Darin (singer)

Last updated

Darin Zanyar in 2020 (cropped).jpg
Darin in 2020
Background information
Birth nameDarin Zanyar
Born (1987-06-02) 2 June 1987 (age 33)
Stockholm, Sweden
Genres Pop, R&B
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • Guitar
  • Piano
Years active2004–present
LabelsDex Music (Sweden),
Sony Music, EMI Germany, Universal Music
Associated acts Kat DeLuna Eagle Eye Cherry Lil Jon
Website darinofficial.com

Darin Zanyar (born 2 June 1987), known simply as Darin, is a Kurdish-Swedish singer-songwriter born in Stockholm. He is one of Sweden's best-selling artists, with seven number one albums. [1]


Life and career

Early life

Darin was born in Stockholm, Sweden, to Kurdish parents Shwan and Ashti, who are from Iraqi Kurdistan. [2] He grew up in a musical family and began singing at an early age, citing Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston as some of his biggest inspirations. He started writing and recording songs at the age of 14 after being discovered by a music producer in school after a performance.

2004–2005: Breakthrough in Idol, "The Anthem" and "Darin"

Darin became nationally famous in 2004 when he participated in the first season of the Swedish "Idol" at the age of 16. He quickly became one of the favorite contestants in the show and was the only one to receive 78% of the public votes at the semi-final. He ended up as the runner-up and was signed by SonyBMG the day after the finale. In February 2005 his debut album The Anthem was released. The album enjoyed much success entering the Swedish Album Charts at number 1 and eventually being certified gold by the IFPI. His first single "Money for Nothing" was written by Robyn and went straight to No. 1 on both the single chart and the radio chart. In 2005 Darin was the most exposed person in the media in the country. [3] They often wrote about his hysterical fans and referred to him as "The perfect popstar".

Later the same year Darin released his second self-titled album Darin which became Darin's second chart topping album [4] and also the first to be released outside of Sweden, being released in Finland. His second album had greater success than The Anthem, being certified platinum by the IFPI. Darin worked with record producer RedOne while creating the album, subsequently releasing the platinum selling "Step Up", which spent a total of 26 weeks on Sverigetopplistan and was also the first single to be released in Finland. Furthermore, the album included the singles "Who's That Girl" and "Want Ya!".

2006: NRJ Awards and Break the News

Step Up to the Party Tour 2006 Tour2005darin.JPG
Step Up to the Party Tour 2006

In 2006, Darin won a Swedish Grammis for song of the year, "Rockbjörnen" for best male artist, 2 European NRJ Awards, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and also went out on his own first big tour called Step Up to the Party Tour. Later the same year, he released his first DVD, Tour Videos Interview, which was mainly a concert DVD from the tour. In November 2006, Darin released his third album Break the News . The album went straight to number 1 on the Swedish Album Charts [5] and was certified gold the first day. The album included the singles "Perfect", "Everything But the Girl", "Desire" and "Insanity", two of which were digital-only releases. On this album Darin worked with some of the biggest producers in the world, Max Martin, for instance.

2007–2009: Europe and Flashback

Darin (2009) Darin 2009.jpg
Darin (2009)

Following his success in Sweden, Darin signed a new recording contract with EMI Germany to release singles in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In August 2007, Darin's single "Insanity" was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and was a hit in big parts of Europe. The same year, English singer Leona Lewis did a cover of Darins song "Homeless" on her debut album. Covers of his songs were also made by artists and bands in other countries like Germany, Japan, Israel and Italy.

In 2008, Darin started to work on his fourth studio album, Flashback, together with RedOne. The album was released in December 2008 and charted at number 10 in Sweden, making it Darin's first album not to reach number one in the country. The album included the number one platinum selling single "Breathing Your Love", a duet with American singer Kat DeLuna, "Runaway" and "What If", a song which was released in collaboration with "Friends", a Swedish anti-bullying charity. In October 2009, Darin performed a cover of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" on Idol. The song was not meant to be released as a single at first, but after it was released as such, it reached the number one position on both the Swedish singles chart and radio chart, which made it more successful than Coldplay's original in Sweden. [6]

2010: Melodifestivalen and Lovekiller

In November 2009, it was announced that Darin would be participating in Melodifestivalen, [7] [8] the Swedish show which determines the country's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest. Darin entered with the mid-tempo ballad "You're Out of My Life", which was written by Tony Nilsson and Henrik Janson. [9] Darin performed 7th in Heat 3 of the contest and eventually progressed to the final. [10] Darin took part in the Melodifestivalen final at Globe Arena in Stockholm. He ended up in 4th place with a total of 117 points receiving two sets of 12 points from the Greek and Russian juries.

