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The Transformation of Darda King

The Transformation of Darda King

Dardanus Mfalme, popularly known as Dardan King or Darda King has been a key figure in the
East African music industry. The multi-talented poet, writer, composer, multi-instrumentalist,
and musician has captured the wider imagination of the global audience. Despite his huge
reputation as a key figure in the Bongo Flava industry, he has been transitioning into a new genre
of music.
Dardan King was born in Tanga, Tanzania and his talents would be evident at an early age. What
began as piano lessons at the age of 12 would lay the foundation for a successful career. At an
early age, Dardan would perform and record choir music and this would be coupled with
performances in churches and gospel crusades.
Dardan had many projects in high school most of which included playing with the choir as a solo
guitarist. However, Dardan would experience his first musical transition when studying in Iowa
United States. At his home studio, he began transitioning towards Bongo Flava which was
Swahili hip-hop music. In 2005, he released his first album-titled Nimerudi was a hit and it
catalyzed his popularity. Nimekubalika 2006, was the artist’s second album that he released in
collaboration with Digipixel Studios in Texas in 2006. This is an album that cemented the
popularity of the artist in East Africa as “Yiho,” was a music song that dominated the East
African TV charts.
Nimeshinda 2007 and Nimekamilika 2010 were two more albums that Darda King would release
before embarking on another musical transition. Despite the success of Darda King’s venture
into Bongo Flava, he would make a key transition into live constructive, and educational music.
This transition began in 2011 following the artist’s release of a book titled Nimebadilika 2011,
which translates to, I have changed. The release of another book in 2014 titled ”Ninang’atuka
2014,” confirmed the changes in his music style, where Darda King explained his reasons for
quitting Bongo Flava music and what the audience would expect from his music changes.
However, Darda King fans would wait almost a decade for the return of the artist to the music
scene. This transition to live and educational music was a significant change for the artist now
baptized as Dardanus Mfalme. The music transition was followed by the change of his stage
name to Dardan King from Darda King to illustrate a change in his musical taste. Dardan King
has grown out of the Bongo Flava phase as his music is more educational. The influence of
baptism on his music transition indicates another key progress but also traces his roots to where
his music career began.
This is a change that the artist foreshadowed in the book released in 2014 and despite a lengthy
break from the music scene, he is back with what promises to be another interesting turn in his
career. Transformation of one’s music career is quite a common occurrence in the music
industry. The return of Dardan King to the music industry is another chapter for the artist that has
had so much success outside his native Tanzania.
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