From Stevenage to LA - but Darline popstar Cara hasn’t forgotten her roots

Darline duo Cara Beard and Abby Inez have been in Los Angeles recording their first album.

Darline duo Cara Beard and Abby Inez have been in Los Angeles recording their first album. - Credit: Archant

For most young girls becoming a singer is a childhood dream, but for one Stevenage teenager that dream has become a reality.

Cara Beard plays on the Folkstock stage during Balstock 2014.

Cara Beard plays on the Folkstock stage during Balstock 2014. - Credit: Archant

Cára Beard is one half of UK pop duo Darline, having struck up a partnership with fellow singer-songwriter Abby Inez back in 2015.

The pair have recently been recording an album in Los Angeles, but Cára’s musical journey started in the pubs of North Herts and Beds.

The 19-year-old told the Comet: “I started gigging locally when I was 15.

“My first gig was when I’d just turned 15 and I was playing during the interval of my guitar teacher’s gig at a local pub.”

Cara Beard performing on the acoustic stage at Stevenage Day in 2015. Credit: SG1 Radio

Cara Beard performing on the acoustic stage at Stevenage Day in 2015. Credit: SG1 Radio - Credit: Archant

It was one of these gigs that got Cára noticed by Ben Earle – a member of The Shires country duet – who saw the talented young musicians as the perfect fit for his latest project with manager Steve Morton.

“I met Ben thanks to the lovely Anita Naughton back in May 2015,” explained Cára.

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“She commented on his Facebook page and said you need to check this girl out. He lives nearby and came to one of my gigs to see me perform.

“He said he was putting a girl duet together. He already knew Abby, they’d been writing for a short while and he said we’ll come down, write a song and see how it goes.

“Me and Abby got along really well and it went from there.”

The pair were soon thrust into action on the big stage, performing on The Shires’ UK October tour just five months after meeting – with the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire performance coinciding with Cára’s 18th birthday.

Darline performed at the BRIT awards week in February, meeting some of the UK’s biggest acts – an experience Cára described as “incredible”.

Just two months later, Darline headed to America to shoot their music video, with the home of Hollywood, Los Angeles, providing the back drop.

A second trip to the city followed in July as the duo began recording for their first album.

Although Cára can’t speak too much about the video, album or first single release, she did explain to the Comet how the trip came about and what they got up to in LA.

She said: “Our artist and repertoire manager from Warner Music arranged the trip and set up the writing sessions.

“Our love of pop and country music shines through in our writing, which we explored with the incredible writers in LA. We were really excited and inspired to work in an environment where pop music is so prominent and can’t wait to release our new music, which will definitely be a more pop sound with a balance of country story-telling and meaning in our lyrics.

“We worked with producers like John Shanks, Steve Solomon and Mitch Allen who are well established and renowned songwriters based in LA. Sometimes it was nerve-wracking for us working with people who have all these number one hits. You’d walk into their toilet and there were all these number ones on the wall, it was just unbelievable – but they were so welcoming and inspiring.

“Working with people like that will push us on to the next level. It’s nice getting new ideas and being able to bounce off people who who are so good at what they do, it just made us want to be better. It’s been such a good learning experience.”

Cára was also quick to praise her musical partner Abby.

“Me and Abby write so well together and she brings out the best out in me,” said Cára.

“We are always thinking of new ideas. If I ever get writers block she picks me up and I try to do the same for her.

“I couldn’t imagine going out to LA on my own, it was so much fun to share everything with someone.”

With a debut single and album coming up, what are Cára’s future ambitions for Darline?

“I’m really hoping we can do a tour of our own, but we’d also love to support some different acts and continue building a fan base.

“We’d love in the future to have music on Radio One and play all the big UK festivals like Reading, V Festival and Glastonbury – that would be an absolute dream.”

With her feet firmly on the ground, Cára has not forgotten her musical beginnings though, and you can see Darline’s last live festival performance of the year at Baldock’s Balstock festival on the ELR stage at 2.30pm on Saturday, September 9.

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