Thursday, 24 April 2008

The UK's bringing Hip-Hop back!

The streets gave birth to hip hop, and the streets are where it lives. But the corporate world stole rap. Now Akala’s stealing it back.

Over the last two years Kingslee ‘Akala’ Daley, 24, has emerged from London’s hip hop underground as one of the leaders of a new British artistic renaissance. In 2006 Akala won the Best Hip Hop MOBO award for his debut album ‘It’s Not A Rumour’. Since then Akala has rocked live spots on Radio 1 and warmed up for artists as diverse as Jay-Z, Christina Aguilera and Richard Ashcroft. At the same time he has tirelessly taken his acclaimed live show not only across the country, but as far a field as Nigeria and Vietnam where he performed the first ever Hip-Hop show in the country’s history at the behest of the British Council. In October 2007 he released his follow-up album "Freedom Lasso" and is getting ready to release the next single off the album "Comedy Tragedy History" in the spring.

Kingslee Daley chose the name 'Akala', a Buddhist moniker that means 'immovable', yet Akala the artist/MC/entrepreneur is anything but: he is a mutable, restless hip-hop polymath born under the sign of Sagittarius who has rolled through school (straight As at GCSE), the sports scene (he played for West Ham and Wimbledon) and the fast-food trade (he ran an Ayia Napa jerk joint), all before he turned 20. Recently he has focused his energies onto the business of hip hop, producing his own videos, distributing white labels, mixtapes and founding his Illa State label, the logo of which is a Union Jack in the black, gold and green of the Jamaican flag. This colour scheme couldn’t be more appropriate: in the Jamaican original, gold represents natural beauty and wealth; green signifies resources and hope; black denotes hardships endured.

HipHopInformant: How long have you been involved in Hip-Hop?

Akala: Since I was about seven when I first started imitating MC's that I liked and adding my own little flavour to their songs.

HipHopInformant: What made you get involved with Hip-Hop?

Akala: I was attracted by the rhythm and power of the words of real hip-hop and that inspired me to write my own thoughts and lyrics.

HipHopInformant: Are there any artists that influence you?

Akala: Yeah tons from Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye to Wu Tang and Public Enemy to Radiohead and Prodigy I just love real music.

HipHopInformant: the track “Comedy Tragedy History” is an amazing piece of work how did you get the idea for that track?

Akala: I was challenged by DJ Alex Twin B to fit 27 Shakespeare plays in a freestyle which I did and that became the first two verses of the song I then wrote two more verses containing the Bards most famous quotes.

HipHopInformant: I’m amazed by the way that you rap its something new and fresh how would you explain the way that you rhyme?

Akala: Honesty. Everything I say I just try to be as honest as I can at that particular moment.

HipHopInformant: What are your views about Hip-Hop in the
UK at this moment?

Akala: There are a lot of talented artists here but there is as ever just not enough coherence and unity within the scene.

HipHopInformant: What do you feel the most enjoyable thing about performing is?

Akala: Sharing the energy with the fans.

HipHopInformant: Does your music have a message?

Akala: My music just has my thoughts and feeling on the world around me and if people find a message in that then great.

HipHopInformant: How did the name Akala come about and does it have a meaning?

Akala: It is a Buddhist term meaning "Immovable."

HipHopInformant: How did it feel to be featured on Channel 4?

Akala: I was pleased as it's always hard for independent artists like me to get features on mainstream TV so it was great.

HipHopInformant: What does the future hold for Akala?

Akala: More shows, Vol2 of "The War Mixtape" coming later this year and probably a third album in '09.

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Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That's what im talking about! Good Lookin' out mayn! Keep bringing us that REAL hip-hop!

Anonymous said...

Im feelin' UK hip-hop, dude's dope.

Anonymous said...


Perfect in every way said...

w this guy on Channel 4 he's good! Nic Interview too :D xx