King Sophia has a degree in classical cello from the University of Miami. She is also, she says, “a vocalist, an electric guitarist, a songwriter and composer, an arranger, a conductor, a performer and recording artist, a teacher, and above all, a student and a catalyst for change.” She classifies her songs as Neo-Soul Art Music, “but I play across a variety of genres including classical, jazz, blues, R&B, funk, hip hop, bluegrass, and pop. I also consider much of the music I write and arrange to be protest music — a genre that I believe is crucial to our survival as a species and that I will continue to draw attention to throughout my musical journey.”
Ann Arbor alternative soul artist Dani Darling Dani Darling made her media debut in 1984—as one of a set of triplets born in Ann Arbor. She sang with her sisters as a girl, and later did stints in a reggae band and in the hip-hop collective The Black Opera. But, she told the Metro Times, she wasn’t sure hip-hop was the right direction for her: “I was like, who am I? So I was trying to figure it out. I’m more of an acoustic artist, you know. I write with my guitar, I have a big background in, like, old movie musicals and jazz. My favorite vocalist is Ella Fitzgerald, and Thom Yorke is one of my biggest inspirations.” A new sound came together, featuring classic influences like R&B and jazz as well as new sounds like lo-fi and chillwave, all fused in her own original songs that often have a cosmic tinge.
Voices is a series of artist-cultivated concerts at The Ark conceived and created by Ann Arbor musician Kyler Wilkins, AKA vocal looping artist Ki5. The series seeks to expand the representation of Michigan BIPOC artists and audiences at The Ark.
Each show, intentional time will be taken to get to know each artist in the form of brief interviews and musical breaks to have them speak about their journey as musicians and performers with the hope that people in the audience are more connected to and inspired by those voices.