There was never any doubt Darcy Fox was going to become a musician.
Now at 24, she writes, records and plays for a living.
Growing up in a musical family has only aided her on her path, too. Her mother, one of twelve siblings, grew up performing in a family-show band, surrounded by Irish and showband music. Even today, Darcy’s mother is a singing teacher. Naturally, Darcy has always been surrounded by music. It is this life-long love of it that has gotten her to where she is today.
“I’ve always come from a pretty musical family. But then when I was about 15 I was like ‘yes, music is the thing I want to do,” Darcy tells the Real Songwriters of Melbourne.
Despite her talents and obvious passion, it wasn’t easy convincing her Mum, either. With persuasion and an ability to prove that music was all she wanted to do, Darcy eventually managed to get her mum on her side. “Mum was like ‘Don’t do it, you’ll be poor!’ But when she realised how much I wanted to do it, she began to help me out here and there. It sort of grew from there.”
Unsurprisingly from a young age, Darcy began to learn how to play. Even though her mother is a music teacher, Darcy has had no formal training and admits to learning how to play guitar via YouTube videos and other online resources.
“I started songwriting not long after that, and properly started writing when I was 15. I did write a song when I was 12 though and it was very bad, about bullies and 12-year-old things. I got to record it, never did anything with it, but just to experience that. When I got my guitar, I started writing for real, and wrote so much after that.”
Nowadays, Darcy tends to still write from her own experiences. Saying she writes about incredibly personal things, she believes her best songs are the ones that relate back to something that has directly happened to her. Her own experiences often even dictate how she writes a particular song.
“One of the songs off the Chapter One EP, I wrote whilst I was working as a waitress. I wrote it on the back of a napkin during one of my shifts and afterwards took it home and added a melody to it. Overall though, my writing process changes depending on the song. A lot of the time, I’ll just be playing around with the guitar and different melodies, and then the lyrics will come from that.”
Quickly becoming an established artist, Moe-born and raised Darcy soon realised that she had to branch out of where she called home to live off being a musician. Ending up moving to Melbourne, Darcy says that starting out wasn’t easy, but when she did get a gig booked it was great.
“I’ve always travelled for music, it’s just a part of how the industry works- you have to travel. Moving to Melbourne wasn’t so much as difficult as starting out playing gigs. But it was awesome to have them once you got them. I really like playing at The Workers Club in Fitzroy and the Spotted Mallard is a really cute venue as well.
“When it comes to music these days, you have the ability to do practically everything yourself, which is really cool. I’m currently self-managed, and I feel like you don’t need to be with a label or a manager to put your work on iTunes.”
Despite being back and forth between Moe and Melbourne, currently, Darcy is eager to not forget the opportunities the Gippsland region have given her over the years. She admits that some of the competitions she has won back home have been the highlights of her career.
“They ran a ‘Battle of the Bands’ style competition, and the prize was to open for and then perform with Jimmy Barnes at a particular music festival he was playing that. I won that one, which was amazing. Then there was also the ‘Freeza Push-Start “Battle of the Bands”.’ I won the Gippsland Heat for that and got to go on to perform at the Moomba Festival. That was really cool.”
With eight years of performing around Victoria under her belt, Darcy released her ‘Chapter One’ EP earlier this year. Successfully launching it at The Workers Club, Darcy says that the majority of the EP was a really easy and timely writing and recording experience, having done a lot of it back home in Gippsland.
“I recorded it with this guy named Jack Cookie. He’s a friend of mine, a producer and musician, and he’s from Gippsland as well. I had the songs already written, one of them was an old one- the one from work, and then the others over the last couple of years. When I had the time I’d just go over to his place and we’d spend the day recording it. It was just the two of us who played on it, so it was really laidback and chill. We’d throw some ideas back and forth and play around with different samples and it all just came together really easy.
“Hurricane, the single, actually took me longer to write than the others, however. The chorus came to me really quickly, but it took a couple of months for the verses to be written. On the other hand, the title track, Chapter One, was written in a couple of hours, as was the rest of the EP.”
Not incorporating many people in the recording, Darcy is a keen user of the loop pedal, especially at her live shows. Accordingly, she cites Ed Sheeran as one of her biggest inspirations, having been blown away by his looping abilities at his Festival Hall show in 2013.
“That show was what really pushed me to get good at the loop pedal. I’m also a huge fan of Passenger- his song writing is incredible. I started out as a country artist but have since progressed into the singer-song writer style of music. I definitely think there’s still country influences in my songs, however.”
Darcy is one of the three feature artists performing at The Real Songwriters of Melbourne Live Show #5 on July 22 at Wick Studios. She is looking forward to cross-promoting with the RSOM team and playing an awesome show.
You can view more information about the upcoming Real Songwriters of Melbourne Live Show #5 here.
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra