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At the heart of English folk
Daria Kulesh

Exclusive Interview: Daria Kulesh

Ahead of her special album preview concert on 14 November, we had a chat with Daria Kulesh to find out more about her upcoming album.

Kulesh describes her third album Earthly Delights, which will debut at Cecil Sharp House on 14 November, as “A grateful and playful exploration of human nature; of love, desire and ambition.” The retelling of timeless fairy tales and legends, with Kulesh’s own twist adds a magical storytelling element, which she hopes will “make listeners gasp: ‘That Russian fairy tale-wow, feels as if it’s all happened to me!”

 “When I perform, I become the characters in my songs. I tell the stories by living them.”

Earthly Delights offers follows on from Kulesh’s previous solo albums Eternal Child (2015) and Long Lost Home (2017). Kulesh’s debut album, Eternal Child, provided listeners with “very private, very confessional album from a time when [she] was still figuring out [her] path and place in life.”

The dark and nuanced story lines, evolved into an exploration of self in Kulesh’s sophomore album Long Lost Home. She describes this album as “a life-changing journey to [her] Grandmother’s homeland of Ingushetia in the Caucasus that opened [her] eyes and heart.” As time has progressed, so has Kulesh’s vision for her musical narratives, her inspiration is no longer confined to dark storylines, but however her new songs are full of light, shade and colour-symbolic, of her lust for life.

As observed through Kulesh’s music and videos, her Ingush and Russian culture breakthrough as key influences of her artistic style. When asked about her the influence of her heritage on her artistry Kulesh said, “the emotional landscape of my culture, the old stories that I was told and read as a child—all of that is at the core of who I am.”

On Earthly Delights, Kulesh incorporates a W.B.Yeats poem, accompanied by music of Joseph Sobol, because “it echoes the familiar plot of a classic Russian novel, which in turn is based on a powerful true story.”

“I see the folk scene as a family, not an industry.”

Kulesh’s ever present whimsical and enchanting charm, along with her musical prowess has snagged her several award nominations, most notably Best Album and Soloist of the year at the 2018 Folking Awards.

Daria Kulesh with Jonny Dyer

Wednesday 14 November, 7.30pm

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