Dara Maclean is a singer, songwriter, and storyteller. She’s sharing with the world not only good music, but songs that are uplifting and meaningful. Few have the raw talent and ability to capture an audience on a emotional level, and Dara Maclean is one of them. A follower of Christ and advocate for change, Dara is here to encourage and emphasize the truth of what she already believes in, that everyone is indeed ‘Wanted’.
Check out a beautiful track from her Dara’s latest album and continue below for our exclusive interview with the humble artist:
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where you’re from and when you realized you wanted to be an artist?
I was born in Miami, FL. Been in TX since I was 6 and Fort Worth since I was 8. Fort Worth is home for sure. I have been singing since I was 7, started writing and pursuing artistry at the age of 13. Music and ministry have always been what I felt called to.
How did you get your start in the music biz? Briefly share your journey.
I grew up as a youth and praise and worship leader at my church all the while pursuing my career as an artist. I put out 3 records independently and learned how to lead a band, a choir, develop as an artist and remain humbled in learning about the point and purpose of why God have us gifts to begin with. To show people Him and through what He has given us, lead them to the truth. It was the best thing for me even though I often felt disappointed and wondered when “it” was really going to happen. The sad thing, is “it” in Gods eyes was already happening because I was getting to minister to people through what He had given me. It took me some years to really see that. Thankful that God loves us deeply and holds our hand as we learn about what is most important to Him. Long story short. I didn’t go to school for music and I didn’t feel my story was supposed to be an American Idol or fill in the blank, type of story. I value and education beyond words and love how God uses things uniquely in everyone’s life regardless of what it is. For me however, I felt God out on my heart all those years that it was supposed to come out of no where so only He could get the glory… I was leading worship for my Dad on a Sunday morning before he taught at the church we attended as a family. There was a lady that came up to my parents after the class and asked if she could get her hands on any music I might possibly have. Time passed. On a perfectly beautiful and sunny Texas day, I got a phone call. I answered. A woman on the other end introduced herself and then proceeded to tell me that someone had gotten my music to her. She told me she wanted to sign me as a song writer, then she asked me the question I had been waiting to be asked for years, “what do you want to do?”. I knew this was “it”. I told her I was and would always be a song writer for myself and hopefully others, but what I knew for sure is that I was called to be an artist. 6 months later we were artist focused and two years later I got signed. It was one miraculous thing after the next and it came out of no where just like what I had heard in my heart. It is so good to remember how faithful God always has been and always is.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Crystal Lewis, Passion, worship music as a whole, all things Lauryn Hill, and the music of Motown.
Describe your sound and what sets it apart from the rest.
Acoustic Soul is not something heavily represented in CCM but it’s beautiful to see everyone being who they are called to be musically and God making a way for it. It’s only people that have limited things in the past. But there’s enough room for everyone at the table.
Being that you are categorized in the Christian Contemporary genre, were you ever fearful of how your music would be received?
Of course, but if it’s not because of that reason, it would be a myriad of any number of other reasons. I have to continually give those fears to God and walk in peace as I am trusting God has not brought me this far to disappoint. I’m just along for the ride and man it’s been a beautiful one. To God be the glory.
What’s the story behind your previous album, You’ve Got My Attention, in terms of the musical direction and intention for listeners?
The underlying theme and lyric content foundation was walking through life on a journey with listeners that I consider to be my friends and get to learn about Gods best together. About our true identity, freedom in Christ and the redemptive love of God our Father for us.
How does Wanted differ from its predecessor and what inspired the title track?
It differs in the sense that I am still me, yet two years older and believing to build upon the initial foundation laid. Roots are going deeper, the sound is authentic and true to who I am today and I am still on a journey with people to discover all that God has waiting for us as His children.
All the songs are great, but which track on your latest album would you say is your absolute favorite and why?
Blameless: For years I found my identity in everything I did wrong, always feeling like a failure letting good things that happened or bad things determine the highs and lows of my identity. God arrested me in my heart and said why do you act like an exception to the rule. You preach about my love, redemption and acceptance, but you don’t believe it for yourself which is why you’re stuck. That was the day I started opening up the Bible and reading the scriptures on who He says I am and started to believe them for myself and let His sacrifice be enough. That’s when things changed. Every day, as I renew my mind to His truth, that’s the case.
Have you decided on the follow-up single as yet and can you share that with us?
It’s probably going to be a song called “Our Only Hope“. When the people speak of hope it almost sounds negative or bleak, like “I hope it works out”, “I don’t know, I hope so”. In Hebrews 6:19 the Bible says that the hope God gives us is the “anchor to our soul” this means it’s sure, immovable, steadfast, not just a light at the end of the tunnel in the midst of the worst of the worst, but God making a way where there isn’t one. Our only answer and our only true hope is found in Jesus.
Aside from sharing your beautiful music and faith with the world, how has Dara Maclean evolved since debut till now?
I’m a newly married women of 5 months and in love with every little thing about my man. I’m learning how to not be selfish, to start with me and to operate by the grace of God in unconditional love to my family first and then the world around me. I am so over the fear of if I’m going to make it in the industry or not, I already have made it because of Jesus and the plan He has for every life of a child of God. I am an advocate for justice and partner with an organization called IJM who is pioneering in ending the fight against human trafficking. My husband and I just accepted the Young Adults Pastoral position at our church.
What’s next for you?
Looking forward to going to Africa this December for the second time and doing ministry there for a week with my husband through an organization called “The Reaction Tour”.
Thank you for taking the time. Please leave a message to your fans and any tips to aspiring artists wanting to inspire with their music like you do.
There is nothing more important than your fellowship time with God your Father. There you get a revelation of His heart for you, which becomes the filter for everything. You discover the plans, dreams and purposes He created you for and you fall in love with the things that He is in love with. This is how you walk in the impossible for the Glory of God. Life will never be more important than loving God and loving people.
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Images: Dara’s facebook