BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer/poet and historian 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/Keziah Jones) headlining 9 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 international music festivals (Glastonbury, Big Chill, Wireless, V, Hove and SXSW) as well as taking part in British Council arts education/music projects across several countries in South-east Asia, Africa, The Philippines, New Zealand and Australia. Akala is more recently known for his compelling lecture/seminars and journalism (The Guardian, Huffington Post UK, Oxford Union, TEDx and The Independent), TV presenting and script-writing – over last few years he has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and literate talents in the UK. Akala has featured on numerous TV programmes across Channel 4, ITV2, MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his music, poetry as well as speaking on wide ranging subjects from music, youth engagement, British / African-Caribbean culture and the arts as a whole.
In 2009, Akala launched the ‘The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company’ which has sparked worldwide media interest since its inception. Previous Hip-hop Shakespeare partners/collaborators include: BBC, Premier League, Mastercard, London 2012 Olympics, First Direct Bank, The Barbican, The Roundhouse, The Southbank Centre, Sir Ian McKellen, Ed Sheeran, Ms. Dynamite and The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Voice Director; Cicely Berry. As the creative and intellectual driving force of The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company, Akala works across all Hip-hop Shakespeare productions/projects, working closely with his team to produce new workshop formats, live events, theatre productions and creative / social entrepreneurship projects around the world.