Marco Darko has exploded onto the deep house scene the last few years. His ability to create vicious and infectious deep basslines have caught the ears of some big-time label heads lately. Being picked up by heavyweights such as Hot Creations, Sleazy Deep, and Kaluki Music this past year alone, Marc has shown time and time again that he is here to stay. With a unique deep house sound that sometimes crosses into a g-house realm, we had the chance to catch up with the budding star and ask a few questions about his influences, upcoming releases, and his dark library.
The Dankles: Hey Marco! Thanks for taking time to do an interview with us, why don’t you start off by telling us a little about yourself? (name, age, where you’re from, how long you’ve been producing/DJing for)
Marco Darko: Hey man, my real name is Marc Smith. I’m 33 years old and live in Manchester, UK. I’ve been DJing for 13 years or so, and producing for 5 (Although only seriously for the past 2 years).
TD: Who have been the largest influences in your career? Who did you grow up listening to? What was your first album you bought?
MD: I grew up listening to all sorts of music from Gangsta Rap, Tupac, Snoop, And Dre, to bands like like The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Oasis, Blur, and list goes on. I started listening to dance music a bit later when I heard Daft Punk’s Around The World.
The first Album I ever owned was Madonna’s ‘immaculate collection’, and for the album I ever saved up money to buy was Ice T’s ‘OG’, so quite a contrast there, ha.
As for influences its hard to say, there are many. I got the bug for DJing from going to GateCrasher Sheffield back in 1999 and watching the likes of Scott Bond, and Matt Hardwick smash out trance until 6am. I got into producing music much later, in order to try and get more high profile gigs, essentially.
TD: Your deep, dark sound has been supported by the likes of MANIK, Matt Fear, and Finnebassen just to name a few, how would you describe your sound in your own words? What makes your music unique from other deep house artists?
MD: I never thought of my music as being unique before. For me personally, I would say my sound Is a mixture of everybody else’s. I’m always listening to other people’s music for ideas, weather it be for bass sounds, vocals, or whatever…I stick all the ideas into a pot, and a track comes out the other end.
TD: You’ve worked a bunch with Mykel Haze throughout your career, could you tell us a little about how you two met and how the relationship has influenced your style?
MD: Mike (Mykel Haze) and I met about 18 months ago. He signed my first EP under the Marco Darko pseudonym to his Disco Electronica Records imprint.
Mike was really liking the sound, and suggested we get in the studio to see I we could come up with anything… A week later, our track ‘Computer Love’ was finished which was promptly snapped up by Hot Creations for release on their Hot Waves 4 compilation.
TD: If you could pick any artist, dead or alive, to collab with who would it be, and why?
MD: I dunno, probably someone like Liam Howlett from the prodigy, or the Chemical Brothers, just see how there creative process works.
TD: You’ve had awesome releases off of Sleazy Deep, Disco Electronica Recordings, and Hot Waves already in 2013, what else can we expect from you this year? What upcoming release are you most excited about?
MD: Thanks man, I appreciate that.. There’s a few things already in the pipeline. An EP on the Manchester label NastyFunk which features my ‘She Don’t Want It’ track, as well as a remix for the Berlin-based label WellDone! Which also features a remix from Tapesh.
One of the projects I’m double exited about though is the EP that I’m working on with Trav & Volta. There’s one big, rude track to get down to, and the other offers a more deeper reflective vibe, something to end your set on.
TD: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
MD: Probably getting music signed to some decent labels, and have people support what you do is second to none
TD: When you’re producing a track, what is the vibe you’re trying to set? What is the reaction that you’re looking to get from the listener?
MD: The process is different every time buddy, it depends on what mood I’m in, what I’ve made before, or even if the weathers nice or not. For me, if I can listen to that 8 bar loop continually for half hour plus, the tracks gonna be okay.
TD: What’s your studio set-up look like? What’s your favorite piece of hardware?
MD: Simple set up for me; IMac rumning logic (writing / arranging), and ableton (vocals) novation sl mk II midi controller, and Yamaha hs 80s for monitoring.
TD: What are your upcoming gigs? Any plans on coming to the U.S. anytime soon?
MD: I’m down in London on April 28th for Dirty, and Deep Affairs day party with Kreature, and Cozzy D. Nothing booking to come to the US just yet. Hopefully soon, though!
TD: What was the most trouble you’ve gotten yourself into?
MD: No comment
TD: What’s the one thing you can’t tour without?
TD: Thanks again for taking the time with us, any shout outs?
Dankles rapid-fire questions:
Darkest track in my library:
Not sure, there’s a few.
Favorite after-hours track:
Jesse Perez – Kiss Jesse On The Dick
Go-to track to revive the dancefloor:
Nicone. – Why (Monte Rmx)
Favorite upcoming artist:
Trav & Volta
Artist who deserves more recognition:
Best track of 2012:
Nice7 – Time To Get Physical
Track that no one can hate:
Ben Pearce – What I Might Do
Track that got me out of bed today:
The Stone Roses – She Bangs The Drums
Best festival track:
Last show I went to that I didn’t play at:
Under / Vision Manchester.. Miguel Peunte, Hunter Game / Waff.
Favorite show I’ve been to:
Can’t remember haha