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Darro Accepts His Fate in “Wired Shut”

by The Alchemist

Darro Chea is not alone in using music as a therapeutic outlet for managing personal struggles. In “Wired Shut,” which released Friday, Darro reaches a place of contentment and acceptance on his personal journey through the diagnosis and surgical removal of a brain tumor. 

Since Billboard premiered Darro’s 2019 release, “You’re Not Insane,” the story of this Asian-American musician & producer and his struggle with recovery; learning to speak, chew, and sing all over again, has resonated with listeners as much as his music. He currently garners over a thousand monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

“Wired Shut” is latest single from forthcoming album, Songs of Recovery, due out this fall. It is a more introspective, like Darro’s attempt at retaining his sense of self with “Undefined,” and less aggressive than “Paralyzed” which came from a place of feeling out of control. 

The story is familiar to fans of Washington DC area musician, Emma G., who experienced her first of ten brain surgeries at just four months old. These stories are similar in that they catalog their uphill battle and share those experiences with their fans, and some fans can truly relate as many statistics show as many as seven hundred thousands persons the United States are presently living with a brain tumor. Music is often an empowering tool for helping people overcome this and other health issues.  

Darro’s music is a reflection of the journey he’s endured. With poppy melodies and crafty guitars, he taps into a realm of progressive and pop rock, integrating anthemic elements from bands like Paramore and My Chemical Romance with emotionally-expressive guitar work inspired by John Mayer and wizards like Steve Vai.

For more about Darro and his journey, visit

The Alchemist

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aSanTIS: ‘You Are a Part of the Highest Form of Creation’

Flow-bending artist aSanTIS discusses art, culture, and whether sound can solve the world’s problems in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
My interview with Amy Santis aka aSanTIS began in the most unexpected way. The Maryland-based flow-bending artist and lyrical storyteller came prepared to engage in conversation around questions I had posed – and she also brought one or two of her own thoughtful prompts based on her curiosities around my view of learning.

This practice of taking in her surroundings deeply through observation and inquiry has come naturally to aSanTIS ever since she was a young child. In terms of her early starts in music, she notes that she began as a discerning listener. “Just listening to music from my mom, on the radio, just being a consumer in the world of sound. But I think mainly, my mom has always loved dancing and listening to music, so that was sort of like second nature. We play music at gatherings, we play music in the car, and these songs are sort of like diaries that take us into a specific place.”

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