Dark Suburb is the bridge between the old genres of music/performance between the ‘seen’ (what is known) and the ‘unseen’ (the unknown) that they are advancing.
A YEAR AGO, not many knew the name of band Dark Suburb. That seems to have changed. The Accra based Alternative Rock band is steadily building a formidable fan base and breaking through the consciousness of many a music fans thanks in part to their music and stellar performances. The year 2015 is shaping up pretty good for the band.
They held their first ever concert in February to formally announce themselves to the world. The Awakening Concert, which many described in positive words, sold out. They have gone ahead to perform on other platforms; their recent being at the launch of the 16th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards in March. My first encounter with the band was after watching their The Awakening video-where the buried remains of bands men rose from the dead clutching on to their musical instruments –a significant transition from an ordinary band to one with a mission to change the face of music in Ghana.
Dark Suburb, under their previous moniker Faint Medal, released a single I Dey Feel You Die (later remixed by rapper Yaa Pono) which made waves within the music circles in Ghana. It appears the name change and subsequent exposure pushed the music even further.
The Different Identity
So, what has made Dark Suburb a must see band? Two things: First is the re-branding of the group. The afro-rock band, aside the name change has added an element of mystery to their outlook. They have transformed themselves from ‘ordinary’ humans to ‘magically’ possessed band who come on stage looking different and mysterious. All bandsmen are veiled from the top down, making it difficult for one to see their faces-something similar to Nigeria’s very own highlife kingpin Labaja or award winning rock band Daft Punk.
Second reason is the highly octane performances they exhibit when on stage. Their passion and energy is always present. They sing, dance, hop from one end of the stage to another with gusto. There are also the captivating entrance rituals (by their spirit dancers and midgets) perform before performing. Their performance inspired a Tiffany (@duafe), concert goer to write a fictional story (read her story http://wp.me/p53Q3V-d.
The aura of elusiveness and mystery has proven to be a potent, combustible and sellable combination. It has succeeded in piquing the interest and curiousness of fans. All these have helped leave an impression on the minds of those who have patronized their shows.
Dark Suburb released their EP The Awakening in December. Already, three singles off the upcoming EP- Kill Me Die, Get Out and Jump Off The Cliff is receiving great rotation.
Songs by Dark Suburb may not be heavy on urban radio due to, in part, their kind of music-Alternative Rock. The Ghanaian music scene doesn’t easily open up to a genre considered ‘alien’ to the taste of consumers of music. The group recognizes that and is adopting a tried and tested blueprint of many indie bands-building a very loyal and trusting fan base first. That approach seems to be working thus far.
Judging by the great reviews the Alternative Afro Rock band is receiving, it clearly shows that one can garner success by not always pursuing what is in vogue. Doing something different with a touch of excellence has the potential of guarantying one success. Suffix to this is the fact that Ghanaians are open to accepting other musical genres, expanding their musical taste buds. Once the music is good, the fans will come around.
Dark Suburb’s biography could be summed up as a metaphor for them being a bridge between the old genres of music/performance between the ‘seen’ (what is known) and the ‘unseen’ (the unknown) that they are advancing. Dark Suburb may not be the first to pioneer a new musical trend in Ghana. Many before them have tried but failed. For them to have the confidence to break out and be different is worth applauding.
And so far, one could say at the back of the reviews they are gaining, they took a bold, good step. if you have a view to share please leave a comment. Thank you.
written by @swayekidd