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Timothy Dark; Photo Credit: Kristina Schroeder
Some of the coolest music out there comes as a result of blending not only genres, but also by combining the best on offer from different periods of music. Today The Big Takeover has the pleasure of introducing you to the latest musical output from Timothy Dark – namely his single “She Put a Spell on Me.”
Based in New York City, he has been largely praised for previous work, which is more in the vein of Rakim, KRS, and Chuck D and has been likened to Inspectah Deck of WuTang and Gangstar. His new single brings him firmly into funk-dance territory, with an ’80s old-school sound resonant to that of The Time, Rockwell, Prince, and even Earth Wind and Fire. This is full of Purple Rain -era groove and, while not straight rap, Dark’s voice has that endearing believable storyteller quality that led 1980s youth to be immediately attracted to DJ Jazzy Jeff and The French Prince. This would be a cool addition to the Def Jam collection – a vibing positive, get-on-the-dancefloor tune.
This song is the first of five tracks to be found on Dark’s forthcoming EP Dark Day Afternoon, which is slated for release on March 30 and was co-produced by Robb Torres and Timothy Dark for Darkseed Entertainment at Quartier General Studios in Los Angeles.
This release follows Dark’s latest album The Last Days of Dark, which was produced by longtime collaborator Dan “The Band’ Policar (Sean Paul, Raekwon The Chef). Two of the tracks ‘Unpatriotic’ feat. Stephanie Linn and ‘The Future’ really made some waves in the face of the realities of Trump’s America.
“Christmas is a hard time for me, as my parents are no longer with me and I don’t know how to celebrate it anymore. So decided I was going to take a trip to LA just to get away. I went into my catalog and picked ‘She Put a Spell on Me’, jumped on the plane, and recorded most of the song in two days. On the third day I knew it needed a female vocal,” explains Timothy Dark.
“My friend Angie Atkinson had just moved to LA, so I called her and asked her what she was doing. She was chillin’ in her PJs so I asked her to come through and sing on the track. She said if I paid her Uber she would do it. By the grace of God, she lived on the same street as Robb’s studio so I saved a lot of money. She came in and knocked it out in about an hour and the rest was history.”
Dark’s expansive artistry encompasses politically charged hip-hop, buttery R&B, grimy rock, street savvy poetry, literature, non-dogmatic spirituality, and singer-songwriter style emotional intimacy. Previously described as “Michael Jackson’s band meets Inspectah Deck of WuTang meets the energy from Queens that made the Ramona’s play fast,”, Timothy Dark’s music is rich, diverse, and unpredictable.
“The new ‘Dark Day Afternoon’ EP pulls ample inspiration from Billy Idol, Michael Jackson, Prince, David Bowie, Tears for Fears, The Cars, and Elvis Presley.“I spent years listening to their music, originally for sampling purposes. But I became a fan and couldn’t stop listening and learning from them all,” says Dark.
“Most people don’t know I have written pop songs for years. I just never released many of them because I loved rapping so much. But now that I have a band, it’s time to dig out the pop and alternative songs and let the world hear them. It’s time to let people know that I’m not just a rapper; I’m an all around songwriter. This EP is the beginning of all of that.”
Born in Harlem, Timothy Dark was raised in East Elmhurst, Queens and the South Bronx before the streets were sanitized. He learned how to survive amidst the violence and corruption of hard times New York. One of his most formative moments was his mother boldly placing him onstage during a James Brown concert and the Godfather of Soul shaking his hand. It has become a symbolic gesture on many levels with the feeling like, in that handshake, James Brown transferred an electricity that courses through Timothy to this day.
The emergence of hip-hop as an art form became a way to observe and experience and street life and turn it into something special as a solo artist and as a member of rap crews. He’s opened for Nas, Black Rob, and immersed himself in New York City’s thriving antifolk scene, collaborating with such talents as Nellie Mckay and Nicole Atkins.
Dark Day Afternoon will be available on March 30 across digital stores and streaming platforms. Timothy Dark and The Indestructible Characters launch the EP that night at New York’s DROM (85 Avenue A), along with Liz Rees and Miss Represent. Their next show scheduled for April 14 with American Anymen, Crazy and the Brains, Phoebe Blue, Dolltits, and Clinical Trials at Search Party Studios (71 Wave Avenue, Staten Island).
Lyrics and vocals by Timothy Dark
Female vocals by Angie Atkinson
Produced by Robb Torres and Timothy Dark for Darkseed Entertainment at Quartier General Studios, LA
Mastered by Ian Sefchick
Cover design by Leslie Walsh of Gifted Creative
Also check out some of his most recent tracks pointing to a troublesome era of Trumpism.
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