London based rapper, Akheim Allen, has emerged onto the scene with his debut ‘WAVS DNT DIE’, produced by Earbuds (slowthai, Daniel OG). The bass-heavy track has an eerie instrumental and is all about coming back, pushing past obstacles and getting your voice heard. Mixing street level situations with politics, Akheim is already demonstrating his clear ability.
Having worked with the likes of Dave East, Avelino and Dreamville’s Ari Lennox, as well as writing with Koley Radical and Maleek Berry, Akheim Allen is, deservedly, surrounding himself with the some of the best emerging talent right now.
We are excited to hear more from Akheim in the future, but for now we’ve got him in conversation discussing his biggest inspirations and his rap writing process.
Firstly, how did you get into rap music?
My brother was born in New York so every time he would come to London he would have the latest clothes with bootleg music too. Most of the time he would leave the CDs for me and I would just take them all in. I was first introduced to the industry/hustle of music when I was in school, my cousin ran a recording company called ‘Alwayz Recording’, which birthed the careers of Chip, Wretch 32 and Scorcher, just to name a few. I would just sit in the studio and soak in what these dope artists were doing.
At first it was just a hobby for me, attending a local radio station by the name of ‘Axe FM’, which was situated at the bottom of my road whilst in the first and second year of secondary school. I ended up putting it on hold to concentrate on school and football, but then later jumped back on it and worked as hard as ever until I felt like I was good enough to pursue it and haven’t looked back since.
Who were your biggest inspirations growing up?
My biggest inspirations were Dizzee Rascal, Scorcher, Jay-Z and Kanye West. I feel like every artist has individually influenced me in different ways, but all are similar in the fact that they all have brought something great to the art – from the flows and impact that Dizzee had around the Boy in the corner times, to the world class lyricism of Jay-Z and the unique sound of Kanye West, I think I embodied a bit of every artist I have mentioned.
For anyone who hasn’t heard your music, how would you describe it in 3 words?
Unique, honest and quality
What is your rap writing process?
It all depends, as well as writing with melody ideas and just filling in the gaps, which is the quickest process. I tend to write in my house as I have freedom and time to research and really think of what I want to talk about, whereas, in the studio I like to lock myself away, throw some headphones on and just enter the zone.
You are fairly used to working with other artists, with the likes of Dave East, Avelino and Dreamville’s Ari Lennox, if you have the choice, who would you most like to collaborate with on future music?
All artists mentioned are incredible in their own right, but I think Ari Lennox would be the most suited collaborator only because she offers a unique vocal tone with exceptional writing skills, I feel like I would learn so much working with her, whilst also making some great music together.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
I want people to take away my story and pick parts of it that relate to them. I love music and the best part of being a musician is that you can use it as a vessel to open up about things that you wouldn’t normally. In every song I make I leave a piece of me on it, it’s therapy to me.
And finally, what can we expect from your future projects?
Development, I think with every project I strive to push myself to push myself to do things I’ve never done before, even down to my choice of words I never like to repeat the same word in a song because I feel like it take away from the challenge. I think no song or project of mine is like the last, so what you can expect is growth whilst collaborating with some of my favourite artists worldwide.