Social entrepreneur, writer, BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist and co-founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, Akala engages young audiences worldwide with his words, business acumen, and a passion for performance.
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 Scott-Heron, over the years Akala has developed a stellar live show with his renowned drummer/award-winning music producer Cassell ‘TheBeatmaker’ headlining 8 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 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 lectures/seminars and journalism (The Guardian, Huffington Post UK 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 also featured on numerous TV programmes and fronted documentaries 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’, a music theatre production company which has sparked worldwide media interest since its inception. Previous clients/collaborators include: BBC, Premier League, Mastercard, London 2012, British actor; Sir Ian McKellen together with artist’s; Ed Sheeran, Ms. Dynamite, Lady Leshurr and many more.
In 2015, Akala and his manager Chanelle Newman co-founded Immovable Limited, a creative publishing hub which produces creative content across music, books and TV. Immovable's latest production, 'The Ruins of Empires' is an adaptation of Akala's graphic novel / epic poem of the same name - combining Hip Hop poetry and emerging technology, this innovative production blends both traditional and game engine animation with motion capture techniques and wearable technology, further pushing the envelope of the global Hip Hop art form.
Akala's 2018 published memoir NATIVES is already a Sunday Times bestseller, having sold over 200,000+ copies worldwide. Combined with being awarded an honorary Doctorate by Oxford Brookes University and the University of Brighton, Akala has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and articulate talents in the UK.
Combined with being awarded an honorary Doctorate by Oxford Brookes University and the University of Brighton, Akala has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and articulate talents in the UK. He is a gifted entertainer and sharp businessman with the ability to captivate audiences through his words, and is frequently called upon to present after dinner and corporate seminars.