The Story Of Opāru
Opāru is the stunning musical endeavor of Los Angeles-based songwriter, singer, and actress Dianna St. Hilaire. Opāru’s music can be described as electro with a dark ethereal undertone. Combined with dreamy operatic vocals, Opāru’s work creates a unique depiction of modern synth-pop culture.
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 backup/ studio vocalist in New Mexico, where she took on her first musical alias, the highly successful group Versailles. Partnering with the infamous Kim Fowley (The Runaways, Kiss, Joan Jett, Alice Cooper), she 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.
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.
Currently, Opāru is working with various music libraries in the United States including Megatrax, MPath and APM. Overseas EMI, and Universal Music. She recently just finished her 4th release with Megatrax music “I Never Told You”, which can be found on all major outlets including Spotify and Pandora.
“September Storm” released in January 2021 with MPATH was strongly influenced by bands like Depeche Mode, Lorde and Royksopp and showcases glistening synths, haunting vocals and resonating baselines. It pinpoints on the relationship between nature and humans. Opāru’s music has always been about nature and our relationship to it. In this track Opāru goes deep into the human psyche, focusing on our volatile emotional states. Similar to that of nature and it’s changes throughout the seasons. We enjoy our light summers and our happy flowery springs but then fall and winter come and many people grow darker with the seasons. We latch on to depression and we focus on what we are lacking as we isolate inside our homes during the cold months.
Opāru’s current single, coming out in a few weeks, “3 Little Birds” a Bob Marley Cover, produced by Nick Dillinger and Dianna St. Hilaire, was influenced by 80’s bands and current synthwave bands like Marvel 83 and Timecop 1983. The song was made during the pandemic and is about keeping faith during this hard time. That no matter what we will make it through and come out alright on the other side. Just gotta keep moving forward and never give up.