Live Review: Akala @ Hyperlink Festival
London's prestigious art gallery the Tate Modern may seem like an unexpected place to go and watch a rap performance, but Akala has never been one to give in to conventions. Showcasing some new tracks from his latest album ‘The Thieves Banquet’ at Hyperlink Festival, the crowd were treated to a sneak preview of what they could expect ahead of its release later this month…
The MOBO award-winner paired up with a full live band on the entire album and did the same for his energetic performance, with drum-driven tracks like 'Old Soul' and the rock influenced Josh Osho collaboration 'Lose Myself', benefitting the most from his new "evolved sound".
He told The Wrap Up: "People can expect similar content and similar ideas [from this album] but hopefully everything has evolved. The fact that I recorded it with a live band is new; I've never done that for an entire album before."
Not forgetting that the-three-day event was about combining art and music, the songs were paired up with some trippy visuals to match the themes of the lyrics.
"I worked with Japanese artist Tokio Aoyama for the album art. Someone just sent me a link to his website, I emailed him, he emailed back. Explained the concept of what I wanted to do and that was it, he got it done and it was what I wanted.
"I don't see music and art as two separate things. In my opinion, music is the highest form of art but they are intrinsically related. Obviously a painting or sculpture is art, but they work together...it can all blend together."
‘The Thieves Banquet’ will be released on May 27.
Words: Akilah Russell (@akilahrussell)