Darina is our Creative Director, health and wellbeing guru, numbers whiz and coffee aficionado (she brings her own freshly ground in a keep cup from home). Originally from Bulgaria, Dari trekked down under with her husband Harry (who we roped in to help with our sound engineering, graphic design and furniture assembly!) Darina has blessed our Hawthorn studio with her presence on piano, vocals and workshops, working with Mell and Ali to curate and run all our creative outputs - she is also responsible for all our special arrangements - there is no song she can’t transcribe! Dari is the heart and soul of Mustud, and you can get to know her a bit more below!
What podcast/album/playlist are you listening to right now?
I have been obsessed with audiobooks recently and eat up 2-3 of them per week while walking to the Studio. Currently listening to The Brain's Way Of Healing.
Who are your favourite Melbourne artists right now?
I love so many Melbourne's artists, it will be really hard to pick just a few. Definitely, Fairtrade Narcotics, Jack The Fox, Tash Sultana and Daniel Shaw would be on top of my list.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A teacher. Ha-ha-ha! Seems like I got it all covered.
What is your secret talent?
My walking pace is closer to most people's running pace - 7 - 7.5km/h. If I'm in a rush I can get up to 8 with a record of 8.2km/h. It's funny when I walk past cars in traffic and see the drivers looking a bit jealous that I'm moving faster than them! :)
What made you choose your instrument?
The black and white, the patterns of the keys. I was drawn to the piano since the age of 4 and loved my little wooden piano back then. Still, remember the excitement when I walked into my home on my 7th birthday and a real, big piano was waiting for me in the living room. It was a present from my Grandparents and it was the most beautiful black diamond I could have dreamt of.
What three things would you take on a desert island?
I only need one - Harry (my husband). I'm donating the other two wishes to someone for a good cause :)
What song do you never want to hear again?
I don't have any songs that I want to ban. I actually have a lot of fun changing a song that I don't like into something I like by arranging it myself.
What is your favourite thing about teaching?
Figuring out a way to get through to the student. Everyone is so unique and I love finding the right way to present information and break down the steps to achieve their goals. I love supporting people reaching their potential, believing in themselves and simply enjoying music and life.
If you were in a band, what would it be called and what style would you play?
Voiceland. This is the name of the acapella group I was in when we were living back in Bulgaria. Wouldn't change it for the world!
What is your favourite way to spend Sunday?
Coffee. Hiking/swimming (depending on the weather). Brunch. Boardgames or binge-watching good TV series. Wine.
What advice would you give to your 12 year old self?
Be who you are. Believe in yourself. Don't compare yourself to others. Don't put limitations to your creativity. Not everything is worth it at any cost. Value yourself, your time, and your energy.
Can you cook? What is your signature dish?
People say I can cook and I love doing it so I guess, I can cook. I think I have two signature dishes - homemade lasagna (I even do the sheets from scratch) and raw chocolate cake.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Funny story, throughout high school and Uni I had a nickname Jenifer (derived from Jenifer Aniston, form Friends). I still can't really find any resemblance between me and her. If I can choose an actress, it will definitely be Anna Torv.
What kind of animal do you relate to?
Dolphin. Wild and free, intelligent and sociable, and has water as a natural habitat. It sounds like me :) If you have seen me losing my water bottle and the amount of stress just the idea of running out of water cause me, then you would be able to understand.
If you weren't a musician, what would you be doing?
I knew since I was six I wanted to be a musician, so this question is really hard to answer as I have never ever envisioned myself doing anything but music. I love numbers and patterns, so it might have been something related to that. Maybe coding or some kind of prognosis/analysis.