My name is Darko C. It's my stage name. I'm the frontman of the indie/punk band called Side Effect from Yangon, Myanmar. I'm also the director of Turning Tables Myanmar. I've been in the scene since 2004. As a musician that went through dictatorship, oppression, censorship, and conservatism, I strongly believe music can be the main element of self-discovery and can make you want to live in this world full of problems and fear.
In 2014, I joined Turning Tables, a global social enterprise that empowers youth through music and film. It was just one year after they set up a music+film lab in Myanmar. Voice of The Youth has been our flagship project initiated in 2015 and still growing each year. I see music as a social glue to transcend all racial, economical, geographical, and religious divides and connect. Apart from that, Myanmar's truly talented independent musicians have been disregarded as our music industry was completely ruined and now dominated by the mainstream musicians who gained fame with cover songs or nursery-rhyme-like original pop songs. By giving a platform and space to the critical creative youth, we have been building a community that would shape future Myanmar's set up. We traveled across Myanmar organizing one-of-a-kind music festivals and signaling like "this is ALSO Myanmar."
Now, with the current challenges due to COVID-19, our role is becoming more crucial than ever because we need to build an eco-system that didn't exist in order to survive and help the businesses such as bars and venues. Having gigs at bars and restaurants only began a couple of years ago and making arrangements and agreements were not stable yet. I see it as an opportunity to create a new eco-system that enables everyone to share each other's talent, resources, and grow businesses.
I'm not only willing to change my city, Yangon to be a music city but also other cities such as Taunggyi, Kalaw, Mawlamyine where there are potentials.
Here's an old article from the LA Times about us, just to give you a little more information about my background. Photos are attached.