Dark Suburb Unmasked

In 2018 there aren’t many thriving boybands, moreso black ones in Africa. Not that I know of yet anyway. Other than Kenya’s beloved Sauti Sol, I bet most of us can’t name any other. How about how many rock boybands exist today? Well, there is a brewing edgy rock boyband that’s here to try and fill that gaping hole.

Dark Suburb is a Ghanaian Alternative Rock band and just as leading as their stage name suggest, their music tends to be on the side of Gothic and filled with mystique.

The group’s five members aim to refine a culture of costume art masquerading in skull masks, a concept that’s prevalent in African societies. Their music incorporates a variety of percussive instrumentation, combining pianos, guitars and the drums. Their lead is a poet who takes on the character of The Priest, lending absolute credence to some very ‘Gothic suburban’ behavior.

Some folk have coined a tale about the lead, The Priest, evoking them from the dead to come and entertain and educate the world through the most expressive style of music, rock. They definitely take art expression down to a science.

Their debut album The Start Looks Like The End released in 2017 was a fairly put together semi-rock compilation of soul and rhythm and blues peppered with soulful acoustics, harsh chords, piano and guitars.

Dark Suburb’s melodies are woven together with cultural elements from the African perspective and some slight elements of hiphop as in EgoBe. They are creating a voice for themselves by addressing social injustices through their music, affirmed by tracks like Politricks and have even been referred to as the Ghanaian Justice League in Rock.

Mine is one of my personal gems, a gripping ballad hailing a loved one ‘that blows his mind’ while literally wooing and cooing, begging and praying, ‘Inshallah you’ll be mine’. The beats are laid so good with melodic instruments ranging from the xylophone to the guitar and some horns, creating a vibe that can’t be denied.

While they predominantly use the English language, there are some songs where they inject some slang from their local dialect. This is witnessed in some tracks like Mama whose visuals are adorned in traditional African regalia so richly dark, and accentuated by melanin soprano-ed award-winning Wiyaala adding to the black magic. Ndoo, loosely translated to friend, is another that’s dipped in the local lingo.

While their music might not necessarily be in your spectrum of music in your playlist even in your shuffle mode, there’s a little something for everyone.


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