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Darkie Fiction Burst Onto the Scene with ‘Selula’

Darkie Fiction Image Courtesy of the Artists

As a kid, it took me surprisingly long to understand fiction. I really didn’t get the point of why you’d focus on an unreal world, when you could be out learning things about the way the world was. It was naive, of course.

Fiction can be as accurate and as didactic a tool as the most precisely worded theorems, except many times fiction is more convincing and visceral. This is a part of why the ability to tell stories and see stories told from a perspective true to oneself is so important – it can be a powerful tool for building empathy and and building communities.

Cape Town now has a new musical duo called Darkie Fiction, who aim to do exactly this through the release of their first single ‘Selula’.

As the evocative name may suggest, the duo – formed of rapper Katt Daddy and singer and cinematographer Yoza Mnyanda  aim to bring to the local scene a sense of SA style though their music. Their single ‘Selula’ is produced by the increasingly in-demand beatsmith Jakinda (of Stiff Pap), who does his best to channel the many influences Darkie Fiction claim as their own into the 3-minute single.

The slow, snare heavy rhythm section of the song harkens back to late 90s kwaito and a lot of Yoza’s singing style and dual-harmonizing with Katt is reminiscent of late bubblegum pop. When Katt himself steps up for a verse, his forced annunciations sit somewhere between Bongo Maffin‘s Stoan and local experimental fave, Spoek Mathambo.

The elements that sit outside of this comfortable (if unusual) mix sit mainly in Jakinda’s EDM leanings – employing an incessant alarm-like synth line over the syrup slow beat. There is obvious chemistry between the two singers here, and their intentions are transparent – down to the name-dropping bio’s the duo have online, but the results are never ingratiating.

‘Selula’ is more than the sum of its makers’ favourite musical parts. While sitting quite relaxedly in the slow, summery and nostalgic vibe, some others have failed to make a sound as natural as this. Only time will tell whether Darkie Fiction will expand their palate enough for their voices to be found, but for now their vision of the world through sepia-toned lenses is a refreshing and welcomed one.


Take a listen to Darkie Fiction’s new single below and keep an eye on their artist page here:

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