Chatterbox: AKH

Hey! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in the suburbs of Howard County, Maryland. After some time, my family decided to live in the country, so I moved to a more rural area. At first I felt like my creative outlet was being stifled, and that the isolation from people was a detriment. But I fell in love with music and found myself losing track of time writing and freestyling. I’ve always worked to stay busy and keep an honest creative outlet. I learned to play piano on the keyboard my brother got for Christmas but largely didn’t use. At the time I was listening to Akon, Young Jeezy and Missy Elliot on a 90s’ CD player—so you could say I’ve always been drawn to the Hip-Hop, Rap and R&B genre.

After college, I started writing and recording songs in GarageBand to express the busy traffic going on in my mind. Note, The Weeknds album Trilogy was on repeat everyday because I could empathize with his motions and experiences following the end of a six year relationship I had with a girl I dated all throughout college. That is what really motivated me to write, record and finish my first track.  Shortly after, I realized music was a passion worth pursuing, so I built a home studio and started recording, mixing, and producing. It’s been nothing but highs since I started. Some days I certainly feel down or even blocked, but it just motivates me to work harder and control my emotions.

How did the new single Jungle Fever come about?

Jungle Fever started as a basement freestyle with my friends, and I thought nothing of it at the time. I really liked the iteration and started to incorporate different instruments and oriental sounds. To say I had one influencer in the process would do the rest injustice, but The Weeknd was really impactful in my life and sound career. I am naturally drawn to filtered synths and dark chord progressions, but I decided to experiment with a higher tempo on the track. Overall, I was stoked with the product after re-recording and mastering the composition—it has a dynamic vibe and a very nuanced sound.

Is there more content in the pipeline?

Absolutely! Jungle Fever is the first release of my 3-song EP, Origins. My next single, Empire, is scheduled for release in October followed by an unnamed track in December. I can hardly contain the excitement having just finished mixing the final beat for Empire. The track will be recorded, mixed and mastered early September followed by a photo shoot, music video and instagram promotional campaign. My EP is based on my eclectic upbringing and spiritual awakening. When I first started being on my own, there was a great deal of uncertainty in my life. I read dozens of books by the Dalai Lama and Aristotle looking for answers to what being happy means and how to cultivate a passion. This eventually led me to discover that my truest passion is music. I think we’re all battling our inner demons and working on my music helps channel my energy into creating something more meaningful.

What’s on the horizon for you?

Right now, I’m working on a lot of the promotional work for Jungle Fever. I’m also focused on creating quality content for Origins. I’ve worked with dozens of industry professionals in the artwork, production and release of the final product. For my career, my heart is set on the City of Angels. I’m finishing up a few collaborations on the East Coast before heading to LA to grow further. A lot of my work was inspired by my love for California and my travels to Los Angeles. I still think about driving on the PCH, with palm trees against the backdrop of beautiful blue skies. Nonetheless, taking my work from prototype to what it is now has been an eye-opening opportunity. I cannot wait to share more of my art with the world.

If the readers could take one thing away from your work, what would it be?

Be true to yourself and don’t worry about the opinions of others. There’s quote I really like that came back this season on Game of Thrones, “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of sheep.” I believe from a creative standpoint and life in general, the world would be a happier place if we stopped expecting the validation of others


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