Youngr is the new project name of musician Dario Darnell, formerly of brotherly pop duo Picture Book, that is set to electrify stereos over 2017 with his highly contagious electro-pop anthems.
Youngr, aka Dario Darnell, emerged in 2016 with his pop-induced, one-man band, performance of his single, ‘Out Of My System’. Now, with over 19million Spotify streams and 400,000 video plays, Darnell is ready to share new music with the world for 2017.
‘Too Keen’ was his intiial follow-up, which was released November 2016, with Youngr recently shared two new renditions of his ‘Out Of My System’ single, featuring Rajasthani folk musicians, Kutle Khan, and Chilean funk group, Los Tetas.
Now, as festival season approaches, Vaunter had the chance to sit down with Darnell and find out what lies next in store for the British singer-songwriter. This is what he had to say:
Hey Youngr, thanks for spending the time to talk to Vaunter. How have you been?
I’ve been fantastic, thank you! I’ve just been rehearsing 12 hours a day for the past week, so my brain is pretty fried!
You started out as a part of electro-pop brother duo, Picture Book. How do you feel you have evolved as a musician since then?
How I’ve evolved? I guess since then I’ve been writing a lot. So, I feel like my songwriting has evolved naturally, as I’ve had more shit to write about! Funnily enough, my brother [Lorne] plays guitar in the Youngr live show, sometimes. It feels like an evolution of the Picture Book live show!
Now as a one-man band, do you have a particular creative process you go through whilst writing your songs?
No, I like to write my songs as naturally as possible. If its lyrics first, or chords, or a groove. I don’t like to write in my live set up, as I prefer to take a finished song to my live set up, pull it all apart, and find out ways to put it back together.
Your single, ‘Out Of My System’, gave you a big break on both sides of the transatlantic. What do you feel it was about this track that captivated audiences?
I really think it’s because everyone can relate to it. I get so many messages from people saying they want to use the song as their gap year video soundtrack! It could also be how delicious the drum fill is in the chorus, but who knows!
You actually reworked the single with Rajasthani folk musicians, Kutle Khan, and Chilean funk group, Los Tetas. How did these collaborations come about?
The Los Tetas collaboration happened through crazy chance. I was playing Creamfields in Santiago, Chile. I walked past a small club and heard some sweet music coming out, headed in, met the guitarist from Los Tetas, and the next day we got in the studio and jammed. Super hungover!
The Kutle Kahn collaboration happened through the festival I played in Bengluru, Echoes Of Earth. I heard them playing on the folk stage, went back stage to meet them, and they invited me to their studio the next day to jam! So incredible.
I think the Indian rework is my favorite just because of the culture difference. I’d never seen people play instruments in that way, and I had also never seen or heard of those instruments!
If you had the opportunity to work with any other musician, whether they have to remix your track ‘Too Keen’ or even collaborate with you, who would it be and why?
I would love to hear Incubus do a version of ‘Too Keen’, or I would do a live bootleg of Simply Red’s ‘Fairground’ and have Mick Hucknall sing it!
Now that you have ‘Too Keen’ and ‘Out Of My System’ available to the public, do you anticipate any more releases ahead of the festival season?
Hell yeah! I’m literally sat in the studio now finishing off the mix of a new track!
After a few months rejuvenating back in the UK, the US welcomes Youngr back. What do you find so special about performing in the States?
There is definitely a sense of “home” for me in the States, as my Pops [ August Darnell, aka Kid Creole of Kid Creole and the Coconuts] is originally from The Bronx, NY, so playing there feels amazing. I may even end up moving there one day.
Our final question; if we were to open your phone up now, and jump onto your desired streaming service of choice, who would the last act that you listened to be?
Prince! Since Spotify released his catalogue, it has been on shuffle. I listened to a track of his called ‘Come’, it’s like 12-minutes long. It was f***ing ridiculous, Google it, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Youngr will be performing the following North American tour dates:
March 8th – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
March 9th – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
March 11th – Pheonix, AZ @ Viva PHX
March 15th-18th – Austin, TX @ SXSW
March 22nd – Chicago, IL @ Il Schubas
March 24rd – Miami, FL @ Ultra Music Festival
March 28th – Washington, DC @ A.I.
March 30th – New York City, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
March 31st – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
April 1st – Philadelphia, PA @ Coda