Musical depth and Christian joy have rarely come together as compelling as they do in the music of Dara Maclean. Hers is a joyful mix of pop idioms and eternal truths, danceable beats and the good news. "I love making music you can move and groove to," she says, "but at the same time, as a Christian artist, we have a responsibility to speak the truth in love."
A singer of incredible grace, power and control, as well as a gifted songwriter, Dara has put together, with the help of Dove Award-winning producer Ian Eskelin (Francesca Battistelli, Sidewalk Prophets), a debut CD that is as fresh and vibrant as any in recent years. The project combines the soul and urban pop influences that infuse her musical approach with soaring vocals in service to intelligently uplifting lyrics.
"Suitcases", her debut single, is driven by a hip-hop beat and a vocal approach alternately intimate and soaring. It's an offer of true release from "your burdens, heavy like gravity."
"I want to paint a picture of God's complete restorative love and how through Christ, we have an opportunity to live free," she says. "This song does just that."
Influenced by contemporaries like Adele, Lauryn Hill, Natasha Bedingfield, Ray Lamontagne and Marc Broussard, she has also incorporated the Motown funk and soul she came to love growing up. The combination makes for a sound that is pure celebration. It captures as few artists ever have, the joy and exuberance of being swept up in God's love. It is an approach she comes by honestly.
"I grew up singing, dancing and acting, and it's been in the church world," she says. "Music has always equalled ministry to me. Ministering to the broken, unloved and discouraged and ultimately showing people God's better way is what's in my heart. It's how I'm wired."
MacLean was the most-added debut artist at Christian radio for the week of April 29th, 2011.