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MUSIC I

DARIO’S EPIC ASCENSION BY STEVEN BARNES

“I’m a huge fan of art!” exclaimed Dario when he learned he was going to part of our art issue. “I love how different paintings or pieces make people react and feel. I’m actually attending Art Basal in Miami this December. I can’t wait!”

Love has always been a big theme in Dario’s music, and it remains so in Ascension, but this time around it’s different, more grown-up. “I’m an adult and finally comfortable in my skin. I know who I am, what I want, and what I’m willing to do.”

The singer makes his triumphant return to pop radio with Ascension, his tenth studio album and his most personal to date. Its title refers to Dario stripping himself of all doubt, fear, and insecurity to become the best version of himself. “I took all of 2017 off so that I could work on myself,” he reveals. “I really wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on who I was and how I got to this point in my life.”

He dives deeply into it in the album’s second release, “Don’t Let Me Go,” an anthem-like rock power ballad he wrote about his experience being trapped in a toxic relationship. The song is produced by Kevin Anyaeji (Leona Lewis, Cheryl Cole, Kylie Minogue) and Shane Facchinello (Austin Mahone, Cody Simpson) of Hush Money Entertainment.

In the 8-song album, he takes on inequality, mental health, and the importance of advocacy in his music today. “I no longer want people to talk. I want to inspire them to take action,” he says.

“I hadn’t been in a relationship in ten years so I was excited when I finally let my guard down and gave one a try,” Dario explains. It did not go as he had hoped. “I wanted to be open and honest about the relationship; let everyone in on the ups and downs

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