A Kamloops musician known for his efforts in the hip-hop genre has used his pandemic downtime to carve out space in another genre — old-school industrial music.
Left to his own devices during a socially muted spring and summer, Darrell “Daz” Sharp was led into a confrontation with his own creativity — and it turned into a productive time for him.
“Everything I posted online, people didn’t care. The focus was on COVID and all the other crazy stuff happening in the world. Pretty much everything I was doing was getting stopped in its tracks,” he said. “Through the first month and a half, I was getting depressed and didn’t really know what my focus was.”
But along the way, Daz found something appealing in industrial music, in bands like Skinny Puppy, Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, the latter of which he covered in a blend between his newfound industrial interest and hip hop background.
Sharp invested in equipment to produce his own music and, not only that, his own record label, which he calls Dark StarChasm Noise Industries. He plans to use the label to release his own music, and in the future, the works of others, as well.
Over the course of the summer he produced two full-length albums in his new genre, the first of which will be released on Halloween.
“It’s a very dark, Halloween-sounding album,” he told KTW.
The albums are being released under the name Spoils of Grace. The first is called MotherMan, a moody album created in a three-and-a-half-week sprint of production using synthesizers, programmed drums and Sharp’s own voice.
The second, yet untitled, has a tentative release date of Christmas Day.
“I didn’t care how long it took me. I didn’t care if anyone heard it. I was just creating. So I just did that for as long as I could — and I’m still doing it,” he said.
Sharp said the drive he experienced to create the albums took over his life — leading to isolation and “pots and pots of coffee.” Something he has emerged from only recently.
“I didn’t leave my house. All spring and summer. Even when it was nice and sunny out, I’m sitting in my room with the curtains drawn, downloading Second World War dialogue samples and weird interviews with schizophrenic people and serial killers — anything I could pick apart and use chunks of,” he said.
Although hip-hop works are absent from the two albums, Sharp said what he learned from his foray into that genre has helped him, musically, especially with lyrics.
“It just comes out easier now,” he said.
As Daz Tha Punk, Sharp released a number of hip hop tracks, producing music videos for some and making the songs available on YouTube and streaming services. He plans to do the same for his new music, as well as some other old-school methods like fliers and hand-outs, as well as physical copies.
Sex Drug, the first track off of MotherMan, can be heard on the Spoils of Grace YouTube page.