With her striking voice and strong Russian and Ingush heritage, Daria Kulesh is a unique and still-rising star on the UK folk scene. In 2015 her debut album, Eternal Child earned her plaudits from FolkWords and Laurel Canyon Music where she was nominated Favourite New Artist of 2015 but it was her second album, Long Lost Home when the folk world really started to take notice of her amazing story.
The album, launched on 23 February 2017 at Cecil Sharp House has won awards in the UK and in Russia, this time, Laurel Canyon Music’s Album of the Year as well as Dai Jeffries in R2 Magazine calling it ‘one of three great albums of the year’.
Taken from the album, ‘The Moon And The Pilot’ is a song based on her Ingush Grandmother’s stories which Daria performed live on BBC World Service prompting Mike Harding to describe it as ‘one of the most beautiful new songs of the last 10 years’. Hundreds of people subsequently contacted Daria to express their gratitude for the song and for speaking out about the events of February 1944, when the Ingush and the Chechens were brutally deported from their homes on the orders of dictator Joseph Stalin. Any mention of Ingushetia and the Ingush people was erased from history books, dictionaries, encyclopaedias. Despite the deportees being allowed to return in 1957 and their national identity restored (the Ingush Republic was formed 25 years ago), the pain lingers and justice hasn’t been fully served to this day.
The song has made Moscow-born Daria known in Ingushetia and in August 2016 she was invited to visit her Grandmother’s lost homeland for the first time. During her visit, she appeared on Ingush national TV & radio and performed public concerts. Daria also visited the breathtakingly beautiful mountains and their unique tower-studded fortified villages, including her Grandmother’s ancestral village of Fourtoug. She has met the President of Ingushetia, the Minister of Culture and other dignitaries as well as local musicians, dancers, poets, historians, actors, artists who have all shared their knowledge, passion and inspiration.
Earthly Delights, Daria’s third album, is a grateful and playful exploration of human nature: of love, desire, curiosity, ambition and other urges that drive us, both physical and spiritual. It retells and twists fairy tales, episodes from history, urban legends – rich old stories that are timeless, ever relevant and relatable. ‘Great battles of love and life’ (Mike Harding,) that we all live through, every day.
This year, Daria embarks upon an ambitious set of dates and on some, she will be joined by Tristan Seume, one of the UK’s leading acoustic guitarists.
‘Let Daria transport you to an enchanting fairytale world full of colour and flair, light and shade, passion and intrigue, where stories come to life and “songs aren’t just sung, but lived’ – FATEA Magazine
Artist’s website: http://www.daria-kulesh.co.uk/
‘The Moon And The Pilot’ – official video:
June 3 – with Tristan Seume, White Horse Folk Club, Highworth, SN6 7AD.
June 19 – with Marina Osman, Beardy Folk Festival, DY14 0EF. Book tickets
June 20 – Songwriters’ Circle with Elfin Bow and Little Sparrow, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall L1 9BP. Book tickets
June 24 – Baldock Folk Club, SG7 5AW
June 28 – Bluebell Roots, Bates Green Farm, Arlington, BN26 6SH
June 30 – Great Knight Folk Club, The Old White Hart, Northampton, NN4 8BS
October 7 – Nova Scotia Folk Club, Glasgow, Scotland, G64 2DW
October 11 – with Tristan Seume, Braemar Gallery, Scotland, AB35 5YL
October 12 – with Tristan Seume, Stirling Folk Club, Scotland, FK9 5AP
October 13 – with Tristan Seume, Star Folk Club, Glasgow, Scotland, G2 7DA
November 28 – with Marina Osman, The Old Refreshment Room, Wrington, BS40 5QE