Take a deeper look at identity. Darling Fitch does this – and in a pretty unique way.
American-born and Berlin-based Darling Fitch is electric, eccentric, elegant, honest, and pretty much everything. Expression is the keyword here. Darling is a performer, a writer, and a musician unfolding themes of identity. The album A Stranger Sound II has just been released and is indeed very strange. It’s feelings, it’s experiments, it’s a combination of words, noises, and beats. If you’re curious on getting to know an extraordinary artist, just read along…
indieberlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background?
Darling: My background is honestly all over the place. Everything from musical theater to experimental electronics. I went to a performing arts high school, which is where I got my theatricality and interest in engaging people in a narrative. As a teenager and in college I studied both dance and computer music, and was especially interested in the more avant garde, provocative and noisy stuff. I made soundscapes and noise collages for a while, and still do sometimes, but I really found my footing once I started to put music and poetry together into something more legible and really use it to tell a story. I’ve become very interested in building connections and a community with my work. Growing up I was surrounded by folk musicians and poets – and while I’m not the biggest folk music fan the importance of accessibility and sharing, and the community tradition of that kind of work really rubbed off on me.
indieberlin: How did you come up with the name Darling Fitch?
Darling: The name Darling was inspired by a lot of people in queer and trans history: Candy Darling (the transgender model and actress of Warhol factory fame), Darling Daintyfoot (of the salacious Genet novel), James Darling (the transgender adult film star), and by a friend of mine, who at the time was calling me “Darling” a lot. “Fitch” was not the surname I was given at birth. It was part of my former stage name “Brigid Fitch” which is a spoonerism (I’ll let you figure that one out on your own). I changed my name legally to Darling Fitch in the summer of 2016. I like the fact that even the people who really don’t like me have to address me with a term of endearment.
indieberlin: How does the songwriting process work for you?
Darling: I generally make an audio track with beats, instrumentation, etc., and then lay down lyrics over that. I keep lots and lots of little notes and lyrics and snippets of poems on my phone and in random places. I make notes pretty much everywhere – on the train, at a nightclub, in the supermarket. Some of them are total crap but the good ones get expanded upon and make it into the music.
“…one of my dreams was to be in one of the Michael Flatley shows”
indieberlin: Tell us a secret about yourself.
Darling: I’m trans. Just kidding, I hope people know that already. This is kind of embarrassing, but as a kid I studied Irish Dance and one of my dreams was to be in one of the Michael Flatley shows.
indieberlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Darling: My life and my community. My latest project A Stranger Sound is a narrative of my experiences as a trans person in Berlin’s queer clubbing scene, a coming of age story, and a kind of auto-ethnography or insider’s look at life within a certain pocket of Berlin’s LGBT community.
indieberlin: What was your biggest stage fuck-up?
Darling: I wore the same costume for every A Stranger Sound show and by the end of the second tour, the seam on the back of my tiny studded booty shorts had totally come apart. I kept using the shorts out of spite and commitment to the outfit and it kind of became a running joke with myself and the audience!
“I think vulnerability is my secret weapon…”
indieberlin: What was the nicest compliment you once got?
Darling: People tell me that my work is very vulnerable, and that they feel like we are in something together when I am performing. I think vulnerability is my secret weapon to getting people interested in my work. Intimacy with an audience is very important to me and I’m glad that people respond positively when I share my story with them.
indieberlin: Do you prefer to play big festivals/stages or smaller club gigs?
Darling: I like to keep it smaller – as I said, intimacy with an audience is important to me.
indieberlin: With whom would you never share the stage?
Darling: Britney Spears, because I’d wanna be in the audience!
indieberlin: In ten years you look back to today and think:
Darling: I’m glad I stopped hiding and stayed committed to doing what was right and good for myself.
Darling just released the album A Stranger Sound II. Give it a listen and swing by Darling Fitch online for more infos.
Photos by Melanie Ziggel, check out more brilliant photography from her here