Dankie Sounds has very quickly become one of London's biggest events since launching in 2021 as something that began as a small idea with a couple of friends who love music. The brand has gone from strength to strength as it has effortlessly taken over the nightlife scene with its unique and exciting amapiano experience. Before heading to Ibiza we sat down with the founders to discuss their journey so far, what the euphoric Ibiza Weekender has to offer, and their future plans.
Founded by Kaz, Tunde, Jimmy, and Sama, alongside the guidance of their fifth member God, Dankie Sounds is opening doors for the genre of amapiano as it is clearly here to stay and there's no better way to showcase that than taking the event to one of the world's biggest party islands, where some of the genre's biggest DJ's and instrumentalists will be in attendance. Having worked with brands such as Wray & Nephew, Puma, City Splash, and Titan Festival in such a short space of time, along with an impressive weekend lineup in Ibiza it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for the ever-growing event that is Dankie Sounds
Firstly, how many founding members of Dankie Sounds are there and how did you all meet?
So, there are 4 of us myself (Kaz), Tunde, Jimmy, and Sama, but technically our fifth member is God. We all group in church, Sama’s brother is a pastor, I grew up playing drums in church, so having God at the forefront of what we do is very important. We've made it a ritual to pray together before any event, without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Me (Kaz) and Sama met at Bedfordshire University through mutual friends, whereas Tunde and Jimmy met at Coventry University. Years later and once we had all finished University, we all eventually met through some mutual friends. In terms of how we all got into the party scene, James and Tunde were curating a lot of events at their Uni, while myself and Sama first kicked off into the scene doing apartment parties, we properly got into events around 5 years ago and I guess the rest is history…
What inspired the launch of Dankie Sounds?
The idea of Dankie itself started through Jimmy and Tunde, they had the initial idea to create a show that was based around Amapiano, which is what they were mostly listening to in lockdown, Sama and I were looking for the next step in our events journey. All four of us were heavily exposed to and inspired by Amapiano at the time but initially played with different ideas and genres that we could’ve tapped into, we were all looking for the next chapter in our careers and after one phone call together we decided it only made sense to join forces. After that one call, we knew what we were doing straight away and that’s why we always have to give thanks to God. In April 2021 we had our meeting and by July we were already planning our first event, however, due to COVID restrictions we had to move the event to August 1st.
There are so many evolving sounds coming from the diaspora, why focus solely on amapiano?
As a collective we all love house music, as we all know amapiano and house have some clear similarities, despite us all being lovers of house music, we saw the beauty of amapiano as for us it was kind of like house music but for black people, even though none of us are South-African we just connected with the genre on a deeper level. Very quickly it became very apparent that this is the genre we had to push, we’re African, and it’s an African genre of music, it just all made sense.
How does it feel to be one of London’s biggest amapiano events?
With us we are really trying to create the best thing, this is only the beginning, and we have a lot more to do. It’s a nice feeling that our work is getting recognised at the level that it is but this is the time that we can’t be complacent.
You’ve worked with an array of brands and events including Wray & Nephew, City Splash, Puma, and more. What would be your dream collaboration?
I don't know whether we have a dream collaboration but in regards to where we want to see the country, events aside we’ve also been in the studio making music ever since last year. We kind of thought since we’ve been making such an impact within the culture through our events we thought why not tap into the music side of things with that we’ve been executively producing music with a handful of artists. Between us, we had a couple of conversations and before we knew it, we were already booking studio time, we had a couple of artists in mind and kind of just made things happen from there, one of the instrumentalists who works with us on one of our shows is a producer, he was one of the first people we booked in the studio. Since then we’ve linked up with the likes of Not3s, Curtis, and more, all of this is ultimately a testament to God, despite being unknown as executive music producers we’ve had some pretty big artists step into the studio with us it’s just crazy. Jimmy and Tunde previously had some artist management experience but never anything like this, we all went into this experience with a love for music.
In the future, we'd love to collaborate with people from around the world, especially people in South Africa like the major leagues, the Uncle Waffles, and even Nigerian musicians like Burna Boy and Wizkid, there's such a big pool of people we haven't tapped into yet. The world really is our oyster, we just want to create.
What does the future hold for Dankie Sounds?
I think Dankie Sounds will probably be a solar system of experiences of events from events to fashion, to music, just a bit of everything really. Earlier this year we actually did an event in collaboration with GUAP Magazine called Women Create for International Women's Day, we had mentors, industry professionals, and a whole variety of people come through to help women who wanted to break into the music industry. Art, fashion, and music are definitely our top 3 goals, and conquering bigger and better venues like Ally Pally would be a dream!
In such a short space of time Dankie as a brand has achieved so much, what are some of the stand-out moments for you guys?
I would say something that we have cultivated over time is our team and community, we look at some of the people we work with as family. We started in August 2021 and worked with people like DJ L.A.G, and Terminal 4, and witnessing their growth has been a moment in itself. We just have a family we like to call it DMF (Dankie Mafia Family), we even have t-shirts for it too.
Dankie Sounds is hosting one of its biggest events yet in Ibiza, tell us a little bit about that:
We've done Ghana and DLT Malta, where we've been booked to DJ but this Dankie Sounds Weekender is our first-ever event abroad. With all of us being from a house music background and having traveled to Ibiza multiple times it's very evident who these parties are for, I feel like amapiano is like black people's house music or EDM, so we thought why not shine a light on it at one of Europe's biggest party destinations as well as creating additional space for black people to party in Ibiza.
What can people expect during Dankie Sounds in Ibiza?
It's a three-day weekender, we have a welcome party on the first night, the second day we're at Ibiza Rocks, followed by headliners like Juls, Vigro Deep, Felo Le Tee, and an array of DJs. Sunday will be the real Dankie Sounds experience
In one word how would you describe the Dankie Sounds experience?
There's no other experience like the Dankie Sound experience, there are giveaways, there's a really vibrant atmosphere and there's good music.