Interview: Daarinah talks her hip-hop start and more
Daarinah is not your typical hip-hop artist.
Being a female MC from South Jersey, Daarinah brings an alternate perspective to the hip-hop world that many male artists are incapable of doing. Along with being a fiery rapper, Daarinah also brings the singing to the table, making for a distinct style that ultimately glorifies the Lord.
Rapzilla: What sparked your interest with hip hop?
Daarinah: I’ve always been very musical, and I was actually a band geek, honestly. However, there came a point when I began to be obsessed with Rap City and Yo! MTV Raps. Over time, I became a hip-hop head.
RZ: Who are your influences spiritually and musically?
D: Spiritually, I try to stay surrounded by folks who will continually encourage me spiritually, such as my pastor. I also keep really dope friends around who are grounded in the Lord and the word. I’ll also listen to a variety of messages from people like Jonathan Suber or Bishop Tudor Bismark. Musically, I like all kinds of music from hip hop, to alternative, to pop. I just like good music all around, and I don’t just stick to one artist or genre.
RZ: Did you always know you could rap?
D: It was actually a random discovery. I was performing a spoken-word poem and someone approached me later on to tell me that they thought that I had a “flow” and that I should try rapping. After that, I went and recorded my first track and I was like “Yo, this sounds kind of good,” and, from there, I kept writing and recording, and now I’m a rapper.
RZ: How does it feel to be a female in a predominately male genre?
D: It has pros and cons. People don’t look at you the same way they look at a male rapper. You have to work three times harder because people are going to automatically discount you because you’re a female. However, I know that the gift God has given me is for somebody, so I remain confident in God and keep pushing.
RZ: Do you feel like you have an added pressure to be an example for girls and address certain topics?
D: I don’t see it as pressure but rather as an opportunity. I like being able to talk about what it feels like to be brokenhearted, be a victim of domestic violence and all the different things that women go through from a woman’s perspective. Some people need to know that they’re not alone and as a woman in hip hop. I see it as the perfect platform.
RZ: Do you ever listen to your own songs and begin to feel conviction?
D: Yes! For example, I listened to one of my songs, “The Cure,” and began to cry. “The Cure” is about how even in the midst of all of your problems, Jesus is still the cure. I feel like my music ministers to me, allowing me to minister to others.
RZ: What does the writing process look like for you?
D: I usually sit in silence or take a walk through nature. I reflect a lot and try to be as real as possible in order to connect to my audience.
RZ: Any upcoming projects?
D: Yes, I have a music video that’s dropping titled “In My Heart.” I also have an EP coming out called Pros and Cons.