Tucson native overcomes barriers before climbing Billboard charts


(Courtesy Armando Sanchez/Dario Entertainment)

Dario was only three-years-old when he realized music was going to be a huge part of his life. Nine albums later in the span of 13 years in the industry as a Pop, R&B and Dance singer-songwriter and he has released his most successful album yet.

“Point of No Return” was released in February and has landed itself as one of the top three independent albums in the country on the Billboard Charts.

“I remember when I got the call,” Dario, who only goes by his first name, said from his Los Angeles home. “I started bawling like a child.”

By his teenage years the former Flowing Wells High School graduate had already began singing and dancing locally in Tucson, but decided to relocate to LA  to further pursue his career as a performer in 2006.

As any mother would be, Dario’s mother, Dora Dicochea, was hesitant about her son leaving home. She feared the danger and perils that he would encounter, but gave him her blessing anyway.

“He could just sing here at home,” Dora said, “but my son’s wings were ready to fly.”

(Courtesy Armando Sanchez/Dario Entertainment)

What Dario would soon learn was how difficult it is to break into the industry. “I’m a Latino from Tucson who sings Pop and R&B,” Dario said. “I wasn’t born into a wealthy or famous family, so I didn’t have a network of people in the music business that could help me.”

Luckily, Dario was able to build a following and connect with the LGBT community by making regular appearances at pride events including headlining the Pride in the Desert daylong LBGT festival at Kino Sports Complex in 2011.

To date, Dario has toured the United States nine times. After releasing his album “Revolution,” Dario headlined his first world tour in 2015 covering 70 cities across Asia in order to connect with international fans. The album debuted at No. 1 digitally on Amazon the week of its release. “Save You,” one of the songs featured on the album, reached Billboard’s Top 40 Dance Chart.

Dario says his differences in looks, the way he sings and the way he carries himself contrasts with other artists in the music industry, which didn’t exactly cause music labels and production companies to come knocking on his door. “I had to fight for my spot and I’m still fighting to keep it,” he said.

Elizabeth Adamczyk, who has worked with Dario for over a year as his main publicist describes him as a go-getter. “He knows exactly what he wants and is very ambitious,” Adamczyk said. “Every day he seems to reach new levels that we thought weren’t possible, but he’s making it happen.”

This is something that Dario’s mother would second. When asked what about Dario makes her the proudest, she answered by saying, “That he has never given up.” Dora continues, “That despite all his falls, he got up with more energy to keep trying.”

She also compliments his kindness and says that he was the one always standing by her side. She recalls a game they used to play when he was younger in which she would ask Dario who he is. “He would shout out “’el rey de la mama (mama’s king,)”’ Dora said. “He was always there for me.”

(Courtesy Armando Sanchez/Dario Entertainment)

Some of the things that motivate Dario to continue to strive in the music industry are love, equality, discrimination and injustice. “As musicians we use music to talk about how we feel,” Dario said. He believes as public figures, musicians have the opportunity to reach a large audience and are given a platform to make a difference. Dario enjoys singing about staying postive and self-motivation. These strengths are many times mentioned in his music and are motivators Dario has continued to be thankful for as he continues to venture in the industry.

As an avid music listener himself, Dario says if you grabbed his iPod you’d find music of all genres. “Right now I’m listening to 30 Seconds to Mars, Tori Kelly, Jon Bellion, a little of Alejandro Fernandez and even some Christina Aguilera,” Dario said. He believes that listening to different genres allows you to grow as an artist.

There’s an endless list of producers Dario would love to collaborate with. The list ranges from Darkchild and Timbaland to Pharrell Williams and Rich Harrison.

Dario is inspired by the obstacles he has overcome and hopes to only continue to succeed. “Every day we encounter so many obstacles,” he said. “Some good and some bad. How we choose to deal with what life throws at us is inspiration for me.” He puts this muse into the music he writes and hopes that it will inspire others.

Being far away from home and his loved ones was something Dario had to sacrifice when he moved to LA, but that isn’t the only thing he misses about Tucson. “I don’t really get the chance to see my family and friends very often because I’m on the road so much,” Dario said. “And I can only get piña colada Eegees in Arizona.”

Although it wasn’t easy for him starting out as an artist, he is proud of where he has gotten and appreciates those who have helped him along the way. While it wasn’t always the easiest journey to endure, Dario hopes that his dedication to himself and his dreams has motived others to do the same.

“I never apologize for who I am because then I’d be compromising myself and my artistic integrity,” Dario said. “If I can open the door for all the underdogs, then I did something worthwhile.”

Loc Tran is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact her at ltran@email.arizona.edu.


Click here for high-resolution photos. 

11 comments Add yours
  1. I love Dario’s music! I knew he was from AZ but I didn’t know he was from Tucson. It’s so good to see one of us making it big in the world of music.

  2. He can’t actually sing, i mean if you call singing something that goes under the music and can’t be heard by humans. I’m not a fan but this did not turn me into one either.

    1. It’s funny what people take from an interview when they read it. It doesn’t say anything about him being known in the AZ music scene. It says he’s originally from Arizona. Also who cares if you don’t know him. The thousands of people all over the country that bought his album, and got it to #3 on the Billboard charts do. And that’s all that matters!

      Dario did an interview a couple years ago in USA today or something and he said his hometown never really supported him… now I see it’s true. I live in Tucson and I LOVE HIM! Keep representing the good part of us Dario.

      1. Shauna, grow up. That’s what I know here in Arizona if you can’t handle the truth go cry somewhere else. If you like him good for you, again I’ve never heard of him in my life and I don’t like his music and you have to respect my opinion as i respect yours, Dario is too generic to be good at least. Nowadays anybody can be on Billboard, Billboard does not equal success, you can have fans and do bad music. I wish he could improve himself that’s it. He should appear or Ru Paul or some.

        1. WOW! That was your takeaway from my reply? I never said anything about you liking him or not, I stated fact. The interview says nothing about him being in the AZ music scene… your response was “I’m a big arizona music fan.” I’m not crying or disrespecting your opinion, that’s just how you chose to take it. That’s why I sometimes hate text cause you can’t really tell a person’s infliction. My reply was with total respect. You are allowed to like or not like whoever you choose, you are also entitled to your opinion it’s your human right. What I don’t like is when people are narrow minded and borderline discriminatory. You saying Dario’s music is generic is fine, I like it at least he writes and produces his own music. But you saying he should be on RuPaul that’s just so stereotypical and gross. Dario isn’t a drag queen he’s a singer and performer with an amazing track record. You stereotyping his look and stating something so close minded just goes to show you’re basing everything you “know” about him on this one news story, not fact. And I also never said being on Billboard equals success, but if it’s so easy and anyone can do it why haven’t you sold nearly 100k copies of anything in one week? Before you make assumptions about someone you don’t know you might want to research them. You don’t have to like him or his music but you have to at least respect the fact that he has made something of himself against all odds (something you’d know if you knew his story). As far as improving himself, If you knew his story (and I’m not saying I know all of it) I’ve been a fan for 10 years, he’s come a long way and has managed to stay humble and grateful and he gives back so much to so many (and I’ve done my research so I can say that) And this is my opinion with facts, no crying, no judging, and no disrespect.

  3. This is a great interview, Dario is getting bigger by the day! I love “Who do you think you are” from the new album! #Hatersgonnahate lol

  4. Why so much hate? Dario is an amazing artist. I’ve seen him live on tour and his voice is amazing. I think people are always quick to say negative things when they envy someone for doing the things they could never do. Keep up the good work Dario!

  5. Dario, I just watched your video interview and you seem a kind hearted young man. Good luck honey!

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