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SongwritingWith: Soldiers

“I started writing songs when I was about 10 years old,” said singer-songwriter Darden Smith in an interview with Hollywood on the Potomac. “Then I sort of got more into it in high school playing all sorts of coffee shops and things like that and really bad bar bands. Then I went to college and when I was 19 started writing songs and playing in clubs around Austin, Texas. I did that all through 19, 20, 21 and then made my first record at 23 and put it out on my own little label and it took off from there.”

Darden will be in DC area on April 8th and 9th hosting a songwriting retreat for veterans in Virginia for his non-profit SongwritingWith: Soldiers series before heading to Houston to give the keynote presentation at the Global Alliance for Arts & Health 25th Anniversary conference. He explains the art & health connection below.

We were a bit stunned that he could have his own record label at 23. He explained that he got a little help from his friends. …. sort of like a kick-starter campaign in today’s world. “I got people to give me money to make a record and then just printed it up, pressed it up. I got really lucky - I was really driven, I was really motivated. I worked at it and started when I was 10, so I just stumbled into this thing. I come from a totally non-musical family and I just found songwriting. It was a mystery to me that I could do it. I lived in a little bitty town on a farm and I didn’t know anyone else who wrote songs, so it’s something that I had that no one else had. So that was part of it for me when I was very young - I had a secret weapon.