Digging with…King Akira

I believe we may have originally met from a post I put out on social media about an “invitation for collaborators?”  We chatted back and forth a bit and you mentioned that you produce your own beats. We ended up meeting up at a local coffee shop where you brought your laptop and portable record player.  I took a couple 45’s down and you showed me how you chop up samples.  I was super grateful for that initial meeting and I’ve enjoyed working on other projects with you. As I’ve gotten to know you a little more I realized you have a handful of creative projects happening.

I learned about your  project called “Danger Club” and invited you to come check out a program I was working on. I help with cooking demos in collaboration with Raleigh City Farm at the Salvation Army called “Farm to Camp” and you gladly came to check it out and signed on to help us out for the remaining classes. 

We’re continuing our collaborative efforts with an event this Friday called “Hops On Wax” that we’re holding at State Of Beer. It’s a day party during the Hopscotch festival and you’ll be playing some original tunes and spinning some vinyl from your collection..  We’ve got John (aka DJ Diet Citrus) from Thirsty Pigeon coming to sell some dope wax, his collection is Ill by the way and he’s spinning a set from his personal collection. Record Krate will also be setting up a selection of vinyl for sale. 

 I gotta say, I love your energy and the positivity you push out on our city. I’m looking forward to this event and continuing to collaborate with you. 

Let’s start off by diving a little more into Danger Club. Could you tell us a little more about that?

Danger Club is a nonprofit organization I am the founder and CEO of. Our goal is to distribute art resources and services to lower economic communities. As well as creating fundraisers to support other local nonprofits.

I love the collaborative painting project you did at an outdoor event this summer with a group of kids. What was that all about? 

For the Fourth of July I partnered with Raleigh Arts Department to do an interactive live painting with kids from around the city. Over one hundred citizens, primarily kids and young adults helped fill out the Raleigh skyline. 

You dabble in multiple mediums, illustration, painting, music production, etc. what types of paints are you using and do you ever use digital software for your art? Which do you like to use? 

I am self taught in all of my crafts. I use acrylic paint and I do dabble in digital realm, I use an iPad with procreate and Adobe photoshop.

I have seen you post pics of your vinyl collection, what types of records are you digging for mostly? 

I’m mostly digging for pleasure. Whether it be an enticing cover, a genre/ time period I’m familiar with, or just random finds I have an eclectic taste.

Which places do you enjoy digging for vinyl at most? Online or local sites.

Always shopping local with Thirsty Pigeon Records or Nice Price Books.

Which music producers do you look up to? What is it that you dig about them?

 I look up to Knxwledge and the Flaming Lips, they are euphoric.

some of the projects you do seem to often involve other local creative folks. One example I can think of is the book you made about Murals. Could you briefly explain the motive behind that book?  

Raleigh Murals Book was made possible by the dozens of artists that took to Raleigh streets in 2020 to leave uplifting messages. The proceeds from the book go to Emancipate NC.

I saw that you linked up with a Candle company. What was the thinking behind that collaboration?

I partnered with Lofi Candle Company because their vision is brilliant and unique. They sell candles with QR codes to music playlists. I have some music distributed through them.

Are you from Raleigh? If not, how long have you lived here? What are your thoughts on the direction the city is growing?

I have been here my whole life with no plans of changing that. I see this city prospering with some of my cohorts, yourself included, at its helm. Not only in a creative aspect but I work closely with community builders.

What’s next for King Akira? What projects do you have coming up or a couple goals you’d like to accomplish in the next year?

 I have a project releasing in November titled “Volume 3: Unrequited”. The only way to hear “Volume 2: Ineffable”, is at the Hops on Wax event. Before the year ends or maybe at the beginning of next year I want my art on a local beer can