’re at, is essential for preparing and navigating your musical journey. Your authenticity and genuine connection to your own story will resonate with your audience.
It’s about finding your unique identity, embracing rejection as a part of the process, drawing inspiration from within, and coming to terms with your own life story. Regardless of where you are on your path, remember that your journey is unique to you, and with dedication and perseverance, you can make your mark in the world of music.

– What’s coming next for you?
What’s next for me is an exhilarating journey that builds upon years of dedication, hard work, and an unrelenting passion for music. Countless hours in the studio, pouring my soul into songwriting, perfecting recordings, and honing my vocals have hopefully brought me closer to the ear scope and eye level of major players in the music industry.
Securing a major record deal has always been a dream. However, until then I will continue to build a mood board to craft and tell the story of a life marked by foster care, orphanhood, poverty, and facing various marginalized tests, all of which never managed to break my spirit.
It’s also about the release of my upcoming single, “Champ”. This song feels like a significant milestone as I approach the midway point on the winding staircase of my life as a musical artist.
The creation of “Champ” has been a labor of love, a result of countless hours spent in the studio, pouring my heart into songwriting, recording, and honing my vocals. It’;s a piece of work that I hope will bring me closer to the ear scope and eye level of major players in the music industry.

One of my most significant aspirations is to take my music to every branch of the military and connect with service members worldwide. I want to show them that no matter the challenges life throws at us, whether on the battlefield or in personal struggles, we can rise to the occasion through sheer willpower, unwavering determination, and relentless dedication. My story serves as a testament to the incredible strength that resides within each of us, waiting to be unlocked.
I’m also eager to seize many more opportunities to share my story and music through platforms like “Music Crowns” I have been provided a medium where I can connect with a diverse audience, and it’s through their support and encouragement that I find the strength to keep pushing forward. I believe that what I have to say, and share will resonate with many who may have yet to find their voice to speak.

In summary, what’s next for me is a continuation of a lifelong mission to inspire, uplift, and connect with others through my music. It’s about reaching new heights in my career while remaining true to my roots and experiences. My ultimate goal is not just to make great music but to be a beacon of hope and determination, showing that even in the face of adversity, we can achieve our dreams through unwavering dedication and an unbreakable spirit.

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