London, United Kingdom
Akso Heart from London, United Kingdom is an artist who stood out to me this week. His latest release entitled ' 'Not Easy', is about the mental hurdles that we face when going on certain journeys where we might accept the principles and concepts of self-improvement, but the process is never simple. I had the pleasure of grabbing Asko Heart for a TJPL NEWS special interview but first, I want to take you through this beautiful piece of music.
'Not Easy', the latest release from Akso Heart is a sonically and soulfully moving piece of RnB/Pop. Opening with soulful yet distant and disturbing vocal chops I knew this track was going to be great. As the main body of vocals comes in we hear Akso Heart bring in confessional lyrics that speak of the ways that his anxiety demons control him. You can really tell that this piece of music is something that this artist truly means and has experienced firsthand. The vocals are complemented by the darkness that the instrumentation brings. It's not immediately obvious but the subtleness of the arrangement offers something that is key to RnB but also to darkness. The track balances the mix of darkness and deep and sensual RnB in ways that leave no escape for your emotions. The use of reverb and delay really make this piece hit differently. The style of this track would be perfect for fans of artists such as The Weeknd and/or Kehlani. I was really moved by this track, as I have similar demons and so I added it to both the TJPL NEWS and Tamara Jenna's Top Picks Spotify Playlists this week. This piece definitely deserves a spin to 100 so make sure that you click the link below to get familiar with Akso Heart.
What would be your ultimate achievement for your latest single?
I was so grateful that I got a positive response for my last release, "Trust me". It was the start to venture into the RnB-infused pop route that I would like to pursue further. I was grateful to be featured on BBC Asian Network a few times and also helped me land a show with RnB legend Bobby V who was an inspiration growing up.
Is there a particular vision that you had when putting the song together?
The start begins with "it's 5 in the morning" and that's exactly when the lyrics came to me. I was anxious about a recording session and I couldn't get to sleep. Anxiety affects us all and is even more confusing when everything is seemingly going well. It makes you doubt yourself further, "Why am I feeling this way even when things are getting better". The song explores the external pressures of judgment and how that can affect your pursuit of your dream. The song came together, as I wanted to work on material that sounded hard-hitting, and impactful in the chorus, and loved creating a bridge that captures some sense of vulnerability for me.
So, if you could define music in one short sentence (no cheating) what would you say?
I 100% feel that. So, when did you first realise that you had the potential to be an artist?
The lockdown! It was less about knowing I had the potential, but more of needing to explore music as an artist. Expression can be difficult, and finding the right outlet is an even bigger challenge. So for me, music became a place to allow me to have that expression, that freedom to explore ideas and thoughts. Being an artist as a whole, I understood the element of being an all-rounder. I discovered during exploring platforms like IG and Youtube that you really have to give yourself to your audience to be able to resonate even beyond the music. So for me, that was the time I realised that my expression through my art as an artist needs to happen, for me and for others to be able to connect to.
Is there a memory that has stuck in your mind as the turning point for you?
I will never forget my first acoustic show. It was a very small gig, my first time performing original music. Only one friend bought a ticket. And despite that, I felt so honoured to be able to perform, to have a stage where ANYONE would listen. I realised how much I valued that one person coming to the gig but moreover how it made me feel. That gratitude I will never forget, and it put things in perspective with any other "disappointments" I have already experienced in my journey. I loved that feeling and every step has been amazing!
I think that memories like those really stick in our minds as artists, I love how that memory is one that you hold close. How would you define your sound?
My voice has been described to have a distinct tone with a focus on RnB/Pop. However, I have loved colliding genres such as garage, country, soul, dance or even Drum and bass. We are limitless, and so is my sound!
Cubase, Protools, or neither?
This might be a tricky one but Studio vs Live - Which do you prefer and why?
Ooh, this is very tricky. I have always felt a little confined in a studio, almost boxed in and that has at the start of this journey been a challenge. However, I really do love the freedom the studio gives, the trial and error. It feels like a safety net to try and try again, finding alternatives and being creative with concepts. Live performance also has it's challenges. I have become more anxious since the lockdown, so it's been a great opportunity to attempt to get back in the swing of things. I will say with the right audience, a live performance can be so incredible and life-changing.
How do you collaborate with vocalists and other artists?
I have a few collaborations in the pipeline which I'm so excited about. Music is for sharing and the creative process can be magical when you have the right people in the mix. And it's always an interesting and learning experience.
For me, the "vibe" needs to be right. And the problem can be, is that you never understand someone's intention beyond face value and what they present. Sometimes you get people incredibly motivated and willing to rise together other times you are working with people who need you for something else or looking for an opportunity. It can be hit or miss.
If you had the opportunity to work with one of your favourite musical artists, who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
You said one but I am gonna have to give you a list. I am manifesting writing or working for artist like Frank Ocean, Neyo and John Legend. Vocalist and writers who really are able to be emotive in their music. Through lyrical choices or vocal delivery. It would be an absolute dream come true. I also will add, the producer Timbaland into the mix. I've mentioned him a few times but come on! Name one bad project, i'll wait? His production style was creating new genres of music, was innovative and catered to the artists he's worked with. He's Incredible!
What are your future plans? What can we look forward to for the rest of 2022?
There's a lot of music on the way and I'm documenting the steps on my YouTube channel. I have loads of singles to come out for the rest of this year and I have begun working on my two part EP which is super exciting! I've loved creating whole projects which have themes and flow and this is finally happening so I'm over the moon. I have been working with incredible people and I can't wait to show you all what I have in store.
Where can we find the track? Links to socials and distribution handles