When did you discover your interest in music?
- It started pretty early. I've always had music around me. My uncles played instruments and my family has always been interested in music. As long as I can remember, I have been singing, so it started very early, when I was fourteen, I started writing songs as well. I sat in the studio and wrote, both to myself and to a few other projects, says Darin.
Although Darin was firmly determined to keep on with the music, it was his sister who made him realize that he had something special. It was a typical day in 2003, Darin and his sister walked by Sergels Torg in Stockholm. In the square, they had set up a karaoke scene.
- It was 2003, the year before I was on Idol. A stage was set up with a bunch of monitors. It was like four - five people in front of stage and watched on when they sang. My sister, thought that I would go up on stage and sing a song and I did it, without hesitate, says Darin.
The song that he decided to sing was "If I Could Turn Back The Hands Time" by R Kelly. Immediately, people from everywhere started to walk in front of the stage that Darin stood on and sang. Five people were soon a large crowd. It was then he realized that music was his calling.
- It was a full crowd, both up there and down stairs at Sergels Torg. This was something of the sickest that I have been through, Darin remembers.
Tell me about your connection to Michael Jackson and his music.
- I didn't directly fell for him and it wasn't the first artist that I fell for. The thing that made me start to like Michael was probably, his music videos. The visual was so awesome. The music was good as well as a combination of the two things that stuck out, he explains.
Where were you when you found out about his death?
- Yes, I was in France and had just arrived in Paris. Then I got a text message from a friend in Los Angeles, saying that he was dead. I remember that, it felt unreal and the end of a great era.
Darin becomes serious in his voice and says it was a bit unexpected as well as... it was unexpected.
When Darin answers questions about Michael, you can really understand how much influence Michael had on him. You can certainly understand what kind of a role model and the greatness he has been in Darin's life.
Where do you find the inspiration for your music creation? Any particular artist, perhaps?
- There are a lot of them. I am trying not to emulate as much that in that way. The way I usually work with, is that I usually do it with emotion. Not like this is how this song going to sound like this song. You do something your own and starts from scratch. To, then build up and make something of it. I get inspired by songs and other artists, but also the things that I myself have experienced. I think it's best that way. Trying to not only do something but just do something on your own.
How is it to see yourself on television like, when your music videos show up or when you are with in different programs?
- It feels great, he says, and laughs and I can't hold back my laughter either. He says it with a well-being that it feels so genuine and honest at the same time. When we gathered ourselves from a good laugh he continues.
- Of course it feels good. I'm not thinking so much of it all the time, but I think most of what I'm doing right now. I'm not the one who gets #1 and leans back. I really don't take anything for granted. It's important to just do it all the time. But if I look back on it right now, everything that I have been doing and on every album release, it's of course awesome. It's cool that it has worked so good as it's has done. Above all that you got something for all the work that you put down. I'm really grateful, says Darin.
How do you handle your fame now compared to the breakthrough of 2004?
- I was very young when I started and it has been a long time since. It has developed in a different way and I've gotten older. Over time, you become more comfortable in your self too. Of course, I handle it in a much better way today than in the beginning. It was so unexpected that everything would be the way it was, especially the hysterical way. That you would be known in that way. I went into the music and I probably, didn't thought so much on the other part.
Darin thinks back to the time before Idol and how everything just turned over a night. His involvement meant that many began to recognize him as the little cute kid with braces and sang like a godsend. I think you do remember when, Kirsti in the Idol judges got one of hers famous' Halleluja's moments when Darin sang "Good must have spent a little more time on you" by N Sync? Kishti ended his performance by saying: "Good must have spent a little more time on you!"
For some years, Darin was launched in Germany and was there frequently and I'm a little curious to know more about his German visit and it doesn't take long time before I ask the question before he starts to tell.
- "Step Up" was a big club hit, over there and was played a lot in the clubs. "Insanity" was the first single that, went very well for. It was played a lot on the radio and reached the top 10. I toured in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria already during 2007. So I lived also in Berlin for a while. In Germany, it was like starting from `scratch '. No one knew who I was, everything became new again. It was actually nice to do that "race" and to have proof that what I was doing worked out, without a TV program. As long as you have awesome songs, working with the right people and doing awesome performances very well, then it will work out well. It was nice, says Darin.
Your song Homeless, Leona Lewis has done a cover of it. How was this possible?
- It was Simon Cowell who had heard the song and thought the song was really good. He played it for Leona and she thought it was awesome. She wanted to try to record it and it and everything ended up with, that she decided to have it on her album. According to her it was a strong song and, says Darin and adds: - It was so awesome that she did it, but I've never met her in real life.
