SOMAD Artist Spotlight: Darren Smith


DARREN SMITH is a SOMAD Artist based in Orange, NSW.

Regularly appearing at events and festivals around the region, Darren is a prolific and humble musician influenced by the sound and style of John Mayer, U2, and Keith Urban.

I tend to write material in fits and spurts. Often the motivation is simply stumbling across a guitar riff that I like and matching it up with my little book of lyric ideas I keep handy. I have a great friend who I have co-written lots with in the past. He motivates me with little bits and pieces that he hatches. I tend not to put too much pressure on myself to write new material, inspiration seems to strike just at the right time.


This concept of co-writing or collaborating isn’t a new one, but it is interesting to note how crucial it is to Darren’s songwriting process, especially as a solo artist.

He expands further:

[My] co-writer Philip Burgess lives over in Newcastle. We grew up together, played music together and got ourselves into a fair amount of trouble in school at the time (mostly together). After drifting apart, we reconnected some 20 years later. The music we have written since then forms the basis of a lot of my live material. He has inspired me to write my own songs and develop my own style. He calls it “Dazification”. He doesn’t hold back in letting me know if I over “dazify” a song. Philip is always the first to hear a new idea hatching and steer me in the right direction. I love bouncing ideas around with him.

The fruit of this approach can be heard on Dive into You, a five-song EP released last year.

Darren’s influences can definitely be heard. Amongst the tracks are whispers of the guitar work of Mayer and Urban, the lyrics and themes of Bono, yet all consistent in their ‘dazification’. Upside Down is a slowly building track which acts as an overture, introducing us to Daz’s style and hinting at what is to come. Dive Into You - the title track - is vulnerable, emotional and reflective. It doesn’t try to be bigger than it is, finding a rawness and an honesty in simplicity – there is nothing to hide behind here. City Lights is bright and atmospheric, and a brilliant counterpoint to the melancholy-sounding He Is Home before it.

My advice [for new artists] is to consider your sound and style and simply be confident in it. I don’t regard myself either a great guitarist or vocalist, but I write my songs to work within my skills and range. Once I let go of the feeling that I just was no good at either, I found that I didn’t need to sound like Bono, play like Keith or Instagram like John. Be happy being your unique self.

Follow Daz Music to be among the first to hear his new songs currently being recorded at Dotted Eight Studio in Orange and due to be released in the last quarter of 2019!

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