Youngsters getting involved in the UK's underground music scene are grabbing opportunities as quickly as they appear. 17-year-old Johnnie DARKO from Gloucester pushes alternative lyrics and dark alien like rap within his music. Grabbing attention from over 1k listeners on Spotify DARKO keeps pulling in the young generation using his own interpretation on how rap can be produced and created.
DARKO describes his music as "Familiar and alien at the same time. The beat can sound spacelike but the lyrics are down to earth and something a British audience especially can recognise." With a unique mindset around British rap and how diverse and upcoming the genre can be DARKO continually produces lyric authenticity, "I try to make a sound that lasts longer and could be listened to whenever and wherever writing lyrics people will remember and relate to". Pulling all main inspirations and influences from big named artists and artistically celebrated musicians "I'm into real rockstars like the Beatles and real icons like A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti." DARKO also expresses his influences from British hip-hop "people like Jesse James Solomon, Joe James and Cult of the Damned I rate them".
With a following of over 4k on Instagram, DARKO doesn't need much push in the scene, his following is often sharing his new content and demonstrating love to his music 'I posted my first song on SoundCloud ‘British Lad’ which I recorded in my mates bedroom and it hit 30k the other day on Youtube and Soundcloud which is a bit nuts, I can’t get my head around it mad humbled by it."
Recently DARKO demonstrated his passionate involvement in the underground scene by working with artist DANKHOMEZ on track 'G-Guilty (Prod. ByeRocket)', "I met DANKHOMEZ at the studio in Cheltenham and we recorded our first song together on a random. Hardest artist from my home city and real teacher too no matter what the future brings I’m grateful I got a brotherhood in him for real." The track was released to Youtube by InnaCityUK on March 30th and has already reached over 3k views. Wanting to collaborate with more underground artists DARKO is exploring the diverse range of music in the scene and says "100% I wanna make some bangers and just keep trying my best and meet some wavey donnies. There’s a gal called Mvther who’s arddd and another gal from Bristol called Willow Kayne they’re doing their thing."
Heavily focused on the production of his lyrics and the writing process of his music " I focus on my writing, I try to make my lyrics diverse instead of talking about stuff like money and designer clothes, shit gets boring and recycled all the time need people to realise it’s all temporary." DARKO is yet to get the ground pumping with performances although comments "I’m looking to host a show by the end of the year. I just want to get pissed up and go nuts on stage just have a messy one in a small venue with big numbers." Seeing himself pursuing with music as a career DARKO expresses his love for the industry and creativity it bring out in a person " I want music to be what I do for a living. I’m not fussed about how much money I make as long as I can travel and make some memories I’d be happy we’ll have to see what the future brings."
New EP 'Sleep Golfing' was released on June 14th including five different tracks the demonstrate his alien-like rap style "The EP did far better than I expected and once I saw everything official on Spotify was a made feeling, feedback was crazy. Make sure you watch the 2001 film ‘Donnie Darko’ and you might understand a bit better. I’m saying no more." Always keeping music at the top of his game DARKO promises to display more of his unique music in the upcoming months "Just wait for more visuals and more music I’ll just keep trying my best mad love to everyone that’s supported me so far!"
"I’ve only been to London twice I need to educate myself on what’s going down there but my favourite artists over there are Sam Wise and BlazeYL. London’s a big place with a lot of creativity so maybe it’s missing some JohnnieD." - DARKO
Photography by Jordan Parker