Velvet explores a ‘dark’ turn

Velvet immersed in her performance during the Darkest Knight promotional show.

SABAHAN singer-songwriter Velvet Aduk has taken a bold artistic leap with her latest venture, veering into darker thematic territory after her previous upbeat successes.

The 37-year-old, renowned for hits like Sumandak Sabah and Oi Gaman, diverges from the familiar with her debut English album, Darkest Knight, delving into the realms of love, betrayal, and heartbreak.

Produced, written, and composed entirely by Velvet in November 2023, the album boasts “14 soul-stirring songs”, as described in her artiste bio.

Unlike her previous work, this collection promises to evoke deeper emotions, with tracks like What Are You Doing With Someone Else’s Husband? and Trauma Bond.

Sumandak Sabah, co-written and performed with fellow Sabahan artiste Marsha Milan, became a sensation upon its 2018 release, earning the title of the most-streamed song in Sabah the following year, amassing 18 million YouTube views to date.

Following this success, Velvet’s Oi Gaman garnered six million views, maintaining her popularity with its catchy rhythm.

Velvet is all smiles as she interacts with fans at one of her shows.Velvet is all smiles as she interacts with fans at one of her shows.

While her earlier compositions were characterised by their upbeat tempo, Darkest Knight takes on a sombre tone, delving into themes of brokenness reminiscent of gothic undertones.

In an interview with The Star, Velvet shared her motivations behind the artistic departure, expressing a desire to challenge norms and explore personal reflections through her music.

She confessed, “I just felt like coming out with the type of music that I jive to.”

Acknowledging the potential impact on her audience and personal life, Velvet admitted to initial hesitations about releasing such a deeply thematic album.

Concerned about her children’s exposure to its content, she briefly considered using a pseudonym before embracing authenticity as her guiding principle.

Reflecting on the prevalence of infidelity in contemporary society, Velvet expressed her discomfort with its normalisation in social media and aims to confront the emotional turmoil it inflicts.

Despite the album’s intense subject matter, she emphasised its potential to foster healing and solace for listeners grappling with similar experiences.

“Just like any other kind of trauma, heartbreak can send you into a state of psychological shock and even drive you insane, but that doesn’t mean you can’t survive it,” she said.

“Anybody can be the subject of this album, it could be about myself or anyone else who has lived through heartbreak, betrayal, or any number of other painful experiences,” she added.

Velvet was in Kuala Lumpur last month to promote Darkest Knight in a one-night only concert at Jao Tim.

Though she remained uncertain about her fans’ reception, Velvet remained steadfast in her commitment to authentic expression.

She remarked, “It’s no longer about coming out with another viral song... I just want to do things that make me happy. It’s a fun ride.”

In embracing the shadows of human emotion, Velvet invites listeners to join her on a journey of introspection and catharsis, proving that even in the darkest of nights, there is still music to be found.

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