Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Soul Singer: Interview with Akua Allrich

Akua Allrich has proven herself to be a musician of extraordinary talent and crowd- moving passion.
With finesse and charisma, this vocalist, composer and teacher, has successfully etched out a place for her unique musical expression, electrifying audiences in and around the globe with sold-out performances.

With the launch of her independently produced albums, A Peace of Mine, in 2010, Uniquely Standard, Akua Allrich Live! in 2012, and her latest release Soul Singer, the young artist’s music and concerts created a significant buzz with critics and music-lovers alike. Said Franz Matzner of All About Jazz, “Akua Allrich’s music flows with a free, natural energy as engaging as her equally ingenuous personality.” Her appeal soon reached across US borders and attained international attention. In early 2011, Allrich signed a distribution deal with Japanese record label AGATE/Inpartmaint Inc. Her debut CD, A Peace of Mine, was released in Japan during their “Golden Week” of May 2011. Music lovers and tastemakers from around the world expressed their appreciation and excitement for this new music.

An international talent, Akua’s base is far reaching; she just recently returned from Qatar, where she performed at the prestigious St. Regis Doha. Sparing no time in getting back to work, Akua is ecstatic to announce “The Freedom Soul Tour,” consisting of 8 East Coast Venue performances.

Interview with Akua Allrich

Describe your style of Jazz?

Akua: I think I would best describe my style as Soul Jazz, or Pan-African Jazz. I incorporate all of the expressions I was raised with in my music. My parents raised me as an African woman, with a deep appreciation and love for the cultural and artistic expressions of African people from around the world. It's almost impossible for that influence not to be heard in my sound. Although, I was trained in the Jazz idiom, you can here the soul Africa , my present, and my ancestors come through; DC, Miami, Mississippi, the Caribbean to West and Southern Africa. The blues, jazz, R&B, Hip HOp, Gogo, Rock, Reggae, Bossa, Afro-beat, all of it. Soulful Jazz, a complete expression of the African experience.

What Artists inspired you to be who you are today?

Akua: My most notable early inspiration is definitely my dad, Agyei Akoto, a jazz musician and educator. He was my first music teacher, from watching him rehearse with his band (Nation) and listening to his albums, to being his student in our Jazz band in middle school. But my parents really exposed me and my siblings to the best music from all over with their album collection; Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba, Diana Ross, Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Pharoah Sanders, John Coltrane, Olatunji, Oscar Brown Jr., Earth Wind and Fire, Bill Withers, Muddy Waters, Michael Jackson, Archie Shepp, the list is endless! Each of these artists have their own unique sound and expression. They were all dedicated to using their art for social justice.

What was the reason you choose to record and distribute your album as a Live version over a studio multi-track engineered album?

Akua: I recorded my second album, Uniquely Standard: Akua Allrich Live!, live at Bohemian Caverns in 2012. My goal was to give people a taste of me as a performing artist, even if they can't make it to my performance. I am primarily a performing artist, and I pride myself in connecting with and involving the listening audience in efforts of creating a reciprocal experience and not just a concert. I want people to leave feeling like they participated in the creation of an amazing energy that inspires them.

What else is interesting about your music that you want to convey to your listeners?

Akua: I would love for folks to follow me at www.AkuaAllrich.com,on twitter.com/AkuaAllrich, facebook.com/AkuaAllrich and on instagram.com/AkuaAllrich. I am so excited about my current "Soul Freedom Tour", promoting my latest album, "Soul Singer". We are adding dates and cities every week. Please buy my albums, "A Peace of Mine", "Uniquely Standard: Akua Allrich Live!" and "Soul Singer", and spread the word! Keep supporting the arts!

What else do you have planned for the near future?

Akua: I'm going to do my best to continue spreading peace, love and light through my music and through teaching. I plan on reaching people nationally and internationally.

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