A band of artists: Dark World
At twelve years old, Lucas Kendall made his first beats while in a garage rock band called “Who Shot Hollywood.” Now, in 2017, the young redhead from the rock band is known as rapper DJ Lucas, founder of the family of young musicians and record label called Dark World Records.
Originally from the Pioneer Valley, Lucas attended The Academy at Charlemont until eighth grade. After a year at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts school he tried out public high school and then dropped out in tenth grade.
Throughout this time, music was always a big part of his life. Starting out in the rock band with his brother Dana, the Kendall brothers had the support of their musician father and became two main leaders for the record label. Sen Morimoto, a core member of Dark World said of Lucas, “It’s been his ship since day one. He’s good at keeping everyone together and giving everyone their shine.” Morimoto has known Kendall since the Charlemont days.
As the founder and spokesperson, Kendall’s Dark World responsibilities include booking shows, emailing music blogs, selling merchandise, and furthering his love of music. The Fader, a music web site that dubs itself “the definitive voice of music and the lifestyle that surrounds it” described Lucas as “some combination of coach, starting forward, and team mascot.”
With “Dark World” tattooed across his knuckles, Kendall is committed to his creation. He said, “Dark World is important to me because it always keeps the thought alive in my head that I can live life with a career in art. It’s is a constant reminder. My favorite part is making music every day and pushing myself with a group of people to be the best.”
Dark World was founded in 2010 by Kendall (DJ Lucas) in Amherst, Massachusetts. What started as “hot country DIY gunk” transitioned, to be mostly hip hop and rap.
Kendall said, “it was created in 2010 as a tool for us, DJ Lucas, Weird Dane, and Morimoto to promote our music and art in a concrete way and also be able to have a brand name to umbrella all of our projects.”
And the name, Dark World, which sounds so mysteriously cool and hardcore, has a simple story.
A bunch of members played Yugioh, a trading card game. Someone thought that Dark World, the name of a series of Yugioh cards was cool. They all agreed, and it stuck.
Described as a collective of musicians, a platform for music distribution, and a family, the group founded locally in Amherst “runs deep,” says Dark World member Leland Rege-Colt (Lord Brocktree). When asked, Lucas Kendall said, “Dark World is a constantly moving collection of artists curated by me and Weird Dane.”
If Dark World had a slogan it would be, “Do it Yourself.” Using programs such a Garage Band and setting up amps and drum kits in their basements, members put in the work because they love it.
Members make what music they want. Some songs want to be taken seriously while others are jokes. But most importantly, Kendall said, “No one does what we do out of a town like Amherst, Massachusetts.”
A major core value of Dark World that I learned about after interviewing the group is their sheer grit and dedication. When asked what it means to be a part of Dark World Kendall said, “It means to be honest and hard working when it comes to art.”
Transparency is one of Dark World’s most important components.
Art and love in the form of friendship and music are Dark World’s products and they’ve become a solid group because of the Kendall brothers continued dedication.
Dark World is able to stay so solid because of the support it gives all of its members. Kendall said, “We also use Dark World as a platform to create a team and support each other individually with a team mentality.”
While the Kendall brothers remain leaders, Rege-Colt said, there aren’t really given roles in the group. “Different people have different skills and when it all comes together there is a place for everybody to contribute,” he said.
He added that his role is to just make the music that he wants to make and to support his brothers and sisters.
“These people are all my close friends at this point so my role is to just continue to show love and support,” he said. “Dark World is a special creative platform that I feel blessed to have in my life. It inspires people to make music and art that they would have never thought to make before.”