Dance-pop singer and Tucson native Dario’s 2-week old album “Point of No Return” is No. 110 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart and No. 5 on the Independent Albums rankings.
The Flowing Wells High School grad also is sitting at No. 33 on Billboard’s Top Album chart, 52 for digital albums, No. 6 for overall pop albums and No. 11 for physical album.
Don’t ask him to explain the sudden burst of popularity from his ninth release; he’s at a loss.
“We’re two weeks in and we’re still on the charts,” he said from home in Los Angeles on Monday, moments after taping a Fox network dance show that he wouldn’t name because it’s in its early production stage.
Dario Dicochea, who goes by just his first name professionally, said he’s been told he will jump higher in the rankings when they are released Tuesday, March 14; Billboard officials Monday said they could not comment on unreleased charts.
The buzz swirling around “Point” includes phone calls from major news outlets wanting to know how an independent artist managed to break the Billboard ceiling. Billboard, which charts all genres of music and all formats, from physical records (CDs, vinyl) to digital downloads, is dominated by major-label household names like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. An indie artist rarely if ever makes the cut, and if they do, it’s short-lived like the one week that Dario was on Billboard (No. 94) for his 2016 EP “Alpha.”
“I’m still sitting here completely in awe of what’s happening,” he said in a phone call that was one of several media interviews he’s done since the record’s release. “I am this kid from Tucson, Arizona, that wanted to sing. I never imagined in a million years that this was a possibility for me.”
Dario, whose five siblings and parents still live in Tucson, has been pursuing his music career for 16 years, so it’s not like the Billboard rankings qualify him as overnight success story. But they have prompted inquiries from record distributors — as an independent, he’s largely responsible for marketing and selling his records — and major labels. He’s also planning a seven-month tour that includes a month in the UK and Scotland beginning in mid-June.
His “Point of No Return” tour will be announced next week and could include dates in Tucson and Phoenix to support an album that Dario said is his most important to date. It was the first recording where he didn’t turn to a marketing consultant “to tell me what to do.”
“On this record, I decided let me just be honest, let me be me,” he said.
The last time Dario performed in Tucson was when he headlined the 2011 Pride in the Desert daylong LBGT festival at Kino Sports Complex.