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Described by Leonard Cohen as "brilliant, funny and stunningly skillful,” Winnipeg's Ael is the unlikely conjurer behind a mesmerizing catalog of alt folk. Ael started learning English in his late 20s, and launched his songwriting career in his 50s releasing a collection of 52 original songs in 2018. Drawing from his eclectic life that began in Poland and led to a doctorate degree, a Canadian championship in spoken word, a weekly CBC opinion column, and a love affair with the Canadian Shield, Ael plans to save our blue dot one haunting, hilarious, tragic, and brutally honest song at a time.
'Darek (Ael) is an artist of the truest definition. With his 52 songs project, he has demonstrated amazing growth and sincerity as a songwriter. His genuine lyrics and honest delivery is truly infectious. My recording partner Lloyd Peterson and I (Rusty Matyas) became instant fans upon hearing his music. We hear elements of Nick Drake, Peter Bjorn and John, Dan Reeder, Neutral Milk Hotel, and even Of Monsters and Men, as well as the playfulness of Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips. The only thing we feel his music lacks is any pretense or jaded attitude. This is such a refreshing thing to hear! We would be thrilled to have the chance to make a record with Darek'. - January 2019 - Rusty Matyas (Imaginary Cities & Producer @ Paintbox Recording)
‘Darek Dawda's audio file is brilliant, funny and stunningly skillful. I was greatly entertained and impressed. Please thank him. He's really good.’ – Leonard Cohen (April, 2009 in a private email after a friend sent Leonard a song I wrote for him inviting him to play at my Winnipeg venue the CYRK)