Exclusive Interview With Akheim Allen

by Terry Guy

20th November, 2019

“music is used as therapy”

With a slick rapping style, which easily stands alongside other British greats such as Chip and Wiley, Akheim Allen has recently dropped a lo-fi, trippy, synth track entitled ‘Sir.’ Chilled Trap music at its’ finest, ‘Sir’ is a good introduction to Akheim’s sound. We had a little chat with the talented Rap artist about what he’s up to at the moment:

Since you used to release music under the name PW, does your work under the new artist name Akheim Allen deliver a change in sound and, if so, how has your music evolved?
Of course, I feel like my music has matured – it has more substance to it. I used to create music that I think would work, that I would think is popular etc. but now I am in a space where music is used as therapy, whatever I’m going through I want people to write about it and connect to those that can relate. I would say I’m versatile with my sound but I’m predominantly a grime/hip-hop artist.

You’re representing the borough of Enfield I see. How is the Hip-Hop scene in Enfield? Do you feel part of an Urban music community there?
I definitely do, it’s not just Enfield I feel like I represent. I grew up in North London. I feel a part of that scene – working with some of the best artists not just in North London but in the whole of the UK. I grew up with the majority of them so whether I like it or not I’m a part of that scene.

When did you first begin rapping and how did your musical aspirations come about?
I started rapping from the age of 12. When I was in year 7 my cousins and I created a crew; LEC. From there I always had a passion for music. Every day after school I would go to Axe FM which was at the bottom of my road in Edmonton- it was there where I honed my skill and knew this is what I wanted to do as a career. However, it wasn’t until I was in college where I started to hang around Alwayz Recording (who birthed the careers of Wretch 32, Chip, Scorcher, etc.) which allowed me to bring it to fruition.

What was it like growing up in Edmonton, and how much of your upbringing inspires your music?
Growing up in Edmonton is not easy, being able to grow up in an inner-city area where you got to be hard enough to not get pushed around but still be strong-willed enough to not follow the crowd and dare to be different is an everyday struggle. Even though I was always a part of the crowd I knew where I was going as an individual and I wouldn’t let my environment or my peers change that. Axe FM was such a pivotal part of keeping a lot of us off the street and giving us something productive to do. That radio station being at the end of the road plays a big part in the music I create and the person I am today.

‘Sir’ is a flipping tune. What was the lyrical concept behind it?
It has a few meanings. I was dating a girl a few years back and she would allow me to stay at her house and “work” from there. It just made me think of the risk I would take to get to where I am now and to where I am heading. Little or big I appreciate all the people that have helped me out along the way.

How was it working with O12 on the new single, since he is famously known for working with other talented Urban acts, such as Stormzy?
It was smooth. It’s effortless to work with him. He sends over beats, I vocal them and I get something else back from him within a day or two just like “Look what else I’ve done to it!” And it always comes back ten times better.

I’m hearing so many renowned Hip-Hop artists within your sound, and for all the right reasons, such as Chip and Tinchy Stryder. Who are your musical heroes?
I’ve always heard the comparison between me and Chip. I think it’s because we are from North London and we have similar tones. I respect him as a rapper, but I wouldn’t say he is one of my influencers. I’m more influenced by Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Kendrick Lamar. Section 80 changed my life.

What are you listening to at the moment? Any tunes weshould know about?
I am a huge fan of Lucky Daye, D Block Europe, and SIR’s new album. All in rotation right now.

Following the release of ‘Sir,’ are we to expect a new EP or a full-length album any time soon?
I’m working on a couple of projects right now. Look for a full-length album in 2020.

We would love to see you perform. Do you have any gig dates coming up that ourselves and your fans should know about?
I haven’t got any gigs booked at the moment but keep an eye on my social media for any updates.

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