By Graciano Clause
There seems to be a new surge of hidden talent with music at York College. Senior Kenneth Addo, 24, Business and Finance major is not your average joe. Addo pulls double duty as he reflects on being SGA’a senator of the business administration and aviation department as well as pursing his dreams as an up and coming emcee/producer.
Born of Ghanian and Guyanese descent, Addo speaks about his journey that shaped him to be the Hip-Hop artist/producer that he identifies himself as. Music was a creative space for Addo early on as he was heavily influenced by 90’s era media and entertainment.
“Growing up as an only child really allowed me to immerses myself with visual arts in terms of drawing and painting cartoons that I consumed,” Addo said. “Going to Boston is what sparked the shift from visual to audio creativity.” He eventually took his talents serious when he attended Frank Sinatra school of arts high school in Astoria to develop his craft in visual arts. It wasn’t until 2010 when he went to Illustration at the Art Institute of Boston that started his musical journey.
Addo went to school to school in Boston for a year because he could not continue his studies there financially. From the time he was exposed to the art of rapping, having fun free styling, as well as the music making aspect of Hip-Hop he consumed. Addo said, “I took that knowledge back with me to New York and spent a lot of time writing and listening to music.” Being as poised as ever from the experiences he had gone through Addo took the initiative bring his talent to the market.
“In my time in Boston I thought of this name called K Swags and in hindsight that’s a pretty corny name tot come up with,” said Addo. He mentioned that was around the time the word “swag” was a popular term, in fact he didn’t even have an agenda to what type of music he wanted to create. “Dark Matter” was the new name he was nicknamed by his friends. “I was known as “Dark Matter because of my skin color and referring to being a young African male,” he said.
His music is framed around that term “Dark Matter”. It can mean a lot of things he said. “On a scientific level it could mean the unseen force or matter that exists in the universe that’s not in our dimension.” During performances he likes to evoke self reflection out of people and move the masses. “Social Cigarettes” was hi first official release which is a commentary on digital age and what it means for artists and listeners alike. Anyone can check it out on his website www.dkmtr.nyc where you can see a gallery of his performances and music.
Addo has received a decent appeal where ever he’s performed at whether it be at local bars, lounges or any type of venue. One could imagine juggling school work, being a member of SGA, and pursing music is pretty difficult. “I’m not in a rush for the success that I envision myself to have because usually as an artist there is a slim chance you’ll have longevity throughout your career from instant success.” He represents a lot of different aspects with all that he is doing. “I want to be seen as a creative entrepreneur.”
Although he has yet to perform at York, Addo is look forward to take the advantage with his role in SGA to curate a Spring concert. He wants to showcase not only just his talents, but others who have hidden talents in different aspects just like him.
“York has a lot of sources that students should be exposed to, but they’re not because of lack of promotion. We as students need to be more innovative because of the fresh brains we have so that people have the opportunities to be be seen,” Addo said.