INTERVIEW: Living Darian – “The Journey” is a metaphor for “Life”
Written by Staff on 13 September 2022
Living Darian was born & raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He began in music at age 10 by learning the drums. He started writing his own music at 14, recording at 16 and had his own studio at 18. He’s the son of Calvin Goshade who, played guitar with legends such as James Brown & Otis Williams but never really knew his father. Darian’s music started as Hip Hop but has heavy blues and rock influences and he claims he can make any style of music. Listening to his albums, “Whatever It Takes” & “Live For Love” we see why… It’s eclectic and riddled with unexpected twists.
The new album, “The Journey” even has some “Outlaw Country” included in vibe. Darian also plays the guitar and piano, but the most popular aspect of this artist is his voice. He sings and raps; sometimes at the same time. He has an array of talents. The versatile artist has done numerous freelance projects, which have aired on MTV, BET, CBS, FOX and more). He owns a property management & preservation company in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to being the founder of World Wide Radio Airplay, The Empowerment Network, Cincinnati Music Academy and his Indie Record Label, New King Records.
People loved his smash hit party anthem, “Tonight it Goes Down” (2015) (Just shy of Gold) His Single entitled, “One Song” has been aired live in major markets all over the USA W/ interviews on NBC Radio at rush hour and nationally syndicated shows (The Sports Circus). As well as been featured on the world’s biggest Top 20 countdown show, USTop20 which is Syndicated by hundreds of radio stations around the world & received spins on the syndicated Douglas Coleman Show as well as terrestrial FM / AM stations in the U.S. & abroad.
The video has been nominated for Best Social Change Video in the IMA’s. “One Song” was also submitted for a 2020 Grammy He Just released a single called, “Lost In Your Eyes” already being played on 104.7 Kiss FM, in Phoenix, AR where he plans to interview. He’s also picking up momentum on Spotify with over 20,000 streams in it’s first months! It is a single from new album entitled, “The Journey” coming, September 15th. The LP is 13 captivating songs that he says, “will make a great album for a road trip.” Very real & authentic feel but positive in nature.
- When did you first decide or discover that you wanted to take music seriously, and how di that process evolve?
Living Darian: I was 6 years old watching the Grammys in 1981. On my feet, dancing, I watched and studied MJ’s performance of Billie Jean. (The first time he ever moonwalked) I said out loud… “I want to do that when I grow up.” That’s what got me dancing. But I also remember being about 12, watching a video from New Edition called “Word To The Mother”. Which was a montage of huge concerts. I saw the millions of fans and how the music connected with them. For me, it was powerful. I decided that day that I wanted to be able to connect with people like that. I tough I might be able to change the world with music.
- Apart from singing, you play the guitar, piano and drums. Did you have formal training or are you self-taught?
Living Darian: I started Drum lessons after my adoption at 10. I played the snare drum by itself for 4 years until I finally got a drum set. My new family had a piano that I played every day growing up. I never had any training I just made songs up on the fly. My adopted little sister got a guitar and started lessons but it was short lived. When she put the guitar down, I picked it up. No training… I’d just play it.
- Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember, and who are you listening to right now?
Living Darian: My first influences were Prince, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Van Halen, Cinderella, Scorpions, Phil Collins… Then it was TuPac, Scarface, UGK… Gangster rap basically. Then I started listening to old records Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, Muddy Waters and I felt like that a renewed love for music. I’d never heard that stuff before! Now… still, I listen to a lot of old stuff that I didn’t really catch back in the day like the Rolling Stones a lot of classic rock too. Lately, I’ve been Listening to Tesky Bros., Marcus King Band and Leon Bridges. There really isn’t any decent music I don’t enjoy & learn from.
- What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners?
Living Darian: Well before I wrote songs, I wrote poems. I think to relieve some of the pain. Lyrics are a big deal to me. I feel like that’s how we make the connection to a song. The words connect our different experiences and make them feel the same. The emotion of each chord and note, I think, must build that bridge to the lyrics to find their way into the heart of the listener.
- For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style?
Living Darian: I definitely think this is true. It’s how we learn at least that’s how I learned… by doing. I’d play along with the radio when I was a kid. As soon as a commercial came on I’d change the station until I heard another song… Whatever that song was, that’s what I’d play… Whether I liked it or not. I think that’s why my style is so broad and eclectic.
- What is your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try to affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
Living Darian: Musicians by nature are a part of the culture. They actually help shape culture. So we do have a powerful voice. I believe music can define us or change us. It can open hearts or close minds. Music has always been my way of speaking up and speaking out. My song, “One Song” came from the energy of the world at that time and I had to let it out. That song changed everything for me. I saw firsthand that music can change things. My last album, “Live For Love” was focused mainly on the listener. I wanted to help people stay positive and be able to weather any storm. It’s was a motivational album. It’s really awesome to read messages from people telling me how a certain song helped them get through a really hard time… or even just study. That’s why I started writing songs in the first place, really.
- Do you write songs with current musical trends, formulas or listener satisfaction in mind, or do you simply focus on your own personal vision and trust that people will appreciate and vibe with your sound?
