He is one of dancehall’s newest faces. Over the three years since he has decided to pursue music professionally, Akino has noted one thing: there’s no slowing down. Chatting with Youthlink, the past student of Tivoli Gardens High School said, “So far, the three years have been very good. I always had the talent, and I would say I have gotten far in a short period of time.”
He admits, however, that there have been other notations, some not so encouraging. “I notice that the industry is tricky. It’s like politics now, and that kind of holds back the genre for everybody – artistes, producers, etc. Things are changing because of big egos and envy.”
Explaining, he said, “For example, if you go on a rhythm with Producer A, the next producer would be watching you and you can’t go on his rhythm because he doesn’t deal with that producer or he has an artiste who doesn’t like that producer. It’s not like couple years ago when you could hear everybody on one rhythm. Now, it’s like once an artiste gets on a rhythm and finds a hit song, he doesn’t want to hear anybody else on it. He doesn’t want the producer to work with anybody. It’s like picking sides, and everything is just grouped up.”
Still, he’s resolved to carve out his own niche, and this he believes he will achieve through what he calls the authenticity of his music. “It’s the real deal,” he said. “A lot of the music that we hear now won’t last.
“You’ll just hear it today and it’s gone tomorrow. I make timeless music; once you hear it, you can’t deny it. It’s music with melody, lyrics and style. Just wait until it reaches everybody’s ears, because right now it’s spreading like wildfire.”
A LOVE FOR WRITING
Akino writes his own music and would like to use this to propel him further. “I would say I was born with this (talent for writing). It’s something that I love to do and I’m always writing. I plan to write a book some time in the future; especially since I have experienced and been able to understand things from a different point of view, I have to share it,” he opined.
The first track he wrote and recorded was called Tricky, a project he shared with one of his friends. “It’s about two men who were involved with the same woman and were reasoning about it,” he remembered, noting that the song had signalled his intentions to pursue music seriously.
Of his memorable performances, he remembers most his stint at Sharkie’s Seafood Festival last October when he performed a song dedicated to his mother. “It’s not out yet, but I always open with it. I plan to drop it this Mother’s Day. It’s called Mama mi Queen,” he said.
Looking ahead, Akino is open to collaborating with other artistes. “I don’t really have a problem with most artistes, so I don’t have a specific pick. I would be mostly interested in a female collaboration, and I would more go the Shenseea route because she’s not really into the drama, and her sense of humour would be good to be around – decent vibes in the studio and on set if we’re shooting a video, so I would definitely do a song with Shenseea,” he said.
What is he currently working on? “Definitely my new single, Mek Money, and I’m also shooting the video for that. It’s playing on Zip FM, Suncity FM, Hot97 New York, etc. I also have a five-track EP that’s about to drop soon.”
A frequent visitor to Atlanta, Akino sometimes records at the same studio as rapper YFN Lucci, and the two have teamed up for a track which is to be added to his new album. According to Akino, “He loves my music, plus he has a Jamaican background.
“That’s a lot in the pipeline for me this year, and a lot of work,” the young deejay affirmed. “I plan to also network with some of these hot producers because they are the main ones to link with. I am predicting more music videos and more of being in the media – that’s my main focus right now. I have a video out called DHQ (Dancehall Queen).”
He said, “I plan to bring some of the most creative videos and that will be unique about my thing; sound and visual won’t be average.”