Over the last decade, rapper, poet and journalist Akala (the name comes from a Buddhist term meaning ‘immovable’) has emerged from London’s hip hop underground and burst into the mainstream as one of the leaders of a new British artistic renaissance.
His first album, It’s Not a Rumour, was released in 2006 and gained much critical acclaim, culminating in him winning the 2006 MOBO Award for Best Hip Hop Artist. Since then, Akala has released three more albums and toured extensively throughout the UK and around the world.
He has developed a stellar live show with renowned drummer and award-winning music producer, Cassell ‘The Beatmaker’, headlining six UK tours and touring with the likes of Jay-Z, Nas and M.I.A.
Akala is the purveyor of a unique and socially conscious form of hip hop, packed with metaphors, beats, rock sounds and emotionally charged lyrics. Don't miss this.
Yorkshire lad through and through, 23 year old recording artist Kevin Franks grew up in a deprived area of Rotherham (South Yorkshire) throughout the nineties and noughties, where at the age of 17, having been caught up in the wrong crowd, he got sent down and served a year in a youth offenders institution.
Having started to record his own songs and perform at gigs just prior to being locked up, he used this time constructively to perfect his song writing skills, while his passion and ambitions grew inside him, and upon being released, teamed up with local independent record label owner and producer, Adam Blackburn of Abstain Records. Having spotted something special in Kevin, Adam became a mentor to him, a sort of Dr Dre to his young protégé, teaching him to write in song format, helping him to hone his skills, keeping him out of trouble and producing his music and videos.
When he first started rapping, like most young rappers born in the 90's, Kevin Franks was strongly influenced by the likes of Jay Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game and subsequently UK legends such as Wiley, Akala, Kano and Skepta, but has now begun to mature and come in to his own as an artist, utilising his own life experiences and struggles to personalise his art, which he describes as strongly based in reality and cathartic, allowing him to feel better and happier.
Kevin Franks has recently released his "Living To A Melody" mixtape, which he has been showcasing at gigs across Yorkshire, and is now working on his debut single and album to be released later this year.
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