The young rapper stops by to discuss balancing school and music, entering the industry, finding his sound, and his impressive new EP.

At the tender age of 16, hotly tipped rapper Idi Akz has dropped new EP Leave The City alongside the emotionally-charged track “Vintage 2” and new visuals to accompany. 

Nigerian born, Idi moved to the UK as a child. Music was a big part of his household with Idi first discovering his love and talent for music through singing in church. Idi was inspired by American trap artists like Tay-K and Lil Yachty, adopting aspects of the sound to concoct his own unique spin on the sound. As the sole black person in his year, the artist began looking online for the support his freestyles lacked in the playground leading to his track “Two Years Clear (Petrarchan Lover)” going viral over the pandemic.

The deeply personal EP Leave The City sees Idi Akz emerge as a standout new talent for the next generation of UK rap. The body of work is all about subverting expectations: of where you’re from, the music you make, and who you are as an individual. The EP features an eclectic array of songs such as the slick throwback hip-hop number “Vintage 2” and the smooth R&B gem “DSLM?”. Idi’s colourful narratives touch on everything from backstabbing and breakups to mental health and PRS payments, as well as the uncertain thrills of adolescence. With his raw talent at such a young age we look ahead to what Idi Akz has in store.

We caught up with the young rapper to discuss balancing school and music, entering the industry, finding his sound, and the impressive new EP.

Watch the visuals for “LTC”…

Read the full interview…

Who and what influences you?
I’m influenced by Artists who are able to fuse Rap & Singing. I see this as a great skill. I’m also influenced by 90s hip-hop along with different sub genres of R&B.

How did you first find your love for music?
I grew up in a relatively musical environment so from a young age I was always hearing it. A lot of it stems from my parents too, my Father played the drums at Church & my Mother sung in the church choir.

As someone who has entered the scene at such a young age, how did you find the courage and drive to release so early?
Especially when I was around ages 12-14 I found that people not immediately knowing my age was extremely helpful, this way I was able to post music and not feel judged for being young or constantly being told to focus on my education. Off the back of receiving a lot of hate from my peers and age mates, I manage to have a small group of supporters that pushed me to write me which lead me to progressing and eventually build my confidence.

How do you balance school work with your music career?
Balancing school and music was never going to be easy but I always remember that education is extremely important regardless of what career path you end up choosing, I made sure to put as much effort into my school work as I did my music because you need to build a foundation before you can properly grow. It was hard at times especially because my songs were blowing up during Year 10 and Year 11, but I remembered that the more options you give yourself, the easier it is to succeed.

How has your experience with the music industry been as a whole so far?
It definitely hasn’t been easy but I’ve developed a lot as a person and of course an artist. I’ve learnt valuable lessons and been given opportunities to do things that have definitely benefited me.
I understand that the music industry is far from straightforward and I’m still trying to get my head around it but I to provide my listeners with what they want and enjoy.

Your sound borrows from an array of styles, how do you successfully merge the sounds?
I often go for sounds that don’t always work well together, I base the style I combine off music I listen to and that allows me to create my own sound which often sets me apart musically. In my EP Leave this City, I’ve merged Boom Bap HipHop with an R&B style chorus, Indie/Alternative Rock with Lofi Drill, Jazz with Uk Rap and a few other musical combinations.

How would you define the essence of your sound?
Mature Perspective Music

You went viral with your earlier cut “Two Years Clear (Petrarchan Lover)”, how did it feel to get such love at such a young age and so early in your career?
I felt great, my work was finally being appreciated and people could see the amount of effort I had been putting into my music, it definitely was the difference in wether I continued making music or not. Having success at a young age gave me a lot of hope and confidence but it did have a few of its drawbacks. It opened me up to a lot of Fake Friendships, Fake Relationships and sometimes unwanted attention, especially due to the fact I hadn’t finished secondary school yet. It made me feel I had to mature at a quicker rate, and I became a lot more conscious of making mistakes. Overall I believe it’s given me a lot more time on my hands to get people familiar with me as an artist and what I portray.

What do you think it is about that song that connected with so many listeners?
I think it’s down to how raw and relatable the lyrics are. At the time of release I was yet to overcome a previous break up and the feeling of portrayal, I wrote the song in a way were I strayed to hide how I really felt about a situation and spoke in a way that not only people in my age category would understand but people of all ages. At the time of release not everybody was familiar with shiloh dynasty samples either and me being a part of a brand new genre at the time, almost gave people a sense of comfort. As the song progressed you can also hear the hurt and discomfort in my delivery which made people relate to the song even more.

“Vintage 2” is an impressive track, what was the creative process?
Vintage 2 comes off the back of ‘Vintage’ where I talk about awkward encounters and difficult situations I have faced in the past few years. I made sure in ‘Vintage 2’ I told a different story but rained in similar topics and scenarios. I wrote this song in my bedroom and constructed it in a way that didn’t make sense musically. For example the song has no intro and an abrupt start which signifies the scenarios I was put in were very often unexpected. Another example would be the fact that my first verse is 16 bars long but my second verse is 24 signifying the fact that the environment I lived in was disorderly and often didn’t make sense to me. I went for a Old School sounding instrumental that reminded me of the late 90s and decided to write a chorus about the stereotype that I only make love related songs.

What is the message of the track?
The message is that, you should always be careful who you let get close to you and for you to understand that not everything you see is how it seems.

Tell us about your new EP, and the track “Leave This City”.
Leave This City is about my personal experiences in an area I practically grew up and often felt out of place in, I talk about betrayal, fake friends, relationship issues and the many instances where my ‘so called friends’ have turned against me in situations I needed help in the most. This all lead me to be careless, selfish, heartless and quite dismissive when comes to the feelings of the people around me. I also give a little insight into life in my new area I’m also contemplating whether I should leave or not and talk briefly on the hardships and good memories I have in the short time I’ve spent here which I will speak more about in my later music. The song “LTC” covers the majority of this, I talk about wanting my name to be renowned and how I feel I need to leave the environment I am in.

Where do you want to take your artistry?
I want to explore different avenues, perhaps maybe one day acting in or writing a film, and another path being creating music for Game or Movie sync.

What’s to come from you this year?
A lot more music than usual and a lot more visual work. My debut EP has recently dropped where I ventured into different music styles and sound fusion and therefore I am going to be working on perfecting a unique sound.


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