It’s Friday night, I’m exiting the House of Blues at the end of the Matoma/Youngr/Elephante concert in Boston and by pure luck manage to bump into none other than Youngr himself, or should I say, Dario Darnell. After talking with his tour manager for several minutes, he agrees to give us a five-minute interview. I can’t believe my luck.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Youngr, it’s your loss. His album, This is Not an Album, released January 5th, is a smashing success with stellar vocals, quality lyrics, and great beats. Check out this video for “Out Of My System”, it’s clear Youngr’s a talented artist with a vast skill set. How many other musicians can completely construct one of their songs single-handedly?
When asked about whether Youngr, was a stage persona or himself, Dario had some interesting insight stating, “It is me, but you know I think the stage me is a more extreme version of who I am.” From the five short minutes we were given to interview, it’s clear to see what he means. There was nothing fake about his interactions on stage with the audience, just as there was nothing fake about his answers to our questions. Youngr and Dario are one and the same. The difference is group size. To captivated hundreds for prolonged periods of time takes more flamboyancy. It’s much easier to form a connection with someone in a smaller setting. To be able to pull off forming a bond with each audience member is a skill only the most seasoned performers possess, and Youngr has it.
Interestingly enough, we have the lack of a growth spurt to thank for Dario’s decision to enter the music industry. “I was twelve years old and I used to play basketball for England under-sixteen. I was doing my thing and I was pretty tall. But, by thirteen, I’d stopped growing and I started playing the drums and realized that girls like drums. I was drumming along and thinking ‘This is way easier than playing basketball every weekend,” he shares. Who knows? Maybe had he kept growing we’d be watching him on the court instead of on stage. However, Dario still loves sports. He might not know the difference between zone and man on man defence, but he established that he’d want to be a professional Frisbee player were he not a musician. Unfortunately, I left my disk at home and was unable to test his skills, but with previous experience in sports, I can only assume he throws a mean backhand.
Additionally, his drink of choice pre-show is red wine, “Red wine big time, Merlot. Boom, hands down!” It’s not a surprise then, that when asked who he’d like to collaborate with, dead or alive, Youngr stated that Prince would be one of his top choices. After all, the King of Pop also fancied a little red wine on occasion and had an amazing stage presence.
At the end of the night, I was left wondering how to properly portray such a charismatic and kind artist in an article. It’s rare to meet a musician whose favorite memory on tour happens to be a moment during which everything seems to be going wrong. This particular moment was when Dario’s luggage didn’t manage to make the journey to Boston with him and the rest of his crew. “It’s my best memory because you’ve got to think on your toes. I’ve got to figure out how I’m going to make this show happen,” he ascertains. The show Friday night was nothing short of spectacular and highlights both Youngr’s skills in his trade and professionalism. He’s got shows coming up in Miami and Washington DC if you’re in the area check him out.