Living Darian: I think when I first started, I just tried to do anything that sounded okay. That usually involved doing what other people did. As I matured, I wanted to tell my story and do what I wanted to do. So, now that I’m capable of doing what I can conceive, I still make music as a release but now I do it with the listener in mind. Keeping in mind the responsibility of the emotional outcome for the listener.
- Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a beat, melody or a narrative in your head?
Living Darian: My best music comes from inspiration. That inspiration is what starts every one of my songs. It could be an idea of the entire song, a sample or just a note. So, I start every song from something different. However my process is always the same. I just press record and figure out what I want to play as I play it. Even with vocals, I’ll record a few vocal tracks before I even have lyrics written.
- What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or career so far, and how did you overcome that event?
Living Darian: Well my childhood was painful and lonesome. Filled with going hungry, physical & sexual abuse and having no one that cared. I was truly alone in the world at 4 years old. So, I had to learn to deal with hardship, pain and suffering so young that I got used to it. In turn, I became unshakable. Scared of nothing. However, I still get very nervous and panic before talking during interviews. But it’s that confidence that I can get through anything that’s instilled in me that allows me to get through those things that are really hard.
- On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or career so far?
Living Darian: I think I’m most proud of the family that I’ve created, and through them I have come to understand and experience love. As far as my career goes, my proudest moments were getting word that I was submitted for a Grammy for “One Song” and hearing my music on the radio for the first time. Those were really special moments for me.
- Putting aside any accolades or criticisms that fans, the industry, or the media may afford your persona or music, is there anything about you or your music, you think people may overlook, underestimate or misunderstand at some point?
Living Darian: Pretty much everything! My whole life the people closest to me kind of laughed at the fact I wanted to be a professional recording artist. But, it just made me more determined to succeed. I think they may have overlooked or forgotten the drive that’s been instilled in me. There ain’t no such thing as giving up with me.
- Where did you do most of your recording and production work, and are you also involved in any of those processes?
Living Darian: This album, “The Journey” released (9/15/2022) was written, recorded, mixed, mastered, produced, published and promoted by me. So, I’m involved in every aspect. There have been times when I worked with other producers and had features to encompass a more dynamic sound and broaden horizons. Even just because it’s more fun to play with other people. But I’ve had my own studio since 16 years old, and with the way I put together music it’s always been a benefit to be able to change things anytime or even start completely over whenever I want.
- With social media having a heavy impact on our lives and the entertainment business in general, how do you handle criticism, haters and/or naysayers in general? Is it something you pay attention to, or do you simply ignore?
Living Darian: I pay it no mind. It’s something that just goes with this business.
- With the music industry always changing and evolving, what are the things you like, or do not like about it currently?
Living Darian: I grew up loving Hip Hop but I’ve really become disappointed with rap lately. In fact, this album there’s not one verse I rap. What I do like about the industry now and where it’s headed is that it’s becoming very friendly towards the indie artist. I think that allows younger artists to focus on making music for the listeners instead of music executives.
- Could you tell us something about your latest musical project “The Journey”, and what the highlights are to watch out for?
Living Darian: The title track, I wrote for my kids, specifically my daughter. But with a theme that everyone could appreciate. “The Journey” is a metaphor for “Life” and for me that’s an adventure. So, the whole album is an adventure full of ups and downs.
- Do you have a personal favorite track amongst those on the aforementioned album that has a specific backstory and/or message and meaning very special to you, and why is it so?
Living Darian: I think the song, “Blue Skies” is my favorite. It’s so different from not only my music but most music. It seems very dark at the beginning and moves into place of hope by the end of the tune. It came from personal experiences but all songs do. But this is one I still listen to over and over. I love it. Can’t really pin point why.
- Creative work in a studio environment, or interaction with a live audience? Which of these two options excite you most, and why?
Living Darian: Definitely, the live experience. Because of the connection that is apparent with everyone in the audience and on stage. All those people giving off the same energy, all at one once… That’s something that’s only imagined in a studio.
- Do you have a favorite motto, phrase or piece of advice, you try to live or inspire yourself by?
Living Darian: I talk to myself in my head a lot. I always have. The most common thing I tell myself is, “There’s Nothing you can’t do” I think it’s because I never had anyone to tell me that. But it’s what I believe and it’s how I live. My advice to anyone would be that, we really are powerful beings. We just need push our potential to make it all reality.
- Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfillment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more or different, in the future?
Living Darian: Financially no. But that’s because I’m trying to build exponentially; As big and fast as I can. So everything I make I put back in. Plus a lot more to grow. I do this though, because I get my greatest joy from doing… through making music. It’s deeply satisfying to know that what I’m creating now will be around forever. You can’t put a price on that.
- What do you find most rewarding about what you do? And do you have a specific vision or goal set in your mind that you would like to achieve in the near future?
Living Darian: The most rewarding aspect of being an artist is the ability to be a part of so many people’s lives. Having the privilege of touching their hearts and minds…being privileged enough to be a part of their “Journey”.
Living Darian is accepting bookings @ iAmLivingDarian@gmail.com