Darja was raised in Germany and the UK and gained notoriety on a German reality show called Popstars. She moved to New York in 2007 to pursue an Acting Degree at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Since graduating she has been working in every facet of the entertainment industry from film to TV to music.
She’s continuing to make great pop songs and she reflects back on the music that influences her most.

Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
“I am simply in love with Sia and her work. Her lyrics and vocal delivery are inspiring to me and touch my soul. The stories she tells feel so real and authentic. For a long time I didn’t know she wrote all these hits for other artists – like Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts”. And then there is “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart” for which she masterminded the most stunning visual works of art with the music videos. I aspire to do just that in my work – be my most authentic self and stay true to my artistic vision.”

Ellie Goulding – Halcyon Days
“I love her voice and her lyrics. For me lyrics are very important. I love good club music especially when it is combined with good story telling. When I first started writing Dance music I realized that without a good story I can connect to there really is no song. At least that’s how I see it. It has to either happen with the words or with the delivery and ideally both. I also love that Ellie Goulding plays drums live on stage! So cool to watch her on stage and she is a fellow Capricorn! Yeah I am into astrology…”

Adele – 21
“I mean this album was one of the best albums of our time. I love everything about Adele. She is an incredible vocalist and there are no pretenses around her, no weird rumors. I have so much respect for people who don’t succumb to the pressures and privileges of fame. “Someone Like You” is quite clearly one of the best songs ever written. She is also a mother now and personally I am quite tired of the stigma the industry likes to place on artist mothers. You can’t imagine how often I hear “Oh her career is over” when an artist becomes a mother. And this goes for any industry really. It’s disrespectful towards women who are the ones creating magic with their bodies! This should be celebrated every step of the way!”

Michael Jackson – Thriller
“Thriller came out in 1982. Just think about this for a second – this is 35 years ago and we are still listening to “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” and “Thriller”…Michael Jackson has created music that will live forever.”

Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
“Born to Die” to me is the epitome of the American dream and nostalgia. She really hit all those chords just so right. Every single song on this album is so painfully nostalgic – makes me want to jump into an old Cadillac with my man, put the rooftop down, throw my phone out and go on a road trip across the United States…sleeping under the stars by the Grand Canyon. “Summertime Sadness” gets me every time. Her sound makes me think of the movie Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders…highly recommend.”

Haux – All We’ve Known
“When I first heard “Touch” on the radio in my car I felt instantly transported into a magic world of nostalgia and faded memories. The vocal quality and production is so beautifully haunting. It was love at first sound. I can’t wait to hear more from him.”

Jack Garratt- Phase
“I had the amazing honor of seeing him perform live here in NYC at the Bowery Ballroom, organized by his label. It was one of the best shows I have ever been to. It was minimalistic and so intimate – he created magic that night and to me that’s invaluable. When an artist can create magic together with his/her audience they have made it big. In that moment it’s not even about the fame and glory – it’s about connecting with human beings on a level that makes you understand what it means to be alive and celebrate that together. I am a big fan of magicians like that.”

Kygo – Cloud Nine
“When I first heard his sound I loved it. Tropical House is my all time favorite chillout music. I love how real story telling is merged with House and Dance beats. Kygo plays the piano as well which I value so much. I used to write my tracks to the beats a producer would send me. It didn’t take long before I started asking for the chord progression so I could write at the piano. Something magical happens when interacting with a live instrument…it’s almost transcendental. I think it’s something about the vibration of the instrument that penetrates deep into the body and soul. I could listen to a live guitar, piano and percussion all day. A lot of that is integrated into Kygo’s music.”

Zedd – Clarity
“I still remember when “Clarity” came out. What an amazing track. The lyrics, the sound…I immediately started researching Zedd and was happy to discover that Zedd aka Anton Zaslavski is a fellow Eastern European who grew up in Germany…like me. Dreaming to work with him one day.”

Rihanna – Good Girl Gone Bad
“I was still living in London when “Umbrella” came out and loved everything about that track and the whole album. Rihanna is a very special artist, her delivery is intoxicating which I think makes people fall in love with her without knowing her. I am a big fan of good vibey club music and Rihanna and her team just nail it every time.”

Listen to Darja: