Keynote Speaker Category: Creativity, Culture, Diversity,
Companies and projects:
Co-founder of The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company :
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire
In the media:
Why we need more black, working class period drama
Akala on race, class and his intellectual journey
Irish Times: The state of Britain:myths, lives and identity crises
Summer reading: 100 best holiday books for 2019
Akala x James O’Brien podcast interview re: Natives
Akala x TEDx Salford ‘Evolution of the MC’ (18mins short version):
Akala x TEDx Aldeburgh ‘Hip Hop Shakespeare’ (18mins short version):
AKALA is a BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company (THSC), a music theatre production company launched with the support of British Actor Sir Ian McKellan, aimed at exploring the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern day hip-hop artists.
With an extensive global touring history, Akala has appeared at numerous festivals both in the UK and internationally, and has led innovative projects in the arts, education and music across South East Asia, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. Akala has also appeared on NPR, PBS, MTV, BET, Channel 4, ITV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his music, poetry and speaking on wide-ranging subjects from music, race, youth engagement, British/African-Caribbean culture and the arts, with numerous online lectures, podcasts and performances that have reached millions via YouTube/Spotify.
More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism – he has written for The Guardian, Huffington Post, GQ and the Independent and spoken for the Oxford Union and TEDx.
In 2015, Akala and his manager Chanelle Newman co-founded Immovable Limited, a creative publishing hub which produces creative content across music, books and TV. Immovable’s latest production, ‘The Ruins of Empires’ is an adaptation of Akala’s graphic novel / epic poem of the same name – combining Hip Hop poetry and emerging technology, this innovative production blends both traditional and game engine animation with motion capture techniques and wearable technology, further pushing the envelope of the global Hip Hop art form.
NATIVES, Akala’s 2018 published memoir is already a Sunday Times best-seller, having sold over 150,000+ copies worldwide. Combined with being awarded an honorary Doctorate by Oxford Brookes University and the University of Brighton, Akala has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and articulate talents in the UK.
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