Updated: Feb 2
Photo by: Louis Bryant III
This artist has already shown and proven his skills as a seasoned vet in the industry, having composed music for some of the world’s most recognized brands and working with industry giants such as, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Raphael Saadiq. Now he is carving a new path for himself as an artist with his unique and refreshingly familiar debut EP entitled 19SEVENTYFREE. Check out Baltimore, Maryland native Darien Dorsey.
SFND MAG: Who is Darien Dorsey?
DARIEN: I am a Baltimore, Maryland native that makes music in LA. SFND MAG: When did it all start for you? When you were a young kid in Baltimore did you know you would be in this industry? When did you fall in love with music?
DARIEN: Pretty much! Both of my parents were singing at church for most of my childhood and my dad had a nice soul/ classic rock/ gospel record collection. Between that and getting exposed to classical composers in elementary school I was hooked! There was a piano in my house as well, so there was a mechanism that I could use to develop my ideas.
SFND MAG: When we started our research on you, we asked around about Mr. Darien Dorsey and we heard “Who Dorsey the Artist, The Multi-Instrumentalist, The Record Producer, The TV/Film Composer “... Sheesh The Man, The Myth, The Legend! What don’t you do? [LAUGHS] What haven’t you accomplished that you still have on your list?
DARIEN: [LAUGHS] Honestly, there are still a quite a few things that I still want to accomplish! The most recent project that I put out, “19Seventy Free” is what I am most proud of though. SFND MAG: The music industry can be draining both mentally and emotionally what keeps you inspired, motivated, hungry; What is your why?
DARIEN: Music industry is draining in most aspects for sure. I believe that with the God-given gift of making music, I have the opportunity to both motivate myself and inspire others. SFND MAG: How has social media impacted you as an artist do you feel like you have to share more of your life or work then you normally would?
DARIEN: With social media there’s pressure to share every aspect of your life. Some people over-share, in my opinion... Personally, I don’t find the need for people to know my every move and every meal, you know? I’d just like to share music and show some other snap shots of my interests and experiences every once in a while. SFND MAG: Tell us about JEDSUN MUSIC? Are you looking to sign other producers?
DARIEN: JedSun Music is a name that my mom came up with when I was looking for a company name that wasn’t as attached to my birthname. I’ll possibly look into signing other talent soon, but I’m always down to collaborate.
SFND MAG: One of the dopest things that we discovered doing research on you was that you are a Ninja. [LAUGHS] Nobody sees you, but you are killing the game! Macy’s, Verizon, and Pepsi commercials, ABC’s For Life, BET’s The Game , Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq, Jennifer Hudson NEED I SAY MORE! You are literally behind the scenes composing musical masterpieces that the average person won’t even realize comes from you. Honestly does it make you feel anytime of way that some of the dopest sounds in radio, television and film are by your hands, but your name is only in the credits?
DARIEN: I am a fan of music first! Never felt the need to be the center of attention. Plus, I am proud to have been able to work with some of my favorite artists and to hear my music across multiple media platforms.
SFND MAG: Lets switch gears for a second. What type of impact has COVID 19 had on you as a person and a musician? Has the isolation made you stronger or has it revealed weaknesses?
DARIEN: When COVID 19 hit, I had no idea that the shutdown would be for as long or as serious as it was. I noticed changes immediately. Between the completion of my album, making its accompanying short film and working on tv/ film music I tried to stay as busy as possible. Not having the usual outlets was a big adjustment though. I get inspiration and the opportunity to re-calibrate when I can step away from the work. SFND MAG: You have a new EP that was recently released entitled “19SEVENTY FREE”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is your first EP right?
DARIEN: Yessir! My first EP.
SFND MAG: It is “Intentionally Dynamic”, it feels both retro and futuristic! What were you trying to accomplish with this EP? What was your inspiration behind this project?
DARIEN: Thanks man! For the first, I’d say, 10 years of my life, I heard mostly soul, gospel, rock records from the eras before the 90’s. Though I knew a few of the popular radio joints that were out at the time, my dad’s record collection was my most consistent and available source for music. I made this album as a tribute to those classic periods through my own lens. SFND MAG: With so much despair going on in the world was this EP your silver lining? What does the “FREE” in your EP title represent to you?
DARIEN: My EP is both my silver lining and my journal. Most of the songs were actually written before the pandemic happened. Faith and hope are key elements for survival! In my opinion, the themes in the EP are thematically universal for any time in history. In reference to what the “FREE” means to me, it speaks to the freedom to be artistically expressive in my own terms. That freedom is combined with the lack of freedom/ struggle that has been a constant in the black experience, as well.
SFND MAG: As a producer, singer, and songwriter... How do you determine which songs you have written or music you have composed to keep for yourself and which music to send to other artists or entities?
DARIEN: There are a couple tracks that I know I’d like to keep for myself for sure, but I don’t mind sending it out if there’s another artist that I think would make a cool contribution to it.