In June 2010, Universal Music Sweden announced that on 18 August 2010 Darin would soon be releasing his single "Lovekiller" and an as yet untitled fifth studio album, his first with Universal Music and would feature the two previous singles "Viva la Vida" and "You're Out of My Life". [11] Darin began a 17 date Summer Tour in Sweden in June 2010 starting in Karlshamn. [12] The album Lovekiller was released in August 2010. The album included the singles Viva la Vida, You're Out of My Life, "Can't Stop Love", "Microphone" and "Lovekiller". The album was certified gold in the first week of its release and peaked at number one on the Swedish album chart. [13]

Darin with producer Jim Beanz working on his album EXIT. Darin (Zanyar) and Jim Beanz in studio.jpg
Darin with producer Jim Beanz working on his album EXIT.

2012: Så mycket bättre and Chart record

In February 2012 Darin released the single "Nobody Knows", which was the first single from his (then) upcoming album Exit . In October 2012 Swedish television network TV4 aired the first episode of the third season of Så mycket bättre featuring Darin, a reality TV show in which each artist attempts to do their own version of another artists well-known songs, with each person getting an episode featuring a selection of their songs being performed by the other musicians. Darin performed six songs in the show: "Stockholm", "En Apa Som Liknar Dig", "I Can't Get You Off My Mind", "Astrologen", "Magdalena" and "Seven Days a Week". He broke the Swedish singles chart record and had 6 top 10 songs on iTunes at the same time. In November 2012 during an interview for the Swedish NRJ Radio channel, Darin stated that his next album would hopefully get released at the end of January 2013. It would contain 11–12 songs and it would be a mixture of pop, RnB and club music. On 21 November 2012 Sony Music Sweden released a collection of Darin's songs from his four albums released by Sony. Det bästa av (The Best Of) features 16 tracks, some singles and some album tracks.

2013: Exit

Darin on tour in Stockholm in 2013. Cirkus2013.jpg
Darin on tour in Stockholm in 2013.

In early 2013, Darin released his new album Exit which went straight to number one on the Swedish album chart and became his fifth number one album. Darin spent one to two months in the US working with worldwide known producers and songwriters such as Jim Beanz, The Jackie Boyz, Victoria "Lady V" Horn to make the album. Exit included the songs "Nobody Knows", "Playing With Fire", "Check You Out" and "Before I Pass Out", with the latter containing features from rapper Lil Jon.

In 2013 a new single entitled "So Yours" was released in Europe due to a performance as the interval act during the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö that was seen by approximately 108 million viewers worldwide. The theme of the interval act was "Swedish Pop Voices". In March 2013 Darin announced via Twitter that he was in Los Angeles to record a music video for the international single.

During the fall, Darin travelled to the Philippines to film the documentary En resa för livet together with SOS Children's Villages and three other artists, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Sophie Zelmani and Uno Svenningsson to bring attention to the poverty in the country and also try to gain and collect as many sponsors as possible for the children in the children's villages. Darin and Eagle-Eye Cherry also wrote and sang the lead song "Dream Away" for the documentary that was aired on TV4. All the revenues went to SOS Children's Villages.

2014–2016: Fjärilar i Magen and Dex Music

Darin (2014) Darin Zanyar 2014-01-18 001.jpg
Darin (2014)

In 2014, the Swedish TV-show Idol where Darin had his breakthrough ten years earlier, celebrated him by giving one of the finales a Darin theme, where the contestants got to sing his songs picked by himself.

During the fall he also started writing new songs in Swedish for the first time. He got inspired by recording a tribute song to the late Ted Gärdestad in the Atlantis-studio in Stockholm, where ABBA also recorded most of their albums and he wanted to record the same way they did. In March 2015 Darin released his first single "Ta mig tillbaka" from his (then) upcoming Swedish album Fjärilar i magen . It was the first time he recorded a song with only acoustic instruments, which gave the production a different sound to what he had before. The lyrics was an autobiographical story about his childhood and growing up in the 1990s. The single went 4x platinum and was the most streamed song in Swedish that year.

The album Fjärilar i magen was released in September 2015 by Darin's own record company Dex Music and became his sixth number one album in Sweden. In 2015, Darin was signed by Sony Music for all the Asian countries, including the Middle East for his previous English album Exit.

