With a musical education that included piano lessons, trumpet lessons and some crucial father-son Blues Brothers viewing sessions, Joey Da Rin found the groove at an early age. In his early teenage years, a developing love for the hip hop greats like Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul saw him make the definitive switch to turntables in pursuit of the art of scratch and sampling, starting a passion for back-sourcing the original tunes used in samples which still informs his music today. Working his way back from hip hop in this way, Da Rin found the joys of disco, and still employs both musical weapons generously to get his dance floors moving.
With Mum on roadie duties ferrying him and his gear around Brisbane, Da Rin cut his teeth from the age of 16 playing at 16ths, 18ths and 21st birthday parties. “There would always be something going wrong - the speakers would blow, or some drunk 16 year old would spill something on the gear… but it was fun! I was getting to play music to people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.” Before long he was picked up by licensed venues, sneaking in a few gigs as a 17 year old then landing a residency at 18 at Brisbane’s TBC Club at Bowler Bar. “I just met my family from there. I’m still very close with all the people that work or used to work there - some of my best friends have come from that place.”
Things have moved fast ever since. The name of Young Franco spread as Da Rin delved into production, hitting listeners’ and bloggers’ radars with euphoric house number, ‘Close 2 U’ featuring Joy. This time last year, Da Rin was plugging away at the music scene whilst still studying engineering at university, but after receiving an offer to go to LA in the middle of finals - he had to make a decision. Unsurprisingly, music won out. “Uni will always be there. People get caught up in the fact that they need to finish as soon as they get out of school, but it just doesn’t always work out like that.”
Now at only 22 Da Rin has multiple national tours under his belt including sell out shows in his home town and in Sydney plus his first European tour ticked off in style, a Mixmag Lab session, festival slots at Splendour, Harbourlife and Lost Paradise, three successful singles last year alone and another tour this January alongside fellow Brisbanite, UV Boi, which has just sold The Metro in Sydney.
He’s had to learn quickly how to take care of his health on tour, and find the right balance for life as a full time musician. “It’s hard trying to juggle so many things but it’s also the best, because you’re your own person and you basically have creative control over everything. I don’t think I would give that away anytime soon.”
Though fiercely self determining, Joey appreciates where his support comes from. “I don’t think anyone can be an artist by themselves. There’s always a team - whether they are working for you, with you, or just friends… every Shrek needs a Donkey.”