Akala Live at Monkey Bar, featuring artist Project

By Abigail BellBRITHOPTV: [Event] Akala (@AkalaMusic) 'Ten Years of Akala' 10th Year Anniversary Tour 2016 | #UKRap #UKHipHop

Image Akala: Copyright Akala, all rights reserved.

On Tuesday 18 of October I enjoyed an evening at the Monkey Bar in Swansea watching my favourite rapper Akala performing live.

This name may be familiar to you even if you don’t listen to grime. However, even if you are not a grime fan I am certain, for those of you with an interest in politics, Akala’s politically driven lyrics will engage your ear.  Akala regularly engages with the world of politics e.g. he is known to attendmeetings and interviews with UK MPs.

His views during the debate with English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson, were brilliant. His fire in the booths with Charlie Sloth, (Radio one XTRA show,) had crowned him ‘Mr. Fire in the booth’ for absolutely killing it. I’ve always been a fan of fire in the booth but to hear all four parts live with no “back up rapper” was sensational.

It’s unsurprising that Akala is so articulate he is rumoured to be a massive bookworm. I, myself, fell in love with him 10 years ago. He was the first rapper I had heard wasn’t rapping about getting high or women in a derogatory fashion like a lot of rappers, unfortunately, have a tendency to do. His album ‘It’s Not a Rumour’, is an album that still makes sense today. Everything he refers to, (even Trump comes up,) remains applicable now. There are songs with a hip hop beat, with violins, a brilliant female vocalist and currently continues to be a 10/10 album.  

An artist who makes the effort to make fans/press feel important cannot fail to take a place in your heart. After the show he came out to meet everyone in attendance and gave out autographs and photos. Obviously, I didn’t miss out on this opportunity and got myself a cheeky picture. Also, another impressive fact about Akala is that he takes time to familiarise himself with the area where he is going to be performing. Subsequently, he honours this by introducing its local talent which brings me to another highlight of a fantastic night, which is the artist Project.

Image Akala: Copyright Akala, all rights reserved.

Project UK Hip-hop EDIT (50 of 62).jpg

Image Project: Copyright Akala/Project, all rights reserved.

            If you haven’t already heard of ‘Project’ now is the time. The Cardiff based rap artist Project was the evening’s show opener and he really did put on a show. I found myself wanting the room to be silent so I could hear every word. Unfortunately, I entered the room missing part of the first song. However, in some ways it was worth it because when he began “10.10.12” I was completely awestruck.

My heartstrings were struck by the words alone. Overall, the performance really shook me up inside. It was theatrical and evocative and you knew, what you were watching, wasn’t an act. Instead, his performance was real, raw and exceptional. It is very difficult to deliver and convey real emotion and, usually, I have to know the facts or the story behind someone to understand their performance. This time however, I felt like I didn’t need the story and instead I felt though I already knew it. I am certain the song reached out to everyone in that room on some level or another. For anyone who doesn’t know how to put ‘pain’ into words this is how it is done!

The most powerful advocate in the music industry is the ‘word’, through reviews, positive publicity and fan base. Please share this article or his Facebook page and get this Welsh lad the attention he deserves! His EP “Purge” will be released before Christmas this year. My advice is to make sure you purchase it!


Image Project: Copyright Akala/Project, all rights reserved

"Hub Festival 2016 [Credit - The Hold Up]"

Cardiff based rap artist ‘Project!’ – Yes girls – easy on the eyes, if you’re not into rap, you may want to start!

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