Opāru is Los Angeles based songwriter, singer and actress Dianna St. Hilaire. Known for her unique and introspective sound which fuses future electro with a dark ethereal undertone, Opāru produces dream-like operatic vocals, creating a fresh depiction of modern pop culture. Her music represents our animalistic nature and is a reminder to be true to ourselves, follow our path and relinquish fear, as we are the ones who can truly do anything we put our hearts and minds into.
Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, St. Hilaire started to write and perform music at a very young age in choir and musicals. Self taught, her first instrument was the piano and she worked tirelessly at the craft of reading and writing music. When St. Hilaire was in her late teens she began performing with punk bands and for producers as a back up/ studio vocalist in New Mexico, where she took on her first musical alias, the highly successful group Versailles.
St. Hilaire reinvented herself in late 2015 with the new project Opāru, deriving from the Japanese name of the birthstone opal. Opāru’s roots stem from experimental electronic, 80s synth pop, and alternative rock. She confides, “The underlying theme in my music is the workings of the inner voice. The internal person that lingers buried under insecurities and fears. Why are there so many? Why do we as human beings tolerate environments where these feelings are projected onto us?” Her influences range from Madonna, The Cure, Lykke Li, Lana Del Rey, Halsey and SOHN.
Leading single ‘Ghost To Follow’ is about living in the shadow of yourself and the hope of acceptance from someone else. Opāru expresses, “You are so strong and wise and powerful but you live in the shadow of who you really are so that people around you will accept you. You’re so afraid that if you break through to your true beauty that you will lose those around you. So you stay silent and you keep your head down and hope that someday they will see you”. Co-written by Josh Stevens (LMFAO, Jennifer Lopez, and Pitbull), ‘Ghost To Follow’ which was influenced by Aurora’s ‘Running With The Wolves’ features simple piano melodies, stunning string arrangements and powerful lyricism, creating a theatrical and heartfelt release.
The beautiful cinematic visuals for ‘Ghost To Follow’ adopts scenery and nature to represent life experiences, the strong pull of water metaphorically submerging emotions, along with the vastness of the desert which exposes life’s many hurdles. Directed by Morningstar Sargenti (Missi Pyle, Timothy Hutton, Catarina Scorsone), the music video acts as encouragement, proving that overcoming obstacles will only make you wiser and stronger.
‘Love Me’ was strongly influenced by bands like MTNS and Royksopp and showcases glistening synths, haunting vocals and resonating baselines. Thematically focusing on the desire of longing, it narrates that relatable situation that we have all been in. “We are deceived, lied to, hurt, or abused by our significant others and in the end we close the door. We bar up the windows and seal our ultimate fate. We lock everything away so tightly that we don’t allow new joys into our world. We don’t see it but we become it. We absolutely refuse to trust anyone or allow anyone to get to close. When they do we lash out at them because we are afraid”, confides Opāru.
Partnering with the infamous Kim Fowley (The Runaways, Kiss, Joan Jett, Alice Cooper), Opāru has toured the US extensively, been featured on the official Grammy ballots, as well as charting on Billboard. Versailles’s music was also on rotation with popular stations across the U.S. including KROQ and NPR tastemaker KCRW. The songstress continues her journey with the release of ‘Ghost To Follow’ currently available worldwide.