What do you have as the most big memory during your artistic career?
Darin laughing and for a moment I wonder if that is the question that I asked in some strange way, that makes him laugh. After a while, I understand he laughs at a memory. - It must have been now. When you checking the lists, songs and the interpretations that I have made, it's estimated. I've never had three top 3 songs on iTunes. First, second, third place. It's crazy and it's great to be appreciated in that way. Then I must say that an other moment, was also Break The News Live at Central Station (Stockholm). It was awesome and something I will never forget, he smiles.
Do you have any musical dream you still want to achieve?
- There's a lot I want to achieve. There is always more to do, you can work with more people and write more songs. The writing process is something of the most funniest that I know. The creative part, to sit and experiment with melodies and so on, says Darin.
Do you often sit for yourself when you do it? Or how does it work?
- I like to have producers present because if I come up with an idea then it might be nice to have someone who can directly implement it. I write the most texts and makes melodies, and I produce sometimes as well but I want a producer present, so that we can do it quickly and efficiently, he explains.
If I ask your closest friends, how you are as a person. What answer would we at GAZZ get then?
- They would probably... Oh my - Darin laughs before he continuing. Crazy, no I'm just kidding. Sometimes maybe. Calm but still a little crazy, that is what they would probably say. Pretty helpful too, perhaps? For my nearest I usually, be there for them, anyway. I want them to know that I'm there for them. Oh yeah, I also forgot that they would say, of course, very musical. For it's always what I'm doing, Darin laughs.
What do you become when you go out to the pub?
- I don't just sit in the bar and eat, anyway, Darin laughs. I'm on the dance floor and do my thing! But not overly crazy. I don't become a completely different person. I'm just myself and enjoying. But I like to dance and party like everybody else.
I would like to hang out with Darin an evening at Sture (Stureplan, a night club in Stockholm). The guy is awesome and very good at dancing. I personally believe that when Darin make his moves on the dance floor, it surely becomes the same phenomenon when he went up on stage at Sergels torg and sang karaoke. People would probably just stop for a second and stare! I would had done it, anyway.
Besides the music, what other of interests do you have?
- I like to play sports. It's something I always liked. I still jog a lot. I like swimming and basketball is another favorite.
Did you know... that Darin have an big interest for food, and when he gets the opportunity, then he laws baked salmon (in the oven)!
How was it like to live so close to the other artists during one week when you recorded the program Så mycket bättre?
- There was a lot that was happening in a short time. It was pretty intense. Not much sleep, but we had great fun together, which made it so much easier. The thing I thought about before I went there was, I really hope that I click with them. It would have been hard to hang out with someone that you don't like. The concern dropped immediately when I met them at the airport. It was really fun and a great group to hang out with.
Was it obvious for you to say YES?
- For me it was a direct YES. It was perfect timing. If it had been the year before, I would probably not felt ready for such a thing. It's still a very "open program" (you open yourself, so much more) and I knew it was going to be this kind of thing of the program. The thing that made the timing so good was that there are so many people who still remember me since the breakthrough. And it's not so strange itself, it's the first image that people have of me. But it's nice to show how I am today and what I can do musically. Now I notice that there weren’t so many people who knew about it. It's nice that I have got the chance and show that side of me.
Did you know any of the other artists since before?
- No. I met Linda (Miss Li) once before and just said Heey to each other otherwise we didn't know each other. Magnus and I have been on tour together, but I didn't know him very well. We never talked about our lives and so on.
How does it feel to perform your interpretations especially to artists who actually made the songs once in time?
- You wanted to do it well, of course. For me it was important that the artist would be pleased. Then it was a little more nervous than usual, the normal feeling. The person who made the song, sitting there in front of you and it will be in a different way. You can't compare it with anything else.
Did you got to choose on your own which songs you would sing? - I got the chance to choose my own songs. I guess that I chose the songs that weren’t so obvious and the greatest hits. I chose them as I myself liked the most, which I thought I could do well, he explains.
If you look today at Darin's top interpretations of music lists, so you could fine tune the line and say that Darin did a very good choice, when he chose the songs, right?
Which of the interpretations are you most pleased about?
- It's probably "En apa som liknar dig", he answers quickly.
Darin says that when he found out that Olle would be in the program, he was very happy for that song, "En apa som liknar dig" is a song that is very close to his heart, since long time ago. Darin says he was a little worried about how Olle would liked the song or not, when he made it so different from the original. Darin says he is glad Olle liked the House - version.
Do you think, or do you notice that you have a new audience through your participation in the program?
- Yes, absolutely. It feels like I'm see a new audience who haven't previously knew about me at all. It's incredibly awesome that they are all in different ages, he says.
