One of the biggest mysteries of life is love. Some spend their entire life going through partner after partner looking for it, others never even come face to face with it and then there are those who spend time writing about it, and all it entails. The latter are artists like singer-songwriter Darling Cora. With her upcoming release, Heart Strung Out, she’ll tackle all aspects of the four letter word and more. She talked about that, along with finding her niche in Toronto, what we’d find in her time capsule and more.
Kendra: Toronto has a vital music scene. Have you found your niche in it so far? Like do you have a crew of musicians who you have their backs and they have yours?
Darling Cora: Finding my niche, whether in Toronto or Canada or anywhere, is an ongoing process, to be perfectly honest. I am not your typical female singer-songwriter. Coming from a Filipino background, no one really expects someone like me to be into the music that I go for, play, and write – the Filipino-Canadian community included. That being said, I have always identified with those who consider themselves a bit of an outsider, or friendly interloper – and maybe that is a really hipster thing to think, but I draw my sense of identity from being slightly alternative, because I think that is where anything interesting is to be found. These are the types of musicians I am drawn to, along with those whose quirks and egos I can tolerate. I am steadily building my musical “crew,” in Toronto and beyond, to answer your question.
Kendra: Your latest single, “Yearn,” is about longing for that one true love BUT when the time is right for it. Do you believe that we all have that one person out there for us?
Darling Cora: Part of me wants to really believe in the “one true love” soul mate kind of thing because it is very romantic and makes finding the right partner seem so easy and carefree. But I think REAL love is far less wishy washy and fairy-tale-like. It takes genuine effort and commitment to really, and continually, choose to be with, and love, the one you end up choosing. It’s more than just fate; it is a responsibility that one has to be ready and willing for.
Kendra: Will your album, Heart Strung Out, have a lot of similar themes as the single?
Darling Cora: The entire album is basically about being overly “in love with love” – it covers pretty much everything from heartache, longing, obsession, narcissism, love-in-death, insecurity, security, vulnerability, and its sweet innocence. That, and the kitchen sink.
Kendra: You did mention that this album is a time capsule of sorts of younger years in love. Other than the memories, what actual physical items would we find in your time capsule of when you were say, 16?
Darling Cora: Great, and potentially embarrassing, question! Oh wow, I was a sheltered keener girl back then, more interested in books than anything else. I hadn’t had a relationship with anyone at that age yet, and I was not mature enough to handle anything more than a harmless schoolgirl crush. If I had to pick actual physical items, it would probably be my “secret” diary which I am pretty sure everyone of my siblings probably read. And I’m glad they did, if they did; it would’ve been hilarious.
Kendra: Let’s talk about something totally out of left field for a second. You’re a celtophile…which means you’re obsessed with the Celtic ways of life. When did that emerge in your life, and are we going to hear that sound on the record at all?
Darling Cora: I studied English literature for a while before dropping out and eventually switching to music. During that time I was a young sponge absorbing everything I could. I covered the entire British literary canon, from Beowulf to T.S. Eliot. Over time I started to identify with writers and poets from countries that had begun to question and assert their own identities outside of the British Empire – especially James Joyce. So the fascination started with Joyce, and I guess it just stuck.
Kendra: Other than dropping Heart Strung Out, what else do you have on the plate for the rest of 2016?
Darling Cora: I will be working on finding and prepping the right group of players to join me in the future, for various types of gigs and settings. Also hoping to shoot and release a music video for “Yearn”.
Kendra: Going back to the idea of true love, if you had to make a mixtape for a couple who just found the one – what fives songs would have to be on it?