Young Argentine Trap Star Dakillah Reflects on Her Success: 'I Feel Gigantic'

Tute Delacroix for Billboard Argentina
Dakillah

From running from home to rap with friends, to competing in the Argentine rap community El Quinto Escalon and getting courted by Sony music, Dakillah, at 17 years old, already understands that trap is her thing.

"I will never be old," Dakillah says and repeats to herself. With her pink hair, she is becoming one of the most interesting names in one of the urban genres in Argentina. Fans call her "La number one" based on her hit of that name, which already has racked up over 5 million views on YouTube.

Still, despite her youth, her rise was not meteoric: She's been working ever since she began battling in the squares of Villa Devoto, later doing a steady stint in El Quinto Escalon. She is certain she wants to sing: "I don't care what rhythm, I want to sing," she says.

Dakillah began when she was 12, when she traveled to Nordelta in the province of Buenos Aires to see her father. In her free time, she met a group of guys that were rapping. Slowly, she began drifting into that world, eventually performing in her first battle.

In the meantime, she liked street walking. "Now many people tell me: 'I want to rap like you.'" She looks at her past with nostalgia: "When I was a little girl, I was sillier." That girl wanted to rap like them. Now, all of them want to rap like Dakillah. "I feel gigantic," she says, "It's amazing that girls talk to you and say that if it weren't for you, they wouldn't have dared to rap."

As she began participating in popular competitions such as El Quinto Escalon or Las Vegas Freestyle, she started building a following on her social media, and little by little, her profile became more and more notorious. "Two years ago, it went boom," she explains. In 2017, she released the video clip for "Number One," a song she had for a long time, but didn't publish because she couldn't find anyone to make the video. 

And though she is a star in the making, she doesn't stop being a girl with problems. These days, she's going to begin her last year at secondary school. It will be a late start due to certain issues with her professional agenda and other family problems. "The other day, I went to a lecture, and listening to the teachers talking gave me an inner peace I have needed so much lately," she says.

At the same time, she does not keep away from the limelight: She'll open for Babasonicos, and she's already drawn attention to herself at the last <a href="/articles/columns/latin/8457348/latin-grammys-air-date-univision">Latin Grammys</a>, the most important night in Latin music.

Dakillah has that "something" -- a special flow. She feels close to trap because it's more "lively." Surprisingly, she does not endorse reggaeton. Trap allows her to flex naturally. "Still, would you believe me if I told you I listen to jazz? <a href="/music/Nina-Simone">Nina Simone</a>? And <a href="/music/Amy-Winehouse">Amy Winehouse</a>?" she asks. That's her blender: "That's why I sing in English and in Spanish: It feels natural to me." 

Right now, she enjoys great visibility in the indie scene, and she's just putting her efforts into earning her place in the big leagues: She's about to sign with Sony music. It is quite possible that new artists from different places may come along her way. In the meantime, she runs away from cars, luxuries, mansions and everything that comes with hip-hop showbiz. "I like music. I am not afraid of anything," she says.