Akala

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  • BAFTA and MOBO award- winning Hip-Hop Artist, Writer and Social Entrepreneur
  • Co-Founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company
  • Sunday Times best-selling Author


Akala is an award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur, and one of the most respected voices in the UK's racial equity and social justice movement.

His best-selling memoir, Natives, is a searing modern polemic about race and society: From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realized his mom was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers.  Always working to promote bigger ideals to the collective through his work, Akala takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have shaped modern society, and where we might go from here.

Akala is also the co-founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, a music theater production company aimed at exploring the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern day hip-hop artists, which he chronicled in his TEDx Talk. Akala's work offers young people a different view of the arts and ultimately, themselves. 

 

 

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Keynote - Black History as the Lost Pages of Human History | The Oxford Union [1:16:34] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Akala's Talks
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A Discussion on Race, Social Justice & Equity

With viewpoints equally personal and scholarly, Akala discusses issues of race and society, the roots of racism and the movement toward allyship and antiracism ...

With viewpoints equally personal and scholarly, Akala discusses issues of race and society, the roots of racism and the movement toward allyship and antiracism

The Creative Process and Entrepreneurship

In this talk, Akala shares with organizations his insights on how to innovate and create a culture of entrepreneurship.  Akala's productivity levels across many disciplines are awe-inspiring, leaving social entrepreneurs and business innovators asking, "How does he do it?" Akala shares his inspirati ...

In this talk, Akala shares with organizations his insights on how to innovate and create a culture of entrepreneurship.  Akala's productivity levels across many disciplines are awe-inspiring, leaving social entrepreneurs and business innovators asking, "How does he do it?" Akala shares his inspiration, process and routine conducive to a creativity and innovation.

Hip Hop and Shakespeare: An Overview and Explanation

In this talk, Akala gives an introduction to the work and concepts of The Hip Hop Shakespeare company looking at language, rhythm and themes and exploring the social and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern day rappers ...

In this talk, Akala gives an introduction to the work and concepts of The Hip Hop Shakespeare company looking at language, rhythm and themes and exploring the social and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern day rappers

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<p>Black History & Heritage: Akala elevates every conversation and celebration with his scholarship, deeply personal stories and creative connections.</p>

Black History & Heritage: Akala elevates every conversation and celebration with his scholarship, deeply personal stories and creative connections.

The plus side of the reality that most Black History & Heritage Celebrations will be virtual this year is that more American groups will be able to host AKALA. Sunday Times bestselling author of  Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, Akala is able to give a historical context to the modern social justice conversations about the intersections of race and class. As an award-winning British hip-hop artist and entrepreneur, Akala approaches every endeavour with a creative understanding as well as with an innovative approach to educating.  The book was chosen among the top five books in Time Out's "Books, Films and Documentaries That Will Help You Learn About Anti-Racism, and he has since posted videos on Black history on his popular YouTube Channel.  Akala is known as a creator – of music, of ideas, and for making innovative connections to see the old world in a new light. For example, he founded the Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, a music theater production company aimed at exploring the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern-day hip-hop artists. This can be seen chronicled in his TEDx Talk. For virtual Black History & Heritage Celebrations, Akala delivers well-researched presentations which are also impassioned, creative and engaging.

<p>VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING: Akala's <em>Sunday Times</em> bestselling memoir, <strong><em>Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire</em></strong>, captures the social, historical, and political context that grips the world today moving readers to action and activism armed with a rich understanding of the U.K's roles in racism throughout the world.</p>

VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING: Akala's Sunday Times bestselling memoir, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, captures the social, historical, and political context that grips the world today moving readers to action and activism armed with a rich understanding of the U.K's roles in racism throughout the world.

You cannot speak on the movement for black lives, social justice, and equity around the world without mentioning AKALA's influence throughout Europe, Australia, Africa and the USA. In his Sunday Times bestseller, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, the award-winning hip-hop artist, writer, and social entrepreneur pulls readers into an experience of being mixed-race (identifying as black) in a racially divided world. Among the top five books included in Time Out's "Books, Films and Documentaries That Will Help You Learn About Anti-racism," Akala's Natives captures the social, historical, and political context that grips the world today moving readers to action and activism armed with a rich understanding of the U.K's roles in racism throughout the world. With his pulse on the global unrest, in the age of social distancing, Akala shared Black British History An Introduction on his YouTube channel, with viewers exclaiming, "This is so important!!!," "very informative," "The GOAT" (greatest of all time). In his TED Talk, which has more than 1.2 million views, Akala offers young people a different view of the arts and ultimately, themselves chronicling the work of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, his music theater production company that bridges the world of William Shakespeare and hip-hop culture. Whether virtual and in-person, Alaka's presentations are impassioned, creative, while being both deeply personal and rich with history.

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Biography

AKALA is a BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, best-selling author and social entrepreneur, as well as the co-founder of The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company. With an extensive global touring history (9k+ 2018 box office sales achieved in London alone with no music released), Akala has  appeared at numerous festivals both in the UK and internationally, and has led innovative projects in the arts, education and music across South East Asia, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. Akala has also appeared on NPR, PBS, MTV, BET, Channel 4, ITV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his music, poetry and speaking on wide-ranging subjects from music, race, youth engagement, British/African-Caribbean culture and the arts, with numerous online lectures, podcasts and performances that have reached millions via YouTube/Spotify. More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism - he has written for The  Guardian, Huffington Post, GQ and the Independent and spoken for the Oxford Union and TEDx.

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.

NATIVES, Akala's 2018 published memoir is already a Sunday Times best-seller, 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.