2017–present: Tvillingen and new singles

Darin continued to make music in Swedish and released his eighth studio album Tvillingen , on 24 November 2017. The album was very successful in Sweden, peaking at number one on the Swedish Albums Chart. Two singles on the album were particularly successful: "Tvillingen" and" "Ja må du leva", both sold 2x platinum in Sweden. [14] Darin has since then released a handful of singles: "Astronaut", "Identitetslös", "Hög", "Finns inga ord" and "En säng av rosor", with the last being his latest single, it was released on 7 February 2020. [15] [16] The single peaked at number 7 on the Swedish singles chart and was certified platinum in week 18 of 2020. [17] [18] Darin has described his song "Identitetslös" as his most personal song yet and has mentioned that the song is about being lost and not knowing where you belong. He further stated that there had always been that "inner conflict" in him, referring to his history being an immigrant in Sweden. [19]

Other collaborations

Darin (2008) Darin.jpg
Darin (2008)

Personal life

In early August 2020, Darin came out as gay on Instagram. [24]




Darin has received several awards throughout his career, including:

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<i>Darin</i> (album) 2005 studio album by Darin

Darin is the second studio album by Swedish singer/songwriter Darin. It was released on September 28, 2005 in Sweden and features the singles "Step Up", "Want Ya!" and "Who's That Girl?". The album became Darin's second number one album, with the first being The Anthem. Darin is also the only of Darin's albums to be released in Finland.

Darin discography

The discography of Darin, a Swedish singer and songwriter, consists of 8 studio albums, a music DVD and 36 official singles including download only singles. The discography also features an independently released album Darin Zanyar which was released before he featured in the Swedish talent show Idol.

<i>The Anthem</i> (album) 2005 studio album by Darin

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<i>Lovekiller</i> (album) 2010 studio album by Darin

Lovekiller is the fifth studio album by Swedish singer and songwriter Darin Zanyar. It was released digitally on 16 August 2010 and physically on 18 August in Sweden through Universal Music. The record is Darin's first album since parting with Sony Music after four years with the label and it became his fifth top ten album on the Swedish Album chart. The album includes the song You're Out of My Life, Darin's entry in Melodifestivalen 2010.

Lovekiller (song) 2010 single by Darin

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Microphone is a song by Darin Zanyar from his album Lovekiller. The song was not released as an official single but due to strong digital downloads of the song upon the release of Darin's album Lovekiller on August 18, 2010, the song entered on Swedish Charts at number 16 on the week of August 27, 2010. The song peaked at number 15 on the third week.

<i>Exit</i> (Darin album) 2013 studio album by Darin

Exit is the sixth studio album by Swedish singer/songwriter Darin Zanyar. The album was released on 30 January 2013 and debuted at number one on the Swedish album Chart. Exit was certified Gold in its second week of release. The album includes the platinum-selling hit "Nobody Knows".

Nobody Knows (Darin song) 2012 single by Darin

"Nobody Knows" is the first single from Darin's sixth studio album Exit. The song was written by Darin, Tony Nilsson, Niklas Rune and Bilal Hajji and produced by Nilsson.

Ta mig tillbaka 2015 single by Darin

"Ta mig tillbaka" is the first single from Darin's seventh studio album Fjärilar i magen. It was released on 13 March 2015 in the Nordic countries and it is Darin's first self-written single in Swedish.

<i>Fjärilar i magen</i> 2015 studio album by Darin

Fjärilar i magen is the seventh studio album by Swedish singer/songwriter Darin, released on 25 September 2015 by his own record label Dex Music and distributed by Sony Music. It is the first album by Darin to entirely consist of Swedish songs. The album peaked at number one on the Swedish Albums Chart and includes the single "Ta mig tillbaka", which was certified triple platinum in Sweden. The album was inspired by folk-music, a genre that marked new territory for Darin. Fjärilar i magen was recorded in the Atlantis Studio in Stockholm.

<i>Tvillingen</i> 2017 studio album by Darin

Tvillingen is the eighth studio album by Swedish singer/songwriter Darin, released on 24 November 2017 by his own record label Dex Music and distributed by Sony Music. It is the second of Darin's albums to entirely contain Swedish songs, with the first being Fjärilar i magen, which was released on 25 September 2015. Before the release of the album, the single "Ja må du leva" had been certified double platinum in Sweden and the single "Tvillingen" had been certified gold. Subsequently, the album reached number one on the Swedish album chart in the first week following its release and was certified platinum in the end of 2017.


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