Jah Darko- From EMPIRE To Building An Empire


19-year-old Maryland artist Jah Darko speaks about his growing audience, his upbringing, their signing with EMPIRE Distribution, and more.

Let’s explore the artist’s mind, and story.

Jah Darko’s real name is Elijah, and the artist’s father previously, and currently, calls him “Jah,” as it is his nickname. The artist originally didn’t like the name, but once he grew up and realised the meaning behind the name, Darko grew fond of it.

Regarding the “Darko” aspect of his alias, it is because the artist’s favorite movie is “Donnie Darko.”

“This man [Donnie Darko] was just in the cut saving the world and no one knew. That’s fire to me,” says the artist.

The artist was originally born in Baltimore, Maryland, but moved to Los Angeles, California, for primary school.

However, the artist moved back to Maryland and settled in Montgomery County, for high school. The artist has lived there since.

Darko comments on his childhood being composed of moving back and forth between LA and Maryland. The artist’s mother lives in Maryland, and his father lives in LA.

“I got to see two completely different worlds at a young age. Constantly having to adapt. I’m grateful for it,” says the Maryland artist.


19-year-old Maryland artist Jah Darko.

The artist also states that they’ve been alienated by people who were once their best friend, due to Darko’s success. The 19-year-old artist also had many people doubt him, as well as his own self-doubt.

“I learned to use that as motivation though and its kept me going,” says the artist.

Darko describes himself as a “nerd.”

He is a gamer whose console of choice is Playstation. Darko also watches anime, and “occasionally” makes music. The artist says that although he doesn’t release music often when he does he ensures it’s his best work.


The artist also recently signed to EMPIRE Distribution, a record label and distribution company located in San Francisco, with offices in New York and Atlanta as well. Darko comments that this is his greatest personal achievement thus far, and readers can expect more frequent music releases and content from him.

“I’m working with a few big producers I think my fans will be excited about,” says Darko.

The artist also believes that joining Empire Distribution was a good choice for himself as he is happy with what the label has done for artists Kendrick Lamar and XXXTentacion in the past.

“I felt like it was the right fit,” says the Maryland artist.

Darko also comments on how he began his musical career. The artists’ father was a major influence on him and always was in the studio with his friends making music. Darko’s father also incorporated the artist in his music, and began the artist’s musical career.

“I remember recording and making little music videos when I was like 4. It’s always been in my life,” says the artist.

Darko also could never see himself pursuing another career path, as music has been all that Darko has known his whole life.

The artist’s other influences include Captial Steez, Michael Jackson, Lil Uzi Vert, and Nujabes.

The Maryland artist also wishes to become an influence for those in the music industry to be the “best they can be and follow their dreams.”

The artist also comments that their musical creation process is random and spontaneous.

Darko can go months without making music, and then produce new content daily.

“I made my new song Palm Trees right after I got this Basquiat tattoo on my arm. It gave me some sort of inspiration and as soon as I got home I started recording,” says Jah Darko.

The artist also gives advice to those in the industry. He stresses that visuals are incredibly important, as is being yourself and doing whatever feels right for you.

“Success will come,” says the Maryland artist.

Darko states that right now he is not looking to work with anyone new as he is focusing on improving himself and his craft.

To keep up to date with the Jah Darko’s career, be sure to follow his social media accounts listed below:


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