Darren is a 4-time Emmy award, Dove Award, and certified Grammy Award winning producer and mix engineer, who has over 25 years experience in arranging, recording, mixing and performing contemporary vocal music.
Darren attended Moorhead State University where he studied vocal performance and audio production. He sang in the MSU Concert Choir and their prestigious ensemble, The Chamber Singers. He also had extensive individual vocal training, and completed 2 years in the University’s Opera Workshop Program. During that time he also studied in the University’s Music Industry Program and completed audio production courses, where he learned advanced recording and engineering skills. Though his education at MSU was an encouraging start, Darren’s real-life education was about to begin with the forming of his pop vocal band, The Blenders, and the creation of his own production company and recording studio.
As a founding member of The Blenders, Darren has arranged, recorded, and produced the groups 15 albums over their 27 year career, which is still going strong today. He also toured with the group for many years, sharing the stage with such artists as Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Johnny Lang, Savage Garden, Chuck Barry, The Righteous Brothers, Blue Traveler and many more. The group also appeared on such national TV shows as The Arsenio Hall Show (FOX), The Today Show (NBC), and Crook and Chase (TNN). The Blenders have also had much commercial success locally and nationally with many campaigns including the “Wake Up With Fox 9” campaign in Minneapolis, and a national McDonald’s TV commercial with their #1 hit, “I Am In Love With the McDonald’s Girl”.
Darren’s studio work and success with The Blenders quickly spawned a recording career of his own. He soon began recording and producing other artists from around the country and eventually from around the world. In 2000, he established Skyland Productions and Skyland Studios, his production company and recording facility, which is now located in Lakeville Minnesota.
Over his 25-year career, Darren has produced, recorded and mixed hundreds of artists and vocal groups including Home Free, Naturally Seven, Peter Hollens, Straight No Chaser, Maybebop, Go Fish, The Ball Brothers, The Blenders, Vocal Point, Eclipse 6, Noteworthy, and many more. He has engineered and mixed recordings for such contemporary artists as Michael Buble’, Quincy Jones, Donnie Osmond, Ludacris, Siedah Garrett, The Sounds of Blackness, and more.
Darren’s most notable achievement is his work and influence in the world of a-cappella music. For nearly 25 years, his vocal arrangements and recordings with The Blenders have inspired a whole new generation of vocal-only bands, being one of the first producers to introduce raw “Beatbox” into contemporary a-cappella which is now being celebrated in the hit movie, “Pitch Perfect”, and TV shows “Glee” and “The Sing-Off”.
Darren continues to produce, record, and mix for his company, Skyland Productions, as well as tour and record with The Blenders.