Thursday, 22 March 2012

SA Hip Hop Prince shakes the Small Town

On Wednesday, 21, March, we celebrated Human's Rights day in SA. A local youth radio station organised a series of events to mark this important day and rounded it all up with a party theme "Celebrate your right to party" the night before the holiday. Who better to celebrate our rights with, other than the "beast" and "problem" AKA? Before the show at Incognito,  I had a chance to have a chat with the Cape Town born rapper. Many have labelled the "prince of SA hip hop" as arrogant, but arrogance, like beauty lies on the eye of the beholder.  I must say I do think he's confident, very much.  But who wouldn't be if they could back it up like he can? His debut album "Alter Ego" saw him win three Metro FM music awards, and it's a hard one to find in music stores, Something AKA has mixed feelings about. "I've heard loads of people complaining that they can't find the album, that means it's selling fast, which is a good thing. But I don't like the fact that some other people who want to support me can't find it." he said. He's quick to point out though that he cannot release sales figures as there currently is no method for tracking them. AKA, real name Kiernan Forbes said he's super excited about the possibility of more awards. He has been nominated for the Best Male Artist and Best Street Urban Album awards in this year's South African Music Awards. "Everyone I'm nominated with is big, they are competition, it means a lot to me," he said. "I'm excited about the best male category because it means as a Hip Hop artist I give competition to musicians in other genres as well, at the end of the day music is music," he added. Besides the awards, he regards no-one as competition. He's his own competition. "I'm my own number 1, I have to keep at it"

 AKA has promised his supporters that next year he'll be releasing a new album. "Towards the end of this year I will drop a couple of singles, just to give a taste of what awaits," he said. He said the Ivy League(the group of music producers he's a part of) family is still happy and they will continue to work with him in his forthcoming album. "There's no doubt Ivy League did a great job on Alter Ego,we'll work together, but I'm looking at working with other beat-makers for new and different sounds. I don't wanna be monotonous" said the GQ style award winner. He's known for his on point style, which he says is entirely his own ideas. "I don't have a stylist, I put my look together myself, except for when I go to awards, then some brands offer to dress me." He regards Kanye West as his style inspiration. "It's important to present a proper package, and know what you want to archive. You have to look good," he said.

AKA says his busy schedules makes hard to make or keep friends, as he is constantly on the road, which he regards as just a disadvantage he has to live with. Speaking of being on the road all the time, he's looking forward to the Miller Music Tour, which he'll be doing with TV personality Minnie Dlamini and fellow rapper Khuli Chana, starting on May, 30.

In conclusion, the "victory lap" hit maker advised up and coming musicians not to wait to be signed in big music labels, but push for themselves. "You don't need people to sign you, there's nothing a big company can do you that you can't as an independent artist. I'm living proof," he concluded.

With the chat done, it was time go celebrate our right to party. And boy did we celebrate!


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