We had the good fortune of connecting with Darro Chea and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Darro, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’ve always thought that most big wins in life are not gained without risking something in return. Being an artist inherently involves taking on risk.

The obvious risk is monetary; spending money on production, marketing, touring and promotion. Of course there is way more to it than that. When you write and release music, you’re displaying an extremely vulnerable side of yourself and you risk the emotional trauma that comes with it. What if they hate my music? What if I’m not good enough? What if I’m disappointed?

I spent a lot of time in therapy trying to understand my own thought process and how I take risks. One of the biggest takeaways for me is that there are very few decisions that you make that will completely change the trajectory of your life. And even more importantly, there are very few situations that don’t allow you the option to change your mind. You can say yes to a gig one day, but realize it’s not for you and say no the next day. You’re allowed to do that.

I think about risks in the same manner, there have been few risks in my career that are so rigid that I can’t change my mind. As a result, I take plenty of risks. Some don’t pan out and I learn from them, but others work out and help my career move forward. At the end of the day, there have been almost no risks that I regret taking.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always had a passion for making music. It’s hard to explain but everything I do in my life is in someway shape or form fueled by my desire to write and play music.

We grew up poor (still am but a different kind of poor), and I was never granted the privilege to take music lessons or anything of the sort. I spent the first 4 years of my guitar playing learning by ear. When I was finally old enough to get a job and pay for my own guitar lessons, I realized how drastically behind I was compared to other musicians. However this only fueled my desire to get better. I started practicing 6-8 hours a day to “catch up” and audition for music school.

I went through the higher education system learning music performance and production. However towards the end of my studies, I found out that I had a brain tumor that had been affecting me for years. I always knew something was wrong but doctors could never determine what.

After I graduated from college, I underwent brain surgery to remove the tumor. This put me out of musical commission for months as I was recovering; I even had to relearn how to sing after the surgery.

After that surviving that ordeal I realized that if a brain tumor couldn’t stop me from making music, nothing would. I use this motivation everyday to get through whatever mundane thing life throws at you. At the end of the day, for me it’s all about music.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh gosh, I only just moved to LA from NYC, so I’m a freshly uprooted transplant. However with my very limited time being here, this is what I would plan:

-Brunch at Met Her at a Bar (get the Crispy French Toast or Fried Chicken and Waffles), this is my partner’s favorite spot in the whole city
-Wander through the new Amoeba Record store (I don’t even have a record player I just like this place)
-Stop at a street taco truck for a snack (literally anywhere, it’s all good)
-Chili Mango from a street cart vendor by the Santa Monica pier
-A GIANT MOVIE at the TCL Chinese Theater
-And catching a performance at The Silverlake Lounge

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that I have to thank for various things:

My mom for always (begrudgingly) supporting my dream.

Tyler Chronister, my best friend and bassist, for so many things that I literally cannot count.

Simon Tam for mentoring these past few years and connecting me with so many people that have helped further my career.

Mike Monto and Fil Halajko for literally all things visuals, and driving to Vermont in the freezing winter to shoot a last minute music video.

Jesse Cannon for answering my barrage of music industry questions.

My publicist Yvonne Claro for answering my neurotic and anxious texts with all things press related and otherwise.

My best friends back home for always treating me the same (that seriously means a lot).

My partner for keeping me sane, doing my hair and makeup and keeping me grounded.

And of course my fans! It’s weird calling them “fans” because I feel connected to each and every one of them, even though I’ve never actually met most of them.

I hope I’m not missing anyone else!

Website: https://links.darrochea.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/darro_c

Twitter: https://twitter.com/darro_music

Facebook: https://facebook.com/darrochea

Youtube: https://youtube.com/darro_c

Other: https://tiktok.com/@darro_c

Image Credits
Mike Monto (Burning Wick Productions)

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