Platinum is one of R&B music’s most beloved and consistently popular vocal groups. Platinum was formed in 1999 by lead vocalist Darryl Askew, and his friends Carlo Valotta. Mike O’Leary from another local singing group soon joined the group. Platinum performed in a lot of the local clubs in the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.
Prior to joining Platinum, Mike had also played in the band called the New Memories along with Darryl. Platinum has gone through several female vocalists along the way before Darryl, but it wasn’t until 2002 when Kim, former lead vocalist with another well-known local Band called the House of Soul, joined the band.
Darryl and Kim gelled instantly, the band now had a sound chemistry, their vocal style harkens back to a more genteel era of crooning with their silky-smooth voices, yet they can groove and move an audience.
With their popularity continuing to grow, Platinum has great appreciation for their loyal fans, and welcomes new ones. Their audiences, hungry for great songs with timeless melodies, can expect great songs to give a stellar performance.
Vocalist Kim Askew born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, began her lifelong love affair with music at a young age, ultimately finding her passion for singing listening to the likes of Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, and Chaka Khan and being molded by the music her mother Norma played.
She has been performing in nightclubs and theaters up and down the east coast and all through the Midwest and enjoys acting. Kim says music will always be her first love.
She has opened for many artists such as Kool & the Gang, Janet Jackson, and Usher. Kim lived in Chicago for several years performing and recording with several bands there, in the Midwest and with Pittsburgh artists including a band, The House of Soul, she sang lead with, ranked Pittsburgh’s Number one R&B/Soul Band.
She recently released her solo debut CD, All of My Lovin and enjoys recording in the studio but loves the intensity of live performances as well. Her strong yet smooth soulful voice and upbeat stage presence is her trademark. Kim fuses the best elements of jazz gospel and R&B. This is a talent you’re sure to enjoy.
Band Leader Vocalist-Bass-Keys Darryl Askew began his professional career in 1976 at the young age of fifteen, playing bass guitar for several popular local groups in Pittsburgh. Askew originally played drums before he began playing the Bass at age twelve. He uses a unique playing style, playing left-handed, with a right-hand bass, turned backwards, flipped upside down with the G-string on top.
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Darryl Askew was the youngest of thirteen children with four brothers and eight sisters, some of whom went on to have music careers of their own. His father, Emanuel “Slim” Askew, was a smooth baritone in the church choir. His sister Veronica is a singer/songwriter and pianist in the church, and sister Sharon, and older brother Charles (Chink) sing in the church as well.
Darryl was exposed to a wide variety of music with his older brothers and sisters playing Motown music and other music from that era, his father listening to the big band sound and classical music, and his mother Laura being a church pianist.
In the early 1970’s Darryl’s brother Darwin (Hank) Askew was heavy on the Disc Jocky scene in New Jersey. Darryl was captivated by Hank’s ability to speak on the mic and spin records, so Darryl did too. Darryl achieved a degree in broadcasting; however, the desire to create music overcame the desire to spin records.
Although his brother Stan inspired him to play the bass, Darryl’s sister Veronica had a pretty big influence on his musical career. In the mid to late 1970’s he and Veronica formed a band called Silver Lining, performing in a lot of corporate and private engagements and in several of the clubs around the Pittsburgh area. Although enjoying performing the cover songs/songs heard on the radio, as a gifted songwriter, Darryl had a desire to record the songs he wrote.
Being that most songs consist of more than just a bass guitar, Darryl had to teach himself the keys, and so compose and record a full song with a whole rhythm section playing every instrument himself. In 1980 Darryl went on the road for several years doing what they called the hotel circuit that was the big thing back then. In 1996 Darryl joined a pretty well-known Doo Woop/oldies group called The Memories.
One of the groups original artists Jerry Mellix noticed what an enjoyment Darryl was having band leadership. The group was renamed The New Memories consisting of five front guys doing mega steps, choreography and sweet soulful harmonies. In 2000 Darryl formed a group called Platinum.
They performed everything from Funk/R&B/Ballads & Originals. The group is still going strong today. Darryl is extremely busy writing and recording in the studio.
Ever since Darryl was a little boy music has always been in his heart and soul, and he will forever be under the influence of music.
Photos and Crowd Pics