Seattle is a place known for maybe its coffee and its thrift stores but on the other side of the city is Tallinn, Estonia born artist Avatar Darko. He is releasing his own brand of music through his experiences and raw background out of Seattle. With a number of tracks to back tell his story followed by a list of well produced videos. Recently I caught up with the artist to discuss his new video and single, live shows and his future plans.
Robbie: How are you, how are things going for you today?
Darko: I’m good, blessed to be alive and free, just been working in the studio all day, flying to LA in a few hours.
Robbie: When did you start doing music and who are some of the artist that influenced your music in the beginning?
Darko: I started writing poetry around 9 years old, from then it just spiraled into rap. My uncle Oscar (RIP) left his Eazy E “Str8 off the muthafuckin streets of Compton” tape in the boom box and from then on my life changed. I use to lock myself in the room and listen to it all day every day, I was obsessed. Bones Thugs, Outkast, Nirvana, Wu Tang, Tupac. Then growing up in Seattle, the local scene really influenced me like Oldominion, Full Time Soldiers, Frame, and Ext.
Robbie: I see you have an upcoming show in Seattle on March 13. How are you feeling about this event – what’s an Avatar Darko show like?
Darko: Man last show was crazy we had like 500 people in the building, hands in the air the entire time… Kids were going bananas jumping over fences, getting kicked out. The vibe was insane. Typical Avatar show is really high energy; I usually take my shirt off and just lose my mind. Hopefully I can jump in the crowd this time around. I really try to connect with the fans and feed off their energy. This show on the 13th is my first headlining gig so I’m hella excited for it!
Robbie: How did you link with DirtbagDexter and Suzanna Abdulla for this single?
Darko: Dirtbag is like my lil cousin, I was in Kharkov, Ukraine a few summers ago standing outside my sisters projects and he just randomly pulled up on me like “yo I do beats”, he let me hear something and it just went from there. He’s like the producer version of me, kid is really a prodigy, and he’s only 17. He sent me the beat with some of Suzanna’s vocals already on there and we just rearranged it and fine tuned it, thus SOAH evolved from there. We got anther joint called Modern Day Pharaohs that has that worldly feel to it as well. I like to incorporate different elements into my music whether it’s rappin/singing in a different language or using different ethnic instruments in the production.
Robbie: I see it was tons of project development for your new video. How was it working with Cheok the director for this project?
Darko: He’s great man, guy is super motivated and full of energy, definitely one of the dopest cinematographers that I’ve had a chance to work with. Im fortunate to work with a great network of directors, thanks to my friend/director Jon Jon, none of these videos or relationships would be possible. He put me in the loop. Me and Cheok got another video we’re planning as well, should be out within a few months!
Robbie: Is this a single release for an upcoming project?
Darko: I’m working on Soviet Goonion 3, which is basically an album, so SOAH is a joint that will be on there but it’s definitely like a warm up single, I got a lot more videos coming in the near future. I filmed a video to a song called “IDK” in Brighton Beach last week and connected with some Russians out there that showed me a lot of love. That will probably be the single/ next video I release.
Robbie: What else should we expect from you in 2014?
Darko: A lot of new music and a lot of new visuals the world will feel my energy. What I bring is different than anything you’ve heard or seen before. I’m just trying to apply every last ounce of elbow grease to take that next step and put myself in the position to get my grandparents a new crib. I’m still out here, still tryna make it. I will. We will.