Country music sweetheart Tori Darke is wrapping up 2011 in fine style by announcing her worldwide management contract with Ardline Media Group as she releases her new single Great Mistake.
Her signing to Ardline Media Group and its managing director Mark Spillane puts her in fine company alongside other artists such as Syndicate, Beyond December, My So- Called Life, DJ Lethal and others. Mark, who has been involved with the Australian music industry for decades and also worked closely with well-known producers in the United States, says he is delighted to be working with Tori. 'She is a serious talent this young star, and there is no doubt in my mind that she has an amazing future internationally," he says. Likewise, Tori is looking forward to the future of her music career under the watchful eye of Ardline. 'I'm really excited to be onboard, they are doing some great things in the industry," she says. 'Lots of exciting things are to come and I can't wait to start working on them."
As Tori signs the management deal, her new single Great Mistake – the third off of her smash hit album Dreams & Chances – has just been released to radio. If the success of the first two singles from the album is anything to go by, this single is definitely one to watch. The previous singles made an impressive impact on the chart – Everything Love Is searing up the CMC Video Charts right now and is currently sitting at #9 this week on the back of Somebody Else's Baby which reached #8. Radio have also taken a real shine to this album with both singles reaching #4 on the national Country tracks Top 30 and both hit the coveted #1 position on the Cool Country chart.
Great Mistake is another perfect example of what this talented young country artists is capable of. The music video was shot last week and will be on Australian screens shortly. The clip will certainly get people talking… it not only features heartthrob Troy Thompson from Beauty & The Geek, but was also directed by award winning director Duncan Toombs.
For country music fans, Tori Darke really needs no introduction. She is one of the most promising singer songwriters on the country music scene today and anyone listening to her songs will no doubt be blown away by her world class voice. In 2010 she was awarded the Golden Saddles People's Choice Award and the Channel C Blue Sapphire Award for Best New Talent. She also took home the Gold Medallion Award, showing that this young performance is one to watch out for. In an international coup, she also won the 2010 Award for Best Country Song in the Canadian Music Awards, as well as being named a finalist in the Canadian Artist of the Year Awards.
Adding more strings to her bow, Tori has also had the opportunity to co-write with esteemed songwriters in Nashville, such as John Bettis (Madonna, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston), Phil Barton, Emily Shackelton and Robin Bruce (LeAnne Rimes, Jo Dee Messina). She's also performed as the opening act for Kenny Chesney in Canada, and been on the same bill as Doc Walker, Jo Dee Messina, Johnny Reid, Paul Brant and The Steve Miller Band. Locally she's supported The McClymonts, McAlister Kemp, Jetty Road and Amber Lawrence.
The future is definitely bright for this country starlet. She is a finalist in the 2011 Channel C Blue Shoe Awards for Best Album and Female Vocalist and has also been nominated for CMC Oz Music Awards Video of the Year.
Question: How would you describe Great Mistake?
Tori Darke: Great Mistake is a song I wrote with two brothers and the song is about a relationship, from a girl's perspective. The girl is really in love with the guy and he is really bad for her. It's about those times when the girl has said 'I've had enough" or 'That's it, you're out of my life!" And then he comes back with excuses and she falls to pieces, right back into his arms because she loves him so much. The last line of the chorus is 'I know it's wrong to stay, but you're such a great mistake".
We didn't really have any inspiration for this song, we started writing and we weren't sure where it was going and then we came up with an idea and then realised that it's something that not many people do. Saying -Great Mistake' is a contradiction, a mistake is something that you wish had never happened and at the same time it's saying you are a great mistake because even though things aren't always good, there are sometimes good times and you still love that person a lot.
Question: What do you enjoy most about country music?
Tori Darke: Country music for me is the best style of genre because of the storytelling aspect. For me, the stories are so relatable and often when you listen to other styles of music you don't always know what the story is about and I find that with country music you can really listen to it and totally get the song, understand what it is about and really enjoy it.
