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Darja Schabad (Russian: Дарья Шабад; born 6 January 1988), is a vocalist and actress originally from Riga, Latvia. Darja (pronounced Daria) grew up in Bremen, Germany before moving to London, England, where she studied at Bradfield College to complete her A-Level studies. Darja speaks four languages fluently due to her international upbringing – Russian, German, English and Spanish.
Education and career
Darja deferred her University education to participate in the popular German reality TV Show Popstars in the year of 2001. More than 11,000 singers attended open television auditions in Frankfurt, Cologne, Berlin, Stuttgart, Hamburg, and Munich, conducted by choreographer Detlef "D!" Soost, producer Alex Christensen, and singer and radio host Noah Sow. After auditioning in Frankfurt and after multiple recalls, Darja was chosen as one of 32 contestants who immediately travelled to Ibiza, Spain to get trained in singing, dancing, and fitness. In the end three females, including Darja, and five males remained who again moved into a loft in Munich to start working on their performance and publicity skills. During a special episode on 11 November 2001, judges Soost and Christensen eventually disclosed that Ross Antony, Hila Bronstein, Shaham Joyce, Faiz-Kevin Mangat, Verena "Indira" Weis, and Giovanni Zarrella were chosen to become part of the multicultural group Bro'Sis. Darja was voted out in that episode.
During Popstars Darja gained significant publicity in Germany and started working on a solo career with Producer Tony Coutura. Darja rejected a solo record deal offer by East West Records to pursue a BSc in International Relations at the prestigious London School of Economics. While still at university, in 2003 Darja participated in ITV's Pop Idol (series 2), where she was selected into the last 5 groups of 10 in the competition. After her performance of Shakira's "Underneath your Clothes" Simon Cowell stated that Darja has The X Factor.
After graduating in 2005, Darja transferred to New York City in 2007, to pursue an Acting Degree at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Since her graduation she has appeared in films, commercials, industrials and voiceovers, representing companies such as Perkinelmer, Canon, UBS Investment Bank and PUMA, where she is the voice of the PUMA Perfume Animagical global commercial campaign, featuring Usain Bolt. Darja is currently working as a Host and Executive Producer for CorporateProfile.com.
Darja is still active as a singer, and is currently working on her EDM album release. Most recently she has performed at The Montauk Music Festival, where she was received with rave reviews.
- Official website
- Darja Schabad on IMDb
- Events – No day, no month, no year – New York, NYC
- Previous Committees (2000 – Present)