ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: AkinG Kalld Pedro
Nigerian blood. Lagos and DMV bred. Pushing the limits of hip-hop. Akinola Jordan Pedro grew up with music from artists like Michael Jackson, Fela Kuti and Lionel Richie serving as the soundtrack to his parents’ home. It wasn’t until his older brother brought home a copy of “The Eminem Show,” however, that AkinG Kalld Pedro fell for hip-hop.
AKP released his first project, Two in One Story: the suicide project, in October 2013. The experience invoked a fear that people didn’t understand his sound and the type of music he makes. Eventually, he woke up, and realized he had to shake that fear off. From there, he began to explore and infuse different genres into his music – namely jazz and Brazil’s bossa nova.
“It’s a big weight off my shoulders,” he says. “I like to break barriers. When society and the mainstream are going in one direction, I like to go the other direction – when they go right, I like to go left.”
AKP’s most recent release, Afro-Brazil: Viva sua paixão, is a testament to his newfound courage and growing confidence as an artist. As the title implies, AKP is ready to live his passion. The album is currently available on iTunes and Spotify.
Afro-Brazil features “Her Gingada Took the Lead” and the catchy “Saudade,” which refers to the “day of nostalgia” in Brazil that takes place every January. AKP took a big risk recording “Saudade,” as it features him rapping over a Samba beat. Still, he says, “I thought it was a great idea. I recorded it. I put it out that day, and the rest is history.
“Though unconventional, AKP’s music has a classic feel-good vibe, and that’s precisely what he aims to bring to an otherwise jaded world – positive energy. “That’s what I’m here for,” he says. “I see this as the point in my life where everything starts to click; where the stars and planets start to align.