Question: What should we expect from the album Dreams & Chances?
Tori Darke: Dreams & Chances is a modern country album which is very much along the lines of the Taylor Swift style. Dreams & Chances contains a range of versatile songs including heartbroken songs, love songs and songs about life, in general. I think Dreams & Chances is a very versatile album from your fast songs to your slow songs and your really powerful ballads and rock songs.
Question: The Great Mistake video clip features heartthrob Troy Thompson from Beauty & The Geek – what was it like working with Troy?
Tori Darke: Troy Thompson is wonderful; he is really great to work with. I had just signed a brand new management contract with Ardline Media Group and my manager is Mark Spillane; Mark hooked us up with one of his friends whose agency looks after Troy. Troy is a great guy and we were able to have a lot of fun, that day.
Question: Can you describe the video clip for The Great Mistake?
Tori Darke: The video clip was filmed in a house in Greendale which is in Cobbitty in South West Sydney. I am from Camden which is also in Cobbitty in South West Sydney about 20 minutes from Greendale.
We filmed The Great Mistake in a good friend of mines home, she has an absolutely beautiful house; she is an interior designer and her husband is a builder and as you could imagine their house is amazing. The gorgeous white property is on 125 acres and we filmed the whole video clip there.
The video clip contains a bath scene, performance scenes and some scenes with Troy and I. I am really happy with this video clip, I think it is the best one yet.
Question: How do you feel when you watch yourself of the big screen?
Tori Darke: Initially when I am watching it on my computer, it is pretty cool but then when you see it on television it is a totally different feeling. At home we have the Country Music Channel (CMC) on every day and I still run out to watch my new clip, when I hear my song for the first time. Even when it's not the first time, I still run out to check it out. It is very cool, it is something that not everyone can get to do, and having that opportunity to perform in front of people and have a video clip is a really great experience.
Question: How does it feel to be nominated for CMC Oz Music Awards Video of the Year?
Tori Darke: It is amazing because CMC is such a great supporter of Country music and to have those nominations under your belt is really great. To be nominated for three awards is just phenomenal. I am nominated for the New Oz Artist of the Year, Oz Music Awards Video of the Year and Oz Artist of the Year and that really means a lot to me.
The CMC Awards are judged in March, 2012.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Tori Darke: From Monday to Thursday I am a full time musician and from Friday to Sunday I am performing gigs and shows. Occasionally I am away performing during the week as well. I also teach from a studio that I have at home and I teach at a dance studio as well. My day and professional job is as a musician, that is what I love doing and it's my full time all rounder.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Tori Darke: I think showing people the songs that you write has been my favourite part. Showing people the songs I write showcase what means something to me and allows me to convey messages of what I have felt with an audience. As a person we can be affected by the things in our life (broken hearts, falling in love ect) and being a songwriter allows me to connect with my audiences by conveying my happy or sad feelings via my songs.
If I'm feeling something, writing it in a song is my outlet. For me, writing a song is a lot easier than pouring my heart out to somebody as that can be very hard and heartbreaking; writing is my great escape.
Question: Do you have a website fans can visit?
Tori Darke: www.toridarke.com
Question: What do you do to relax?
Tori Darke: To be honest, I am really music orientated and when I get my time off I do enjoy chilling out listening to music or catch up with my friends and family. I don't very often get to catch up with my friends and family because I am away a lot so when I get the opportunity to hang out with people I haven't seen in a while whether we are going to lunch or to the beach it's one of the best things.
Question: I would never leave the house without?
Tori Darke: My phone (laughing).
Question: What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning:
Tori Darke: Oh! That's a hard one, I am a scatterbrain of a morning – I'm not a morning person at all! For me I wake up and write ideas for songs down or grab my guitar although usually my first thought is, the same of most people, food! I'll wonder -what have I got in the fridge or cupboard'?
Interview by Brooke Hunter