Dankie Sounds Ibiza: A Premature Offering With Abundant Signs Of Future Potential 

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The Black British night space has evolved over the last decade, expanding its proposition for a contemporary diasporic demographic. From Nigeria to Congo and Jamaica, the Black British landscape is at its most nuanced with ethnographic data highlighting the rise in diversity in how we categorise ourselves also. With broader representation amongst Blackness, comes the range of representation offered to us and created by us. On TV, this is best seen with an I May Destroy You co-existing in a world of Small Axe’s, juxtaposed with a Dreaming Whilst Black. 

Musically, the country has only grown and doubled down on diasporic experiences. Afroswing, a British creation, was birthed in London, by artists like Afro B, Latto Boyzz, J Hus, NSG, and other pivotal actors. Its broad infusion of dancehall, hip-hop, afrobeats, and rap makes it one of the most innovative creations to date. Now, however, the country — and world for that matter — is galvanised by the evolution and western expansion of afro house and amapiano. From Piano People to Gidi Nights, amapiano’s quick ascension is due to proponents and advocates of the genre like Charise C, Uncle Vinny, Major League, and Nicky Summers. With the mainstream arrival of Tyla, and the infusion of the sound with soon-to-be juggernauts like Asake, the genre is a bonafide mainstay. 

Dankie Sounds, a popular guard of the sounds of nightlife across London, decided to capitalise on its quick success in 2021 and set its sights on international expansion, while still remembering its core audience in the process. Tickets for Dankie Sounds Ibizia were largely promoted to British audiences, through the widely popular DICE, and the brands’ decision to broaden horizons, reflects an ecosystem where other heavyweight propositions Recess, No Signal, and DLT have, in some parts, dabbled with international offerings prior. Both Recess and DLT respectfully premiered their Paris and Malta editions across the early ‘20s, paving the way for what should have been a smooth landing for Dankie Sounds this September. 

However, logistically the event, which took place across local Ibiza mainstays like Ibiza Rocks, Mon Cheri, Bam Bu Ku felt lackluster at points. The highly anticipated pool party on day two was a particular low in the experiences across the action-packed weekend. Sponsored by Spotify’s Frequency, the event canvassed the lack of communication between Ibiza Rocks’ team and Dankie Sounds, with wristbands running out hours into the event and confusion in regards to access points for all-inclusive wristbands. Influencers, due to film content on stage, were not granted access to the space, leading to a lack of content deliverables being fulfilled. There were moments of high stress, some of which, naturally come at an inaugural event in a foreign territory, but that, in parts, led to brief moments of disarray. Eventually, the chaos quietened and the infamous saxophones and log drums allowed audiences to fall in love with the hypnosis of Halfports’ majestic set.

Speaking to the brand weeks later, as part of a panel reflecting on Black British cult brands, the lessons of their inaugural offering were ruminated on and an approach to tackle logistics with more attention to detail is an ambition for next time. However, on the ground this year, Dankie Sounds did attempt to rectify the learnings from the days prior in its finale. So much so, that their Dankie Sounds To The World was a masterclass in successful day party experiences. From entry and security being seamless, to recovery during moments of tension. The power went down momentarily in Es Paradis Terrenal, however, Justin99 and Pcee’s synergy and chemistry engulfed audiences and maintained the anticipation for the party’s reignition. This exposed, Dankie’s quality in selection, which has been a continued asset to the brand’s rise to prominence. With founders of Recess and GUAP Magazine in attendance, the brand was definitely being watched, consumed, and enjoyed by juggernaut peers in contemporary Black Britain — who also double as friends of the brand. Its cultural aptitude also came in the selection of Film Abdi’s recruitment as a core photographer for the three-day experience. 

Ultimately, Dankie Sounds expanding influence to Europe, and arguably the globe with its debut in the 
Mecca of partying is a feat that felt premature. From ambiguous logistics at times, to the cadence of the rollout and distribution of information, the communication and handling could have been navigated with more care. However, what Dankie Sounds demonstrated, at various points across the weekend, is potential. Their audience is highly engaged with the platform and has high expectations — something which highlights Dankie Sounds’ great work to date on home turf. But taking on a global partying destination means laser-sharp, intentional, and diligent plans that reflect alignment internally. In the future, Dankie Sounds have the capability of becoming a global purveyor of Afro House partying, it is, however, down to effective planning, rollout, and expertise in experiential that’ll determine if that reality is realised. 

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Words: Nicolas-Tyrell Scott
Photo Credit: FilmAbdi