A firm belief that “we’re all f—ed up,” and that that’s okay” is at the heart of the video for Darro’s new single “You’re Not Insane,” premiering exclusively below.
The clip is something the singer, songwriter and guitarist refers to as “tumor humor,” stemming from his own battle with a brain tumor that was diagnosed while he was pursuing a master’s degree in music in Spain. The tumor may be gone now, but Darro (last name Chea) tells Billboard that the mental and emotional scars did not necessarily go with it.
“It’s very flattering when people tell me, ‘Wow, you’ve been through so much. I can’t believe you’ve gone through hell and now you’re the better for it,'” Darro explains. “It feels like that chapter of my life has ended to them — the surgery’s done, the brain tumor’s solved. But it’s not like that at all. It doesn’t end after the surgery is done. That doesn’t mean I’m better. I’m left with all these shitty circumstances in my life. I have to take medication or I’ll die — forever. It feels like the illness is invalidated ’cause I look fine on the outside, when I’m not. So the song is kind of a commentary on that.”
The video, meanwhile, features Darro and a large cast — including his dog and his bass player Tyler Chronister — as he portrays “the one who’s pretending to be normal” amidst a world of people in customized hospital attire who appear to be affected in a variety of manners. “I wanted everyone to look crazy,” Darro says. “You look at social media, and…we can’t get over this idea that we have to present our best selves all the time. I’m guilty of that too. It’s a pressure that’s constantly being put on us. But we all have illnesses and things we struggle with. So in the video I’m the only one dressed in normal clothes and everyone else is looking at me like, ‘This dude is crazy! Why’s he trying to be something he is not?’ And at the end of the video I realize I’m not normal. Nobody is normal. We’re all messed up in our own ways.
“I try to cope with my problems with humor as much as I can and make it something everybody can relate to. It may not be appropriate for all situations, but for me, I have to joke about it. It’s one of the only ways I can cope with something like this.”
“You’re Not Insane” is currently a standalone single, and Darro has another single, “Undefined,” that he plans to release during the fall which will also be accompanied by a video. “I think I’m addicted to music videos now,” he says. “It’s just a crazy high that I can’t get anywhere else.” Meanwhile he has “a bunch of songs in the bank,” and he plans to release an EP tentatively titled Songs of Recovery during 2020. “I have a lot of songs I’ve written about my… we can call it recovery but this whole experience and the struggles I’m still facing right now,” Darro says. “I don’t think I’m alone in this experience, so I’m looking forward to sharing more of the (music) with people.”