“To All the Gabbys in the World” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Darla Z

2023 July 18

“To All the Gabbys in the World” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Darla Z

-Who is Darla Z?

I am a wife, daughter, mother, sister, singer/songwriter, writer, author, advocate for women’s rights, lover of animals, and above all else, I love God. As a professional singer, I have been singing and songwriting since 2005, when I started my career by opening in concert for Willie Nelson, where I also sang one of my original songs “Why’d You Go?”. Before that, I wrote four published children’s books in a series called the Cat Detectives, one of which was endorsed by The Humane Society of the United States, because I am also an advocate for rescuing animals. I also have written numerous screenplays, one of which is currently in the preproduction stage. I am, and always have been, a strong believer in the need for quality, wholesome, family entertainment and I also firmly believe there is a strong market worldwide for that.

-What inspired you to become a singer?

I have always sung – ever since I was a child, and I’ve always loved music. I remember when I was young, I would sing along to the standards with my mom and dad. I also sang duets with my mother, sang at church, was in school and church choirs. Back then, I listened to Karen Carpenter a lot which somewhat helped me develop my musical style today. Karen is one of my idols in music, along with the legendary Frank Sinatra. In the mid-1980s, my husband Bill and I promoted and produced many concerts throughout the United States with famous singers, including several concerts with Frank Sinatra. I studied Frank’s style then (and still do) and his phrasing and delivery of vocals, which of course, was elegantly beautiful. At the time, I also met and was around many other legendary singers, including Italy’s own Luciano Pavarotti, who I had dinner with in 1984 in Oklahoma (USA) (along with my husband and his father, Dr. Nazih Zuhdi, who was personal friends with Pavarotti). Before I met Pavarotti in America, my father-in-law had met Pavarotti backstage at La Scala through his sister, an Italian resident, who knew and socialized with Pavarotti. I’ve also been blessed to work with and open for Mr. Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, a couple of times. Wayne is a consummate entertainer and in watching him during the shows we worked together, I learned from him how to capture and entertain a crowd. He is truly gifted at that. Being around these musical giants, and Pavarotti is clearly in my opinion, the best vocalist of all time, inspired me to be a singer that mattered. Plus, my husband has always inspired, encouraged and supported me throughout my career, and I am who I am today as an artist, because of him. I have always wanted to be a singer that could entertain, make people smile, and I wanted to move people’s souls with my vocals and my delivery, as well move them by the songs I write. I wanted – and still do — to make a difference in the music industry, just as I want to make a difference in the film industry.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Absolutely. I think cinema is one of the most powerful mediums there are to bring about a change in society, both for the good and the bad. Cinema has always sculpted the morality of a lot of people. Movies have inspired and moved people, not only with content, but also with the musical scores that accompany the film. In the case of an epic, music can make or break a movie. For the good, it can bring about a change in society by creating visually on screen an idealism that makes a situation or character more accepting and hopefully, make society less discriminating. For the bad, it can influence and change a society in advancing that a certain behaviour is acceptable, when it – in a civilized society – should not be.

-What would you change in the world?

I would change the occurrences of domestic violence and make the laws stiffer to help domestically abused women be valued and protected. I would institute plans and educate to help these victims escape their horrific situations to start a new life. This is why I wrote the song a couple of months ago “To All the Gabbys in the World” and the script to the music video, which was produced by my team to create awareness of this urgent worldwide epidemic, in order to motivate, inspire, and strengthen victims of abuse.

Particularly in America, I would change certain laws related to gun control and stop the madness associated with joe blow public’s ability to possess assault rifles. I would change how people hate. I would save animals that need to be rescued.

In my public television Christmas music special ‘Darla Z’s Christmas Round the World’, that ran several years back, my whole goal was to promote that throughout the world, we as a people, are a lot closer than we think. I would love the world to know that through the power of music, we are unified, that music can bring us together. So, I would change the world in a positive way to promote that we are all in this life together, and I would promote peace and love, and caring – to create awareness that globally, there are many people who want good things, positive things, for the world. I would stop all wars, which I know is impractical, but you asked, how would I change the world. I would have only love and peace.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

I believe in a positive direction. And I would hope the film makers of today and tomorrow will protect the craft of human creation. Unfortunately, I think the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer-generated graphics may replace character development, real scenes, and human actors more and more, which is sad, I think. AI and graphics are not real. Humans are real. And real human beings have empathy, emotion, concerns, desires, hopes and dreams. As human beings, we need to see real emotion to understand and appreciate fellow humans. So, if film makers as a collective goal continue to advance stories that are true to human emotion, then the future will be bright for the film industry. Advancements will occur that will make it easier and cheaper to portray our art on screen. Tools will be invented to make it easier on film makers to not only film and record the perfect scene, but also to make it easier on the film maker’s budget. Fortunately for me as a singer and songwriter, music will always be in the film industry because of the strength, stability and emotion it evokes. So, thank goodness, I see music still being prevalent in the film industry in the next 100 years and forever!