If you don’t believe hip hop is an international movement, look no further than Leila Akinyi, the German sharpshooter bringing soulful vibes and embodying tracks. The Mombasa-born, Cologne raised singer-songwriter is a study in nostalgic vibrations with a modern approach. Beyond the fact that her music bangs and the flow is impeccable, she also creates amazing imagery in her music videos. Visuals are a long lost art in music at present, with many opting to simply rap or sing to a screen rather than make a statement, but Akinyi is making multiples. – Afropunk
Leila Akinyi was born in Mombasa, Kenya and emigrated to Germany at the age of six. As she got to know a different culture, she was confronted with challenges, including her first experiences with racism. As a young person, Leila joined a gospel choir where she learned how to sing and became aware of the special power of music and community. Leila became interested in rap for the first time at the age of 13, and her ambition was awakened when she joined the hip hop group Peti Free.
In 2016 Leila released her first solo track: “Afro Spartana”. The song inspires discussions about art, globalism, race and female empowerment. On the “Afro Spartana EP”, Leila presents her versatility: you can clearly detect influences from gospel, rhythms from Mombasa, her impressive range of vocals, and her distinct flow. Her songs are partly in German, and partly in Swahili, and transcend language to communicate across cultures. Leila Akinyi is a symbol for strength and empowerment. She believes in spreading love, to all people, regardless of where they come from.
Leila will perform at ACUD on Saturday, November 11th, 2017.