Darkovibes is renown for his experimentally uplifting amalgamation of Ghanaian Hip-hop and Afrobeats, and he’s back with a vibey new single 'Feel Your Body ft. Oxlade' dropping this June, and the second solo album 'Butifly' out later this year.
Darkovibes, armed with an infectious energy, is not only a huge part in reshaping the Ghanaian soundscape, but also part of forward thinking fashion and art collective La Même Gang.
Embracing all avenues of self-expression, he talks to F Word about working hard, partying hard and how to stay social when you’re a self-confessed studio rat. He also spills the tea on where the best parties in the world are, although with his addictively danceable tracks, we have a sneaking suspicion the good parties follow him and not the other way around.
Betty Cutting: How are you today?
DarkoVibes: I’m blessed, and highly favoured, I’m blessed, I’m chilling, how about you?
BC: I’m good, thank you. So, first of all, how did you get into music back in the day, and how old were you?
DV: I was in Senior High School, I’ve been a music enthusiast my whole life. I really and truly started doing music through free-styling, free-styling at school. Battling my mates, my seniors. Eventually a friend of mine saw the talent I had, and asked me to write a chorus for him, because he’d been writing raps across from me. I took him to my friends studio, he’s called Vacs (a producer). Vacs heard me, it was crazy, I’ve never looked back. I’ve been a studio rat from that time to today.
Darko wears jacket CREATIVE CELLS; jeans J LINDERBERG; sunglasses ARTIST'S OWN
BC: So you spend a lot of time in the studio?
DV: Oh yeah. I stayed in the studio so long before that I lost touch with human beings. I really lost touch, I couldn’t communicate properly, but I’m out of that now.
BC: Really, you got sucked into it?
DV: Yeah I got sucked into it crazy, yeah.
BC: So what and who inspires you?
DV: I’d say my environment, I pick everything from the environment I’m in at the time and space. It’s always about a moment. I could be out with my guys and happy, the next day could be with a girl who's sad. Maybe something is happening politically which breaks my heart, or maybe some social stuff. Or maybe I wake up and there’s plastic all over the place, and it hits me. And I’ll do something about it through music, it’s the only voice that I have.
BC: What can we expect from your up and coming album ?
DV: The new project album I’m working on ‘Butifly’ is purposely saying anything is possible, there’s enough space for everyone in the sky. So just happiness, freedom, flight mode, everything aerodynamics, all up in the skies.
BC: It’s your second solo album (after Kpanlogo?) right?
DV: Yeh this is my second solo album.
BC: How has your music changed and evolved?
DV: I’d say my music has evolved a lot because I’ve travelled a lot and been picking a lot of new experiences out there in the world and I feel like it’s effecting the kind of music I create. So I love it.
BC: So you take inspiration from different areas and locations?
DV: It’s always where I’m at.
BC: Do you ever get writers block?
DV: All the time. Mostly in the studio with my guy Malks, he can witness it sometimes, even Axel, Axel knows. Usually I prefer to write by myself so I go out, go for walks, bun a zoot, do what we gotta do innit.
BC: [Laughs]. That keeps you creative?
DV: Trust me.
Darko wears shirt CREATIVE CELLS; sunglasses ARTIST'S OWN
BC: And you collaborate a lot with other people, does that help keep you creative?
DV: Yes. Well I’m a very friendly person, so my collaborations come from my relationships with different people I’ve met, I love to collaborate, I believe teamwork makes the dreamwork.
BC: And what’s your recording process like? Do you go to the studio for a long period of time, or do you take breaks?
DV: I’m a studio rat, so I spend most of the time in the studio creating, not just an album, I just create; because I believe that this energy and inspiration won’t be there ’til I die. So I’m hungry right now to create and manifest my ideas into the universe.
BC: So you don’t think it will be there until you die?
DV: No I don’t think so, I don’t think the urge will be. The urge to do this, and travel everywhere, do interviews, press, I don’t think this thing is going to last. It’s a lot.
BC: Grab it whilst it’s hot.
DV: Trust me.
Darko wears jacket CANADA GOOSE X REFORMATION; shirt CREATIVE CELLS; sunglasses ARTIST'S OWN
BC: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
DV: I’d say focus on your career. Mind the business that pays you. There’s a lot of distractions out there, you can easily get lost in the sauce. So you need to be the change that you want to see and focus on your career.
BC: Afrobeats is definitely becoming more popular in America and the UK, do you think that makes it easier to break through?
DV: No, nothing is easy. Africa is a big continent, it’s hard to break through. For the music to cut across to different parts of the world, it’s not a joke ting. Trust me. Don’t think because the music is popping every one making music is going to pop because sometimes it makes it very hard to cut across. It’s not easy at all.
BC: What helped you break through?
DV: I would say teamwork, I’m part of a collective called La Même Gang and I think hanging out with those guys pushed me to where I am today because it’s a very healthy yet competitive relationship we have. When you’re in the studio you come with your A game because I swear down by the time tomorrow comes, your verse is gone, they’ll delete it. Haha. Nobody cares, if you don’t go hard you go home. That environment shaped me, and helped me break through because I was going all in everyday back to back.
BC: And you travel a lot now because of work yeh?
DV: I love to yeh, I enjoy it.
BC: Where’s the best parties?
DV: London has nice link ups, but New York 167 Bronx - oh shit. Or Ghana, actually Ghana straight. Because Ghana from January - December is hot. Easter blasting. December zooming. Summer we outside. All day every day party. I’ll pick Ghana.
BC: What would you do if you didn’t do music?
DV: I’d be a very good marketer. I’ll sell anything to you right now. I’ve been thinking about starting my own Advertising thing. So if I wasn’t doing music I’d be wearing suits and ties and shit.
Darko wears top + shorts C.P COMPANY; shoes ADIDAS VIA SCHUH
BC: Final question which we ask everyone. What’s your favourite F-word?
DV: Fantasy. I have crazy fantasies.
BC: That’s a good answer. Anything else you wanted to mention?
DV: I love all my friends, fans and family out here in London to know that we are bringing vibes to the world. We are redefining the brand through live experiences and we would love each and every one of you guys wherever you are to pull up and let the place fill up.
BC: Thank you so much.
DV: I got you. You’re welcome.