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Johnny Darko is ignoring all of his “Unread MSGS” on this new Fameless produced single

Toronto, ON – Toronto artist Johnny Darko just released a brand new single titled “Unread MSGS” from his massive unreleased archive of 50+ tracks. The song was completed last year, but got shelved as Johnny started exploring his sound. Now this track is finally available for public consumption.

Although we’ve come to know Johnny as Toronto’s turnt-up slumlord, this song switches pace with a smoother, jazzy Fameless beat, and some of Darko’s softest bars yet. This track is directed at a female and was written at a time when Johnny was trying to balance the demands of being a good boyfriend while trying to put his all into his music. But the track’s message is a bit more universal than that.

“Unread MSGS” is ultimately about making yourself your own top priority, and allowing yourself to ignore all those unread messages. Everyone is always going to want something from you at some point. But sometimes you just need to go on silent mode and stop replying to those messages.

This track comes to us as Johnny gears up for the roll-out for his upcoming collaborative DnD project with Jake Bluez. DnD stands for “Dusty N Depressed” and serves as the follow-up to Jake and Johnny’s B.O.I (Broke On Insta) release. Listen to “Unread MSGS” below, and scope our interview with Johnny after the jump.

Unread MSG's - Johnny Darko -

Q&A: Johnny Darko

Unread MSG's - Johnny Darko -

“This song represents me having to sacrifice everything else to complete my work… so I can ‘text you back’ then.”
– Johnny Darko

HipHopCanada: Start off by talking to me about the significance of this track to you on a personal level.

Johnny Darko: So this song was originally completed like a full year ago and was supposed to be the lead single off a project I was working on called Cigarette’s & Sprite but as I kept recording and creating my vision for my first real solo project, my vision and sound kept changing. I was sort of just left with a vault of over 50+ songs all from last year. “Unread MSG’s” is probably the most important song to me out of the 50 I made last year. It’s not for my fans who are into my usual “turn up” or “mosh pit” type music; this is me giving you my heart and soul. And it’s definitely more targeted at my female audience.

HipHopCanada: Tell me about the situation (or series of events) that inspired this.

Johnny Darko: I remember waking up to a beat pack I got from Fameless. and the jazz sounds on this one just instantly touched my soul. So it made me start digging deeper and try and open up. A lot of this song is about me trying to balance being a good boyfriend and being an artist; it’s hard. I work late nights, and have early mornings almost every day of the week. Sometimes it truly feels like you’re working yourself to death and people just laugh or think you’re crazy for following your dreams. So this song is sort of a hug to every one who supported me and a middle finger to those who doubted.

HipHopCanada: You kept this archived for a year before releasing it. Why’d you shelf it? And why release it now?

Johnny Darko: Yeah. I mean… like I was saying… over the last year I’ve put out some collaborative projects (B.O.I, Dark Matter) and a bunch of singles and features. But I was sort of trying to buy time and figure out my exact target market; all the while I was developing and growing as an artist. So I sort of outgrew my original concept and I’ve been secretly perfecting my Magnum Opus. In the mean time, though, I figured I’m sitting on too much gold to completely turn my back on, so I plan on selectively opening the vaults leading up to the summer when i officially announce all major releases.

HipHopCanada: How did the collaboration with Fameless come about for this one?

Johnny Darko: Fameless and I met at a show maybe two years back through our mutual friend Flex the Antihero. We clicked, swapped Gmails, and then got busy.

HipHopCanada: I feel like even though this song is directed at a female, the idea is a lot more universally relatable. It’s that idea of being about your business – first and foremost – and letting everything else slide, and ignoring all the messages so you can make yourself top priority.

Johnny Darko: YES! EXACTLY! Lyrically it’s really about a girl, and me being distracted. But again – like I was saying before – so many people are so quick to doubt and distract, or just not understand the life of a starving artist. This song represents me having to sacrifice everything else to complete my work… so I can “text you back” then.

HipHopCanada: Without revealing too much, what can you tell me about your upcoming DnD project with Jake Bluez?

Johnny Darko: DnD is the follow-up project to B.O.I (or Broke On Insta) with my good homie Jake Bluez. I can’t say too much but expect a very wide range of production; from bangers to melodies, a couple tracks where mans had to really bar up… and remind everyone we are “rappin ass rappers” at the end of the day. Despite our love to experiment with new sounds and flows. We have already filmed the first single with our West Coast homie Andrew Peirce. This time we filmed in Toronto, not Vancouver. DnD is a play on the infamously nerdy game Dungeons and Dragons, but also stands for “dusty and depressed”. Which is just sort of how we were both feeling after coming home from an action-packed summer (shows in Texas, Vancouver, New York and Connecticut). You come home, tired and ecstatic, but slightly depressed in the realization that the tour is over… or the gig is over… Or damn – I just put so much blood and sweat into this and I come back home and it’s back to grind. It’s hard knowing you’re so close but so far. The full project and video will be out early this summer.

Twitter: @iamJohnnyDarko

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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