Following the critically acclaimed singles 'Roll Wid Us' and 'Bullshit', multi-talented north Londoner Akala returns on April 10 with the Jimi Hendrix-inspired 'The Edge', which precedes the release of the genre-defying debut album 'It's Not A Rumour' (due out April 24).
'The Edge' is a raucous blend of live instruments, guitar riffs and hip hop samples over which Akala spits with his usual clarity. The relentless energy of the track is elevated further by featured vocalist Niara (a former songwriter for Sugababes), who throws her crazy-sexy-cool vocals deep into the chorus. Since growing disillusioned with modern rap's obsession with bling, violence and amorality as a teenager, Akala's been on the hunt for as many different genres as he can absorb: “Over the last 5 years I've become increasingly frustrated by the rap world because of the repetitive production and bollocks lyrics,” he explains.
Akala cites artists as varied as Jay Z, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Bob Marley and The White Stripes as influences, and this eclecticism is evident not only on the single, but also on both his forthcoming debut album and live gigs. His recent performances have included Reading, Leeds and the V Festivals where the combination of live band, DJ and an enigmatic and energetic front man has marked him out from the glut of wannabee MCs currently battling it out in the UK.
'The Edge': is it old school, new school, the sound of the past or that of the future? Who cares, when the message is this simple: “it's only one life here, gotta do you bruv, I feel marvellous, how about you luv?”
You can't say it clearer than that.
'The Edge' is released on Illa State Records, April 10. The debut album 'It's Not A Rumour' follows on May 1st