Ahead of his orchestra concert which takes place in Durban this weekend, rapper AKA spoke to IOL Entertainment about how this idea initially come about and how his dream is to one day perform on Table Mountain.
How did the idea for the AKA Orchestra concert come about?
My approach to it has always been as a scholar of music and the game. I have now reached the point where with every aspect of my art I touch, music, fashion, videos – it goes towards my thesis as a scholar of the game and the culture.
Gone are the days of hip hop presentation being a guy shouting on stage, with his cool friends as backup to his every word. We put up productions to showcase that we are more than just rhymes – its taking hip hop back to musicality.
What made you want to infuse your music with classical music?
It goes back to that point of seeing myself as being more than just a hip hop artist, but having to offer a full musical view to my hip hop. Also I love challenging myself.
Keeping things the same bores me no end. So I have to switch it up and step outside of my comfort zone in order to grow myself. I can’t be content with same performance style I delivered 10 years ago when I started.
How much work have you been putting into your upcoming concert?
The orchestra takes up to 3 months to plan and prepare for. This time it was even more time intensive because I had to travel between Joburg and Durban for the rehearsals and musical scoring.
So it’s a lot of hours and miles clocked.
Was the plan to always have another installment this year after your debut orchestra in March?
The plan is to expose more of my fan base as far as I can reach them. The third installment is already in the works.
Why take it to Durban?
Durban has always given me love. The crowd there is warm and receptive to the music. They get me.
How did you select the artists who will be performing?
I went for artists that I respect, ones who are pioneers in their fields of music and importantly that have an affiliation with Durban.
What lessons did you learn from your first orchestra that you have implemented in this edition?
One always remains a student of his craft. It has grown me even in making my latest album. There is so much more I am aware of in my music.
What would you like to do next with the AKA Orchestra?
Being from Cape Town, I have always looked at the iconic Table Mountain as the ultimate place to put a performance on. Just imagine the class and the sophistication of that. That’s some next level.