As someone who began listening to electronic music with Pendulum, The Prodigy and Rusko, my tastes have always skewed toward heavier bass. But lately, I’ve found myself with a particular penchant for pop – maybe it’s because EDM is becoming so pervasive in pop, or maybe it’s because I’m getting older and I can’t quite headbang like I used to, who really knows… but when I heard this song “Rise Up” from Latvian/German/UK artist Darja, it definitely caught my attention.

Darja has appeared on multiple TV music competitions, including Germany’s Popstars in 2001 and ITV’s Pop Idol, Season 2 in the UK, which have only helped her to hone her craft even further. Her newest song “Rise Up” is a story about her entire life up to now.

“I have always been a foreigner everywhere I lived, so I always felt a bit like an outsider trying to fit in. Today I feel like a citizen of the world. I identify with every race and every social class, because I have seen it all, I have experienced the bottom I have experienced the top and ultimately it is all fleeting until you decide to love yourself for who you are no matter what life throws at you.”

The lyrics and vibrato in Darja’s voice easily convey the emotion she feels and the connection to her own song, which the production is undoubtedly fun and energetic. It’s the pure definition of pop, but pop is meant to be fun! It’s not all about sound design and experimentation in this genre, it’s about finding common ground between people.

Listen to “Rise Up” below!