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Conversations with EK Darkurai

Today we’d like to introduce you to EK Darkurai.

Hi EK, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am an Artist, Music Producer, and Sound Engineer. I was born in Tokyo, Japan. Raised in Shanghai, China. And I came to The United States when I was in high school. All my life living in three different countries gives me a very unique experience. I love listening to old-school R&B when I was little, like R Kelly, Boys To Men, and those classic 90s R&B songs. I also love Michael Jackson and his music a lot at that moment, these are my early music influences. When I was in Middle school I started to learn playing piano and music theory. That helped me to build a very solid foundation to my future music career. Until high school, I had my very first laptop. I started to make beats using Fl Studio and then switched up to Ableton.

After I graduated from high school back in Ohio, I decided to come to LA and pursue my music career, I went to study at Los Angeles College of Music and earned a Music Production degree. Throughout the years I had a lot of collaborations with talented artists, grammy-winning songwriters and engineers. I also got the chance to perform with the artist – Sandyjoe. As a piano and keyboard players, we have performed at Rhythm & Vibes in Hollywood and a lot of different venues. Since then we build a very great relationship on music and also I am currently working on the production for her new coming-up EP.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The most important thing to be as a producer/engineer is to have a solid skill set. I spend years working on my craft and trying to achieve higher standards with my music production. I started off going to a lot of my friend’s sessions to watch them produce and learn. During my college time, I ask my professor questions, get more fluent in using Protools and different DAWs and just make music every day, trying to figure out what each plugin does in my computer.

Working with a lot of different artists and instrumentalists made me become more proficient in my field. As the producer and the captain of the session, I learned to give the right advice to the people, and show respect to all the artists as well. My communication plays a very important part.

After years of grinding I build my names much better and get a lot of invoices of collaboration requests.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am an Artist myself but people in the industry know me more as a Music Producer. I go by my Artist Name – EK Darkurai. And my producer tag ‘Kenji On The Key’ has made an appearance in a lot of different artists’ songs. Back in 2021 I traveled back to China and had co-produced a couple of songs for Hunan TV Entertainment with my producer friend CZ- Li Qiuze. The song we made has gained more than 100 million streams across all platforms. Also the same year I had a chance to produce the rising artist Adawa who signs to the 88rising.

I’m still working on producing for a lot of different artists, and at the same time I’m also working on my own artist project. I’m in charge of the whole production and have Collaboration with dope songwriters. This is going to be amazing and will be out within the next few months

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
Nowadays social media like Tiktok and short video platforms are very popular among young people. Songs are easier to get viral because of the rising of these platforms. However, these songs can’t really last for long. So the song quality, and how unique it is, determined how far it can go. I think artists who consistently making their own music, have their unique style, and not following the trend. Focus on every little detail of the production. Eventually gonna stand out and become the superstar.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
– Ray Chang – Rachel Wang

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