Akira The Don
Bill Cummings 00/00/0000
GIITTV spoke exclusively to ace Welsh rapper/remixer Akira The Don(born Adam Narkiewicz).
His second album 'The Life Equation" is released later this year, which he promises is 'a massive pop record - massive and pop like New Order, or Meatloaf, or The Supremes'In advance he's put together an exclusive free track to celebrate the release of Street Fighter 4.
Appropriately named 'Street Fighter', another idiosyncratic joint from the magician of samples, featuring three rappers skitting on Childhood fights it's a grimey slice of old school hip-hop containing mashed up sound bites from the classic 90s arcade title.
If you ever played Street Fighter back in the day, at home on your SNES or in a grubby seafront arcade, this is going to be a big nostalgia trip - check it out here:
AKIRA THE DON VS STREETFIGHTER
Why the love for Streetfighter? What's your favourite character?
Street Fighter was the second beat em up I ever played. the first was some Karate Kid thing, which pretty much Sucked Balls... So discovering Street Fighter, and the Spectrum version adapted for the Sam Coupe at that, was something of a revelation. It was all animey-ey, like Ulyses and those cartoons that were on at the time that I loved. It was just dope... And for some worrying reason (probably the same one for which I gravitated towards Voldo in Soul Calibur), I was big on Dhalsim. He was just the sickest thing. Levitating and punching you in the balls from six feet and shit.
So how did the Streetfighter track come about? Did they approach you or did you always hanker after remixing the sound effects on the game?
They got in touch to see if I fancied getting my hands on the sound effects and parts and stuff, and I totally did. Weirdly (or not, depending on how much faith you have in Idea Space, or Collective Consciousness, or whatever you call it), I'd been doing a bunch of computer game themed/sampling stuff for a rapper called Pixel, and I'd wanted to get the Street Fighter parts for a while. The music was this brilliant, epic, pop stuff, totally synthetic but still warm. I was always drawn to that sort of thing.
What was the lyrical set up?I heard you took inspiration from school yard fights?
Yeah, exactly. Littles, Narstie and Lickle P were round, listening to music and chopping up bags of weed with my hairdressing scissors, and we got to talking about all the fights we got into at school, and that became the song.
Tell us about the rappers that appear on the track?
Well, there's Big Narstie from Brixtol, who I've been making music with since 2004. He's brilliant, a very funny, very genuine, very talented guy. We've just finished recording his debut album here at Don Studios. It's a beautiful, tragic, horrific future-pop record, which I believe he's titling An Exceedingly Good Cake.
Littles is a good friend of mine, and a dope emcee. We've made a lot of music together these past few years... I recorded both his mixtapes here. He's been on tag for about 5 months and has to be home for 7, but we've still made a load of music regardless. he gets on with stuff, whatever. He's ace. Lickle P is a mate of his, we only met recently. He's part of Juelz Santana's Skull Gang thing. I love his voice, it sounds double tracked when it isn't.
How about the new album when is that due to drop now?I heard you lost a hard drive?
I lost three hard drives in a week! 6 years of work! Dead to dodgy electrics and poverty! I am ZenNinja-fied though so I didn't even swear. I just made new stuff. The album wasn't too affected anyway, cos its all on Stephen Hague's machines, and he's old school so he backs everything up fifteen times and ships one drive off to California to be locked in a wine cellar and that sort of thing.
Anyway, the record is awesome, thanks for asking. Its called The Life Equation. I wanted to make a massive pop record - massive and pop like New Order, or Meatloaf, or The Supremes, and we've more than achieved that. Its being mixed right now, by the aforementioned Dr Hague, and I'm working on the mixtape that comes before it, which is called The Omega Sanction. That drops in March.
Could you give us a direct link to the track?
Here ya go. AKIRA THE DON FEAT BIG NARSTIE, LITTLES AND LICKLE P- STREETFIGHTER
We're doing a remix competition for the thing - I've upped all the Street Fighter sounds and effects and the acapella on my site, for people to play with. I am excited to hear what people come up with, cos my peoples' stuff is always awesome.
Good luck and thanks
Thank you brother!
Akira The Don releases his new album "The Life Equation" later this year(its preceeded by the mixtape in March).
Street Fighter 4's released on 20th February.