• Thelma Khupe

Darkoo: The UK's Cutting-Edge, Contemporary Afropop Artist Taking Music To New Heights.

Afropop's most dynamic, highly regarded, singer/songwriter and viral sensation Darkoo, is on her way to spotting among the most eminent musicians in todays UK music sphere. Her 2019 breakthrough with ‘Gangsta' - an addictive, vibe-filled anthem featuring One Acen, pushed her to notoriety, placing her at the forefront of an exciting new wave of Afrobeats.

We spoke to Darkoo (via zoom) following the release of her international feature with French collective, 4 Keus.

Born into Nigerian heritage, south London-hailed Darkoo’s love for Afro-beats extends beyond the studio sessions and performances, but all the way back to her childhood as she quotes the likes of 'Davido, Wizkid and Maleek Berry' as inspirations she’d listened to growing up. ‘I grew up listening to all sorts but I really love Afrobeats’ she says, confidently through the Zoom call. ‘As a Nigerian, you know, I listened to a lot of that music and I’m proud of my heritage’. Her love for Afrobeats is illustrated in her jaunty, Afro swing style instrumentals and her charismatic, no-shy approach to lyrics.

Darkoo expressed her flair for music and song writing early on in her life as a teenager, when she released her debut song ‘Gas station’, long before the popular ‘Gangsta’. But 'Gangsta' was the pivotal moment in her career that catapulted her to mainstream success within the Afrobeats / Afroswing scene, placing her at the forefront of a modernistic, fresh approach to the traditional genre. Despite there being many women, like Darkoo, making waves in the Afrobeats scene (Tiwa Savage, Busiswa, Yemi Alade) women are often still underrated in the industry. ‘I’d like to see more support for women in the industry’ she says. ‘There are so many women doing their thing in music, especially dark skin women, whether it's Afrobeats or R&B and I’d love to see more people showing support towards them.’

Aside from the fresh music, Darkoo proves herself as a multifaceted artist, transcending between different styles. Her non-conforming approach to fashion and appearance puts her at the forefront of one of the UK music scenes most stylistically diverse and versatile artists. In her latest video with 4 Keus, Darkoo flaunts bright, blonde hair with a glamorous, baby blue gown. While other video appearances show her more relaxed, yet still equally as lavish side as she styles streetwear fashion and sleek suits. ‘I can switch between any style easily it all depends on how I’m feeling. Some days I can be chilling in some trousers and another day I can be in a new wig and makeup. But either way, I’m comfortable.’

More recently, we saw the release of Darkoo's international collaboration with 4 Keus on the song 'Cinderella'.

Formed in 2015, 4 Keus broke out with their debut, certified gold single titled 'O'Kartier c'est la hess', which amassed over 188 million views on YouTube. 'Cinderella' sees a perfect treasure of 4 Keus' mellow vocals with Darkoo's effortlessly vibey flow. 'They're such talented guys and we vibe really with each other'. If Darkoo could collaborate with any international artists, dead or alive, her pick would be 'Wiz Kid, Fela Kuti and Drake'. 'Drake is such a sick guy and I love his music'

2020 saw Darkoo establish herself as a UK music rising star. ‘There’s a lot I’ve got in store, videos, singles and I’m excited to share that with my fans. Expect a lot more from me.' We can also expect more international collaborations from Darkoo, 'Yeah definitely, 100%. I want to to keep doing international features so you'll see more of that'’.

Watch the video to 'Cinderella' below.

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