MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer/poet and educator ‘Akala’ is a label owner and social entrepreneur who fuses unique rap/rock/electro-punk sound with fierce lyrical storytelling. Inspired by the likes of Saul Williams and Gil Scot-Heron, over the years Akala has developed a stellar live show with his renowned drummer/award-winning music producer Cassell ‘TheBeatmaker’ (Plan B, The Streets and Keziah Jones) headlining 6 UK tours as well as touring with the likes of Jay-Z, Nas & Damian Marley, M.I.A. and Christina Aguilera to Siouxsie Sue, Damon Albarn’s (‘Blur’/Gorillaz’) ‘Africa Express’ and Richard Ashcroft, appearing at numerous UK / European and US festivals (Glastonbury, Big Chill, Wireless, V, Hove and SXSW) as well as collaborations with British Council arts/music projects across several countries in South-east Asia, Africa, The Philippines, New Zealand and Australia.
Akala is more recently known for his compelling lectures/seminars, journalism (Guardian, Huffington Post UK and the Independent), TV presenting and script-writing talents and has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and literate talents in the UK.
In 2009, Akala launched the ‘The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company’, a music theatre production company which has sparked worldwide media interest since its inception. Previous clients/collaborators include: BBC, Mastercard, London 2012, First Direct Bank, The Barbican, The Roundhouse, The Southbank Centre, British actor; Sir Ian McKellen, singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran, actor/musician; Colin Salmon, Ms. Dynamite and The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Voice Director; Cicely Berry.
Recently, Akala has become equally as renowned for his political analysis, as for his music, releasing his bestselling book ‘Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire’ back in May this year. He has made multiple appearances on TV, including Frankie Boyle’s ‘New World Order’ and BBC’s ‘Breakfast TV’, where he talks about his views on the world, and how it came to be shaped the way it is today. Akala offers solutions and new progressive ways of thinking on racism, class, violence, education and democracy. Akala’s powerful combination of music and food for thought makes him a truly unforgettable and profound artist.