Words by Lily Mercer
South London’s Darq E Freaker is not your average Grime producer. Working with Footsie, Tempa T, Big Narstie, Lady Chann and Fool’s Gold rapper Danny Brown, this 24-year old has built a cult following in just three years.
Primarily considered a creator of Grime beats, Darq E has built his name with a new sound using intricate melodies set to a heavy bassline. Subtle elements of UK Garage make Darq E’s sound uplifting and positive. About his music, he says: “I come from the Grime scene, that’s where my music first got played. I feel comfortable enough to say I make my own genre of music. I haven’t even got a name for it, but I made it.” Gilles Peterson coins his sound Chronic Grime.
The reign of Darq E began in 2009 with the release of Next Hype, the Tempa T rage-anthem that established this artist at the top of his game. Two years later came Cherryade, the predecessor to Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine) featuring Danny Brown. Fans of both rejoiced when Brown and Darq E’s Twittersphere-teasing materialised into a collaboration. Blueberry launched Darq E’s name overseas, as the song became 2012’s Grime/Hip Hop anthem. Dominating London’s club scene last summer, it soon became impossible to go to a party without hearing the debaucherous anthem.
With a video created on two different continents, Darq E and Brown first met months later when the Detroit rapper came to London for a show. Having already met musically, the pair quickly discovered they are kindred musical spirits; “The way I was talking to him was like I’d known him before. He’s a crazy guy; he’s cool, very intelligent. Highly inebriated most of the time, but that’s not a problem”, stated Darq E.
Aside from production, Darq E’s keen to elevate his vocals on each record, as demonstrated on the recently released, Chillin ‘N’ Billin. He explains, “Production is predominantly what it is, I did it cus I had spare time on my hands. People are asking me to do more artist stuff but I’d prefer that when I’ve done more production.”
Originally published by i-D Online