Music together


Electropop, R&B/Soul

Melissa Larkin

May 16, 2020

VILLAS is Mel and D’Ari, a classic romance built on the abandonment of convention. Both were immersed in Toronto’s creative circles when they stumbled into a life change. Faced with an offer they couldn’t refuse, they traded everything in for an isolated farm in rural Prince Edward County. The house had no front door, no plumbing, kitchen or bathrooms, and was inhabited by birds and raccoons on arrival. They called it their “villa”. Having spent most of their lives in various music projects, they assembled a home studio and began to musically chronicle their unusual lives, their choices and their incredible capacity for uncertainty. While writing and recording, Mel & D’Ari simultaneously co-founded an arts not-for-profit called Darkspark, running songwriting and recording projects with youth around the world with the mission of elevating cross-cultural conversation and reducing prejudice. Upon completion of a project involving youth from Chicago’s south side, their work caught the attention of President Barack Obama which led to meeting President Obama himself, and an invitation to attend the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit celebrating global change-makers. Mel and D’Ari write about the challenges of monogamy, the intersections of their orientation and race, modern love, the weight of isolation, mental illness and facing outside expectations. Armed with a collection of new material due for release in 2020 and a captivating live show, Villas’ unique perspective is rare in pop music; they embody 'modern love' - interchanging narratives of sexuality, feminism, politics and relationships from two different, yet complimentary perspectives.