In the Blog
Darrelle London: Singer-Songwriter
Every other Thursday I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!
So without further delay, let me introduce the wonderful Darrelle London…
Classically trained in voice and piano, singer-songwriter Darrelle London was accepted to law school, but instead chose to “take a chance on her music.” Having played solo shows in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Fredericton, Guelph and Kingston, she has also showcased at many festivals, including WinterFolk, Indie Week Canada, and the International Pop Overthrow, and her music has been aired on CBC Radio 2. Darrelle tells us why you can’t go through life trying to achieve someone else’s idea of success.
What drives you to do what you do?
To me, writing and playing music is a necessary part of my life. When music is missing in my life, I crave it. It makes me very happy, but it’s more than that - it makes me feel like myself. Writing songs also gives me an opportunity to be brutally honest, which is fun and liberating.
How does being a woman empower / challenge you?
Being a woman, especially in the music industry, can be both empowering and challenging. It is empowering to express myself honestly through my music. My songs are honest representations of my personality: silly, sarcastic and sometimes very vulnerable. And then I have to turn around and represent myself as a businessperson and get the industry to take me seriously on that level. It’s about learning to wear a lot of hats, while staying true to myself.
What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?
I would tell them to pursue their passion, no matter what their family and friends believe is right. I was lucky enough to have parents who supported my decision to play music instead of going to law school. But there are people in my life who have trouble understanding my choices. You can’t go through life trying to achieve someone else’s idea of success.
I would also tell aspiring musicians to be prepared to work very hard. Work on your songwriting and performing, but don’t forget the industry side of things. When you are starting out, you can’t just be an artist who sits in your room to perfect your craft. You have to be your own booking agent, publicist, and promoter. At the same time, don’t be intimidated by the industry. Everybody starts somewhere and you have to believe in yourself and your music if you want to gain fans and supporters.
Name one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?
Most young women already know about it, but I recently rediscovered Anne of Green Gables, and I suggest that other young women do the same. It’s a beloved children’s book, but there are layers of insight, wit and humanity that I didn’t pick up on until recently. Beyond that, I’m passionately proud of Canadian culture, and Anne of Green Gables is an important contribution to Canadian literature.
What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?
Recognize that it’s okay to question things. If something doesn’t seem right or fair or honest, speak up!