Day 93: Villas

Mel Larkin & D’Ari Lisle

Ontario, CA

Our offering is a live performance from our home studio. Written by Mel & D’Ari and produced by D’Ari and Minneapolis-based producer Crxsh. “Around the Sun” was inspired by an old spoken word piece that Mel wrote which responded to the question “What would the world be like without violence?” Remnants of that piece begin this song, but then something new was born. The finished offering is a reflection on Villas’ racial intersections and experiences. While hope is the foundation that this song was built on, it also takes the listener through a truthful expression of this challenging moment in time. In this way, this song embodies peace-work itself. In order to realize a more unified and just future, many harsh realities must be unearthed, worked through, and reconciled. Creating this song helped us in our own healing journey, and we offer it here hoping it may do so for others as well.


Villas is a songwriting & production duo from Ontario, Canada. Conceptualized by partners, artists, social entrepreneurs & creative visionaries D’Ari Lisle and Mel Larkin, Villas was built on the abandonment of convention. While constantly writing and recording in their home-studio on their farm, Mel & D’Ari simultaneously co-founded an arts not-for-profit called Darkspark, which uses the tools of pop culture (songwriting, storytelling & film) to tackle some of the worlds’ most challenging issues with youth around the world.


While external actions of social justice are vital now and always, we believe that taking care of oneself is the only way to have the strength to persevere through this challenging time. We’ve had the privilege of living rurally with a lot of land to explore throughout the pandemic, and if there is anything we can offer it’s this: go outside. Connect with whatever nature is around you, no matter how small – even a rock or the sky will do. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the world, or pessimistic about our collective future, focus your energy on the abundance that exists in the natural world, a world that has continued to thrive for millennia with or without us. There are so many lessons to be learned from nature about abundance, love and selflessness. Focusing attention there can help to redirect negative feelings into gratitude. Thanks to the book ‘Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm’ by Stephen Harrod Buhner for really driving this lesson home for us over the past few months – a must-read!

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