by Hannah Weiss
Akala is the Buddhist term for immovable. It’s a fitting stage name for Kentish Town-born Kingslee James Daley, whose breakthrough first album It’s Not A Rumour earned him a MOBO award for Best Hip Hop Act in 2006. Akala has since proved himself to be a game-changer in British hip hop, taking his sound beyond traditional boundaries with influences from trance, folk, punk and soul. He has released six albums and two books, played shows in over 30 countries, including on the Distant Relatives tour with Nas, presented the seminal Life of Rhyme for Channel 4 and created The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company.
Akala has used his voice as a musician to become a powerful advocate of education and social justice in Britain. In a world where hip hop so frequently bows to corporate whims, the rapper’s career is a standout triumph of independence. Not content with merely releasing music, in the 10 years since his first album dropped, Akala has broadened his scope to develop a career as a writer, poet and educator, all the while preserving his autonomy by founding and releasing his music through his own label, Illa State Records.
Akala recently dropped his latest track Fire In The Booth Pt. 4 in June 2016, performed at Shakespeare’s 400th birthday celebrations at the RSC and will take part in an upcoming reggae documentary on BBC4. In 2017 the artist is sure to continue to break new ground, beginning by embarking on the It’s Not a Rumour tour to mark his 10th anniversary, crossing continents with dates in the UK, Europe, America and Australia.
At Move by the Quay the rapper’s relentless 90 minute set will include live drums, stunning visuals and strong support from acts including Synchromystics, The Prophecy and Defekted Sektion.
It’s Not a Rumour is a must-see for hip hop fans, and is sure to captivate anyone who loves good music.