Darsell is a recording artist and songwriter from Miami, FL. She started singing at the tender age of five when she appeared on the nationally syndicated children’s program, Sesame Street. As a teenager, Darsell performed locally, immersed herself in choirs and began taking private voice lessons. After earning a Music Business degree from Miami Dade College, she was accepted and attended Berklee College of Music where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree Double Majoring in Vocal Performance and Songwriting. Darsell released her debut album, “Face of Love” in 2013 and is currently working on her second one in New York City where she resides.
It’s 2003, my SAT scores finally improved after those summer courses my mom forced me to take, prom was over and all that was left now was the decision of what I was doing with my life when I leave the familiar halls of Coral Gables Senior High. I was accepted to both of the state universities I applied to; one was in my hometown and the other was four hours away. Naturally, I wanted to go away to college like the rest of my friends but being eighteen years old and having Hispanic parents, they had made it very clear that I was staying close to them. Wishful thinking applying for an “out of city” school, I guess.
At Florida International University’s orientation, I knew their curriculum was not for me immediately. I still wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to study but I did know I wanted to do something in music. Singing had been my passion my entire life and Miami Dade College was offering a new two-year program where students could earn their associates and transfer their credits to Berklee College of Music.
When I graduated from Miami Dade with my Associates Degree in Music Business, the next logical step would have been to continue my studies in Music Business but I had come to the realization that I was not interested in the business side of the industry; I knew I needed to be creative. I auditioned for Berklee and sang “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”, like most singers did who grew up watching Lauryn Hill in Sister Act II.
When I received my acceptance letter in the mail, I was very apprehensive to show my parents. I did not want them to stop me from going away to college, again. To my surprise, they were thrilled and very supportive of their little girl going to college up North. My dad is terrified of flying so he rented a train cart with all the bells and whistles for him, my mom and I and our 36 hour ride from Miami to Boston. It was mid-January and zero degrees when we started moving me into my dorm room.
Until this day, saying goodbye to my parents as they got on their train back to Miami was one of the worst moments of my life and the best thing I ever did. I hated Berklee the first month I was there. I felt so alone and would cry every night in my top bunk wishing I could go home. After I started getting used to my first real winter and making friends, I began to love Berklee and Boston. I learned the most from my fellow classmates. They were all from different backgrounds and walks of life; some from countries I had never even heard of! Growing up surrounded by Cuban- Americans mostly, it was incredibly eye opening and fascinating to me.
One doesn’t go away for college only for education but to learn about one self and find out what you are truly capable of doing on your own. I am so fortunate I was able to finally have my college experience and it was better than I could’ve hoped for. I graduated with a double major in Vocal Performance and Songwriting and am grateful I didn’t leave home as an eighteen year old because I’m sure I would’ve come running back like most of my friends who went away right after high school did. I became a musician and made life long friends at Berklee College of Music. It changed my life and Boston will forever hold a special place in my heart.