JAY DARKO
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JAY DARKO

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Austin, Texas, United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Pop R&B

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"Up and Coming - JAY DARKO"

One of the coolest things about this town is being able to find new artists on any night of the week. For this month’s interview I’d like to introduce Jay Darko. He’s new and talented and I’m excited to see what he does next.

Jay is a pop singer in Austin. Wait, did I really say pop singer? I did! My world of Austin music is dominated by the singer songwriters and country performers that are really at the heart of this town. They are all wonderful and I love them, but sometimes it’s nice to get out and see something different.

Earlier this month I was able to catch Jay’s first show. How exciting is that?! To be part of someone’s first show. As I get older and I don’t have many “firsts” left, I think it’s cool to see others doing amazing things with their life. Of course I have to laugh when I look back to what I was doing at 20. Nowhere near writing my own songs and performing them on stage. But here is Jay doing just that. And guess what? He’s good!

So everyone read through our interview and get to know Jay Darko. Remember his name and hopefully we’ll see him around town soon!

Jes: How did you get started in music?
Jay: Well, as far as I can remember, my life has gyrated around music. As I child a learned to play a variety of instruments, this resulted in me becoming advanced in music theory and the structures of music. But before I learned to play, I had always loved to sing. Drawing inspiration from multiple artists, I had self-taught myself how to sing and and would perform at open-mics around Austin by the age of 13.

Jes: When did music become serious?
Jay: Music turned serious by the age of 19. I had a lot of emotions that I needed to express and started writing and producing my own music, transforming myself into “JAY DARKO”. Music is an art-form to me, I like to let my sound transcend into my photos, videos, and fashion. They all work together to help showcase what JAY DARKO is all about.

Jes: Tell me a little about your style of music?
Jay: I like to describe my music as morbid, yet catchy pop music with a peculiar blend of alternative. I love how powerful pop music is and how well it speaks to my generation; adding my own twist to it really helps me show my individuality. However, being a pop artist in this city has had some challenges. Austin has been primarily dominated by rock, alternative, and acoustic music. I hope my music will change that and put the “pop” back in “popular” here in Austin, as I start performing live around the city.

Jes: Like you said, Austin isn’t really a pop city. How are you going to overcome that?
Jay: I feel like the best way to overcome my challenges is to face them head on. I’m an artist and I’m not going to change my genre just to fit in, I will be myself and this city is just going to have to make room for me and pop music. However, Austin really is changing. It’s growing, different generations are growing with it. Pop, dance, EDM, rap, and a variety of diverse genres who weren’t exactly in the spotlight are starting to increase in popularity around here. I am passionate about attending shows and music festivals in this city and I have found a large number of different genres performing at events like SXSW and ACL, as well as independent shows that showcase pop, rap, and EDM especially. Pop is making a comeback here in Austin and I hope to follow it and hopefully lead it someday.

Jes: Was it your idea to start playing instruments when you were a child?
Jay: My mother had strongly believed in the benefits of musical education on children. She had signed me up for piano lessons as a child, I was eager to learn and very persistent in my music studies once I got started however I do credit my mother for opening the door for me.

Jes: What was your first instrument?
Jay: My first instrument that I had learned to play was the piano. I was taught by a lady who was blind and very strict; she would yell and get upset with me if I had not practiced her assigned music. This is when I had first started developing my deep understanding of the fundamentals of music theory.

Jes: Was your family involved in music?
Jay: Although my mother appreciated music greatly, my father possesses musical capabilities along with creativity. The difference between my mother and father’s opinions of my musical upbringing was that my mother thought it was beneficial and my dad just thought it was “cool”.

Jes: Was there a particular time or show or event that really made you think you could make music for a living?
Jay: Throughout my childhood I had seen 2 shows growing up that had really influenced me. Those two shows were Metallica and Lady Gaga. Very different artists, however both I feel impacted my career as a musician. Metallica was the first concert I had ever been too; the idea of a touring group of musicians successful enough to fill arenas every single night had astounded me. They were rock stars, and I wanted to be just like them. Lady Gaga had a similar effect. She possesses talent incomparable to any other artist in my opinion, her concert was life changing to me. The theatrics, her vocal ability, and everything she stands for is something that I feel every artist should take note of. After seeing those two concerts, I knew I was destined to do something great with my life.

Jes: Who do you look up to for inspiration?
Jay: There are a variety of artists that I feel like I connect to musically; I draw musical inspiration from other morbid pop artists like Halsey and Melanie Martinez. However, there isn’t one artist who I can credit for my inspiration in becoming a recording artist other than Lady Gaga. The backstory of her career and hustle to achieve fame is one of the most inspirational stories I have ever heard, I truly appreciate artists who make a name for themselves, all by themselves. She approaches music so uniquely and I hope one day I can strive to make a difference in the world as much as she has.

Jes: What is your songwriting process?
Jay: As I speak and listen to others communicate throughout my life, certain words or phrases really give me a peculiar vibe. I select these words and phrases and build lyrics around them based on how these vibes make me feel. This does not necessarily mean that this word or phrase will become the song title, but it often does. For example, I have a song called “Binge”. It’s a very powerful word, the act of consuming excessively for a certain emotional reason really speaks to me. Words don’t have to be complicated to have significance, for example, take the word “Dishonest”. Simple, yet undeniably powerful and is capable of having a million different backstories.

Jes: Do you have a special knick-knack, clothes, food, etc that you must have while writing songs?
Jay: Whenever I am producing my art, I must be wearing all black. Black can signify a lot more than just the absence of color to me. Black possesses as seriousness and sense of morbidity to it, it really helps me keep my mind focus and attentive. My best material spawns from me wearing all black.

Jes: Favorite form of art besides music? What speaks to you?
Jay: Other than music, I feel immensely drawn to art, like art you would see in a museum. My preference for a certain medium of art whether it’s two-dimensional or a sculpture is irrelevant to me; I enjoy all mediums equally. As an musician, I feel the visual aspect of my artistry that radiates from my music is just as important as the music itself. To fully experience any musician, you must do more than just listen to the music. Everything an artist produces down to the color of socks they are wearing really helps tell their story even further than the music can. Being a musician to me means much more than just making music.

Jes: Thanks Jay! - Austin Music Blog


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

JAY DARKO is a unique pop vocalist born and raised in Austin, Texas. He creates morbid, yet catchy dance-pop music with a peculiar blend of innovative alternative and mainstream pop. For JAY DARKO, music is an art-form. His sound transcends into his visualizations; photos, videos, and fashion all represent the essence of his music. The voice of JAY DARKO is one so unique and versatile; combining both smooth melodies and powerful belting has been the hallmark of JAY DARKO's vocal abilities. He writes, records, and produces all of his music alone, yet has collaborated with many electronic DJ artists featuring his powerhouse vocals on their electronic dance music tracks, released through their label's and found on iTunes, Google Play, Shazam, and more. When performing live, JAY DARKO pairs with talented DJ ABECX to create an amazing, unforgettable pop show. 20 year old avant-garde JAY DARKO is definitely an artist to keep an eye out for!

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