THE NEW ALBUM EXIT
Last summer I ran into Darin in a studio in Stockholm. Then he worked with his upcoming album. I gets curious and ask him how it was with the material and then about the new album. Darin says that there were many good songs but they were not quite right "Stajl". It was tough to scrap the whole album, but he must feel that he can stand for it to one hundred percent. Today will Darin instead, prepared himself for his new album, Exit, that will be released January 30th.
Why did you decide to call it "Exit"?
- It feels like a new era in some way and Exit explains the whole feeling. That Exit can be the end of something and the beginning of something else. It's always nice to be able to do new things. To not get stuck on one thing. It really feels like that, with my new songs - that I've found something.
How does the new album sound like?
- It's hard to explain. It's RnB/Pop and club. Elements of the guitar which would become too much acoustic without, Darin explains.
Darin tells that he flew to the U.S. to work with songwriters who he wanted to work with, for long. It was a songwriter whose songs he listens to.
- Jim Beanz was the first one I worked with - over there, Timbaland's producer. He has done everything from Justin Timberlake to Nelly Furtado, the whole album. He also did "Gimme More" to Britney. I was in the U.S. a little more than a month and in a month I wrote 25 songs. 10 of these songs will be featured on the new album. "Nobody Knows" is one of them.
How do you have time to write 25 songs in a month?
- When I'm in the studio, I know pretty fast what I want to do for something. I'm a melody guy. It's my thing, I always have a melody in my head, he laughs and tells further. I need to focus on to get the lyrics. The melody comes quite simple. It's also that, I have always had easy for in the studio. I hear the chords, and then usually a melody comes after. Sometimes, the whole song comes right away. When I worked with Sacha Skarbek, he sat down at the piano and I sang a bit of a melody. He took out the chords to the melody I sang, we had the melody and chords to the whole song in only a few minutes.
How could such a typical songwriting day, look like?
- When I was working with Jim then we were pretty fast. He stood and made the beats and I made melodies. Then, we wrote clear everything together. We did everything together. It became six songs in five days, it was really effective, says Darin and smiles.
Are you determined in your way when you make your music. Do you want your music in a certain way?
- Yes, of course. It's still I who will stand there and deliver and stand for the music. It's obvious for me to decide about things, he explains.
Who have you worked with for your new album?
- A lot with Jim Beanz. Then I have worked with Sacha Skarbek, Jackie Boyz who has worked with Madonna and Justin Bieber. It's those three I mostly worked with.
If you had to invite our readers to listen to something special song from Exit that you are particularly pleased with? Which song would it be?
- My personal favorite is "Surrender". It's a pretty nice song. I can recommend two songs, by the way. One is "Surrender" if you like calm songs and deep lyrics. If you want to dance, however, and feel that you want to "freak" out there's a song called "Before I Pass Out". A really great song, which is really nice to hear when you are out.
How would you describe Darin's 2013?
- On fire, Darin laughs, but quickly gather himself and says: No, I'm just kidding. 2013... yeah. I feel really positive for 2013. Very sympathetic and I will go for it, hard as always and do my thing. I hope people appreciate the new songs because that's where my focus is right now.
Will you be releasing something in Swedish?
- It's nothing that I have determined. It's not impossible. Certainly not impossible in the future.
What's the plan for 2013?
- Besides the album, it's touring Sweden that I really look forward to and even some abroad. I will perform at the Cirkus on 17, it will be my first gig in a long time in Stockholm. Then it's Gothenburg on 18 and there I will perform at Trädgår'n. Malmö KB will also get a visit from me, says Darin. (17, 18, 19 April 2013)
Besides working with his music, Darin is working all day long to read email, plan his artistry and arrange his brand.
Why did your car interest become so big? - I've probably got it from my dad. He is also interested. Ever since I was a little boy, I always wanted to get that license. Now that I've got it, I think it is very fun to drive. I have been on many journeys since. Both in Europe and in the U.S.
Do you have any dream car?
- Yes, many. I like a little variety of cars and so forth. The first I had, was an AudiTT. It was nice as my first car.
What is most important for you in life if you had to put something on it, like that?
- Before, it was the most the material things that were important. In recent years I have noticed that the material things aren't as important. It's the small things that make me happy. Things that you enjoy of, you should enjoy it. It's so easy to find anything to complain about, but if you instead look at it and think what's wrong right now, so it's usually not. I believe in positive thinking, and like that and not think that the material stuff makes you happy.
Darin laughs and concludes by saying:
- As long as I have my phone and computer, then everything is fine.
Translated by darinnewz.se