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Oct 14 / Prinza

‘Mr Dynamite’ will do it his way

DESPITE being the younger brother of Mercury Music prize winner Ms Dynamite, Kentish Town rapper Akala insists he wants to succeed on his own merits. And you won’t catch the 21-year-old flaunting their relationship in order to get heard.”I’m establishing myself as an artist and I’ve been doing that off my own back,” he admits. “I won’t go to great lengths not to talk about her, but it’s relevant that we’re both music artists, so I realise people will ask me about her.”But he does admit that he has learnt how to deal with fame from her experience.”I’ve been fortunate to witness the trappings of fame first-hand, from seeing my sister’s life change. I got to witness the cycle, so I know what comes with the territory.”Formerly a promising footballer for West Ham and Wimbledon, he decided that music was his first and true passion.”I’ve always loved music. I was in full-time employment playing football, but I don’t love football as much as I love music,” he says.”Music is what I wanted to do, and I was fighting that by doing other things. Now I’m doing what I love and I’m happy.”Akala’s candid rhyming style first surfaced on the label, War/Banga 4 Da Streets, last year. The tracks got instant underground radio play and acclaim for the astute lyrics and heavy beats. But, as he says, he’s not just a music artist, he’s also a businessman. Akala set up a West Indian restaurant in Ayia Napa when he was only 18, and his music is released through an independent record company, of which he is one of the director shareholders.”I’ve always got my eyes and ears open for holes in the market. I’m trying to be a businessman. I believe in control of your own destiny. I try to be independent and do what’s best for No 1.

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