Artist Spotlight: Dara Schindelka

by Scott Roos

pics by Deanna Roos Photography


“I have a very specific goal and that is to travel and do music and I started in the spring of 2020,” confesses Regina based singer-songwriter Dara Schindelka in a recent conversation with NSMZ. “For me I've always been creative but I've always been cautious. I was telling myself that I needed a pension and I needed this and I needed that. But there came this point in my life where I was thinking ‘Why am I not taking chances or taking risks. There's no reason not to.’ So that's what I'm doing now.”


Deciding to become a working musician was a big step. Schindelka’s journey so far, though, has proven to be very positive and rewarding. She’s a self described “one woman show” most of the time accompanying herself on the piano. When she first started out, she was playing in a few different bands. During the past year, through, she's endeavored to branch out on her own.


"I started out doing music with lots of different bands a few years ago and I'd always have someone playing with me, backing me up, fabulous musicians. It was my show but I always wanted to have somebody with me. And then this year my goal was to prove to myself that I know I can do this on my own," recounts Schindelka.


Sonically, Schindelka is an artist whose music dips its toe into the turgid waters of folksters like Joni Mitchell, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Loreena McKennit to be sure, but also tips an inspired cap to 90’s piano based acts like Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole and, of course, Tori Amos. There’s also an element of “music theatre” in her songs too due to Schindelka’s formal training.


"A piano playing female folk singer isn't as common as you would think. I kind of love the challenge that I put forth to myself to do things on my own. I'm not looking to become the next Taylor Swift or whatever but I'm definitely looking to keep doing this."


In terms of her words, in particular on her most recent album Saturn Returns, they truly display an emotional maturity. There’s honesty and vulnerability evident which have proven to be inspiring to those who see her perform. She’s a very personable performer who shares stories amidst her songs. The end result of a typical Schindelka show is a powerful journey that audiences wherever she goes have been very receptive to.


(Saturn Returns) was just a journey of acceptance of where I'm at in my life. It's a very powerful thing to say 'this is where I am and I'm okay with it' because life is tough. For all of us, we all have times of transition, times of upheaval, times of pain and times of joy. That's life. It's those hard times that for me music has helped me get through,” explains Schindelka.


“I'm a performer. I love being able to share in a public way. Sharing songs and stories and interacting or having an audience whether it's a large audience or a small audience it's still what a performer is. We get up there and we share that which we've created with others. I love it and that's why I'm a performer because it's something that I enjoy and I believe, based on feedback, that it's something that people enjoy (seeing me do) as well,” Schindelka concludes.


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