What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is artist, Akuu (Ravine Reedy). Akuu is an artist from the West Coast that's been steadily pushing for nothing less than greatness over the last 6 years. What started out as a small record label in his brothers garage, quickly turned into something bigger as time went on. Akuu's been making waves in his city so we had to tap in. Check out the interview below.
Westleaf Staff: What's up, Akuu? Your sound is dope. When did you start making music?
Akuu: I started making music when I was 15, so it's been about 12 years.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! What city do you represent?
Akuu: I represent a small town in Southern Oregon named Medford.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to Oregon! Y'all have some crazy talent up there! So how did you create your stage name?
Akuu: My original name was G-go. Sort of like an abbreviation for the hispanic slang word gringo (considering I'm a white blonde haired American).
After a few years with this name, I discovered that another well established artist had already been going by this alias, so I changed my name to Akuu. This was half a reference to the evil character from Samuri Jack, and half me paying homage to my more sinister nature and the Japanese language.
Westleaf Staff: Nice. That's a fly name. So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
Akuu: My mom died when I was only two. My dad was drinking and driving with all of us in the car when he hit a van. My mom died on impact, and my dad spent 10 years in prison for killing her. This was my main reason for making music. To be a voice for those who don't know what to say.
Westleaf Staff: I'm glad that you are making a positive out of the situation. Shoutout to you bro! Salute. So who is your biggest Musical influence?
Akuu: My biggest musical influence would have to be Tech N9ne. Matter of fact, Strange Music as a whole is what inspired me to perfect my craft and never give up.
Westleaf Staff: Tech is a legend! Next question! What's been the defining moment in your music career thus far?
Akuu: The most defining moment of my career, that absolutely solidified my spot in the music industry was when I was only 17. I had became a finalist in an underground music competition for what was a big platform at the time called "Team Backpack".
I went to LA to compete with the other finalist and did not win, but it motivated me to keep pushing for years afterward.
Westleaf Staff: Wow! That's dope. Congrats on the competition!
What makes you a unique artist?
Akuu: Being unique is easy. I never bite any other artist style, and I will blend genres, sounds, or writing styles to form a completely original composition.
I like to step outside my comfort zone and rap in Japanese when I have the chance. I have been studying the language for 3 years now, and I think mixing it with my native language is a unique take on the genre.
Westleaf Staff: I love that answer. So what does art mean to you?
Akuu: Art is capturing an emotion. Being able to express a feeling in a way most people can relate to, but aren't quite able to express it.
Westleaf Staff: True! That's deep! Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
Akuu: The next few years will be very interesting for my music. I have multiple albums planned, as well as new strategies / techniques that should help me acquire a solid fanbase.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! I wish you much success! Before we go, describe music in three words.
Akuu: Essential, Moving, Life.
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