Dario is a glam rocker who just released “Don’t Let Me Go,” a song inspired by his personal experiences coping with a toxic relationship. “Don’t Let Me Go” is the first single from his new “Ascension” LP.
Dario recently discussed the song and L.P. via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get involved with the music industry and how would you describe your sound?
Dario: Since I was a kid, I always knew I wanted a career in music. I immersed myself in everything music and pop culture, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. As a young adult, I tried to get a record deal but no one would sign me. They said I didn’t fit the mold of what a “pop star” should be. My music has always been a fusion of pop, dance, and R&B, and I love to add cultural sounds, but my look is sometimes a hard pill to swallow when it comes to major corporations. I knew that I couldn’t give up, so in 2004 I got four jobs and funded my first official release. I worked my way up from there, and now it’s crazy because some of the people that wouldn’t give me the time of day are calling me for advice.
MM: What experiences led you to write “Don’t Let Me Go” and did the words or melody come to you first?
Dario: I will never forget walking into the studio last year during the making of this album: Everyone was having a great day, and I just wanted to crawl into a hole and fall apart. I told the producer that I wanted to write about a horrible situation I was in, and his response was that he’d already laid down the instrumental for an upbeat song. I remember thinking, “There is no way that I can write an upbeat song right now.” So, he changed the guitar chords and added these dramatic, almost eerie drum sequences, and the melody just came to me. I remember telling him to turn the mic on, that I wanted to try something and get it recorded before I forgot it. I ended up writing the entire first verse in the booth—I think we might have even used that as the original vocal for the final song.
MM: What are some of the warning signs of a toxic relationship that you hope your listeners can be made aware of?
Dario: As cliche as it sounds, I would say always follow your gut. When you notice that the other person cares more about what other people think than how you feel, or you’re constantly doubting what they’re doing because they lie so much… those are big signs. Listen to all of that and stop trying to talk yourself into believing that it’s a phase. Some of us think that we can change someone with time and make them love us, but it doesn’t work like that. If they don’t love and respect you today, they’re not going to love and respect you tomorrow.
MM: What was the process of getting this song radio ready?
Dario: Recording it is just the beginning! After that it goes into mixing, then mastering. Then you sit in a room with 10 to 15 people and you collectively decide which song has the most potential. Then comes the scary part: You run it to some night clubs, test it out on the audience, and just pray that they like it. After that, it goes to radio and you hope that you inspire a feeling in whoever’s listening.
MM: What is it about this song that you think will most appeal to people and why did you choose to make it the first single off of the Ascension LP?
Dario: Everyone has ups and downs in relationships. A lot of us cry and fall apart, and feel like we’re going crazy trying to make something work when—deep down—we know it’s not going to. I’m tired of all these songs about how messed up and broken the other person is. The artist can also be a little messed up and a bit broken. We’re only human, and I wanted to let people know that it’s okay to feel that way—as long as you learn from it. Spiritually, Ascension means stripping away your doubt and insecurity, and becoming the best version of yourself. Releasing “Don’t Let Me Go” to launch Ascension (no pun intended) just made sense.
MM: Are you planning any live performances and/or full-fledged concerts to support the release of Ascension?
Dario: My team in I are actually putting the tour together this very moment. As of yesterday, we’re in talks with the promoter to do 5 countries. Right now, I’m doing promotional performances at night clubs; on June 13th I’m headlining Tigerheat at The Avalon in Hollywood. I can’t wait to go into tour rehearsals and put together an entire show with costumes, set changes, and full production. I’m so excited to make the official announcement and release the tour dates—it’s going to be good. I hope to see you all there!
MM: What do you want fans to know about Ascension? Did you intentionally release it pegged to WorldPride?
Dario: I wish I was that slick! Ascension actually represents the last year and a half of my life. I wanted to put together a collection of songs with a little something for everyone. I’m really honest when I write music, and I try to convey my message without inserting myself too much so that you can make it your own when you hear it. I want fans to listen to this record and know that it’s okay to be mad, emotional, overly confident, secretly insecure, and a bit of mess at times. It’s what helps us grow and learn as human beings.
MM: Is there anything else that you would like to talk about? Feel free to spill your guts!
Dario: I appreciate the opportunity to talk about this record because I’m so proud of it. I have a lot of stuff coming up, too, including the tour and other little surprises. Make sure to follow me on social media to find out what’s going on. Thank you so much for all the love and support!
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