Book Talk: ‘Natives’ and Black British History
Based on his Sunday Times bestselling memoir Natives, award-winning hip-hop artist Akala takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical, and political factors that have left us where we are today. Covering everything from the police, to education, to identity, and more, Akala speaks to the issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain’s racialized empire.
Book Talk: ‘The Dark Lady’ and the Importance of Education
Based on his enormously popular YA novel The Dark Lady, Akala connects with audiences and uplifts the book’s central theme – reading is a true super-power. The Dark Lady – inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Lady’ sonnets – transports the reader to multicultural 16th century London and instills the idea that knowledge is power.
Hip Hop and Shakespeare: An Overview and Explanation
In this compelling program based on his viral TEDx Talk, Akala shares the inspiration behind The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, which he co-founded, and explores the social and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern-day hip hop artists.
A Discussion on Race, Social Justice, & Equity
With viewpoints equally personal and scholarly, award-winning hip-hop artist and bestselling author Akala discusses issues of race and society, the roots of racism, and the movement toward reeducation and antiracism. One of the most respected voices in the UK’s racial equity and social justice movement, Akala’s presentations include a keynote with engaging visuals, as well as an impactful Q&A.
Balancing the Creative Process and Entrepreneurship
A multi-disciplinary artist and social entrepreneur, Akala's success across verticals is awe-inspiring, and leave business innovators asking, "How does he do it?" In this talk, Akala uses his track record of experience to reveal insights and strategies for inspiring continuous innovation and creating a workplace culture of entrepreneurship.
Akala is an educational voice to the younger generation, speaking about Black history and real-world issues
Award-winning Hip Hop artist, bestselling author, and social entrepreneur AKALA is an educational voice for Gen-Z, informing them about real-world issues through his many creative channels. Already a Sunday Times bestselling author for his memoir, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, which is now being adapted into a documentary series on BBC, his debut young adult novel The Dark Lady focuses on the perspective of people in lower class London during the 16th century, when we usually focus on the elite social class. This brilliant, at times brutal, novel from the amazing imagination that is Akala is inspired by Shakespeare’s 'Dark Lady' sonnets, and offers young people a different view of the arts and ultimately, themselves. It is the same philosophy that led Akala to co-found 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. The Dark Lady has quickly gained press, featuring in Bustle, GRM Daily and NME. Along with his novel and speaking events, he shares his vast knowledge as a leader in social justice movements through his social media following. Recently, he joined TikTok to post about music, culture and learning, further amplifying his educational content for followers.
Watch Akala’s TEDx Talk on Hip Hop and Shakespeare >>
Black History & Heritage: Akala elevates every conversation and celebration with his scholarship, deeply personal stories, and creative connections
Sunday Times bestselling author of Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, which is now being adapted into a documentary series on BBC, 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. 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, which he illuminated his his viral TEDx Talk.
For virtual and in person Black History & Heritage Celebrations, Akala delivers well-researched presentations which are also impassioned, creative, and engaging.
Akala's bestselling memoir '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
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 U.S. 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. The memoir is now being adapted into a documentary series on BBC. In his TED Talk, which has more than 1.2M 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 or in-person, Alaka's presentations are impassioned, creative, while being both deeply personal and rich with history.
AKALA is a BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, bestselling author, and social entrepreneur, as well as the co-founder of The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company. With an extensive global touring history, 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 for BBC Two 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 bestseller, having sold over 450,000+ 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 and has been included on the annual Powerlist of the 100 most influential Black British people in the UK, most recently making the 2021 edition.