Akeem Music is the name behind Brazilian musician Akeem Delanhesi, who stands out for his diverse career and influences ranging from samba to indie rock. After experiences in bands and even touring with the likes of Cartolas and Tabascos, Akeem found his solo path. His musical project, AKEEM Music, is a journey through Akeem’s creative mind, which seeks inspiration from movies, series and books to create songs that explore details of everyday life. His music is not limited to one genre, but a unique blend of influences, making it a captivating and innovative listening experience. Check out the interview:
Your songs have influences ranging from samba to indie rock. How have these varied influences shaped your musical approach? Is there a specific artist or band that has deeply inspired you?
Music in my life came about because I marveled at the aesthetics of KISS. Very visual and theatrical. When I went to study music and theory, my teacher opened my mind not only to rock music, but to the old Brazilian samba and chorinho. Which I fell in love with and studied a lot. That’s why, today, I bring a lot of this mix of the contemporary with some old roots.
You’ve had a diverse musical career, including experience in bands and even touring with the likes of Cartolas and Tabascos. What motivated you to go solo as AKEEM Music, and what were the challenges and rewards of this transition?
A lot of it was because I wanted and aimed for things that my companions didn’t want. I also wanted a blank canvas to express myself as I thought. The bonus is having the world to yourself and your own plans to create, which took me to California and SXSW 2021.
Many of your songs are inspired by movies, series and books. Can you tell us more about how these media influence your writing and musical creation and how you turn these influences into compositions?
I like to watch a lot of things. For my project, Spike Jonze’s HER was very important, because the melancholy and loneliness that the movie intrinsically expresses opened my mind to lyrics and stories that I could tell through music. Not to mention the colors and photography, which led me down a unique visual path.
What are your plans and aspirations for the future of AKEEM Music? Are there any projects or collaborations you’re particularly excited about?
At the moment, I’m thinking of creating more singles than albums. I say that because, for one song, I can create a cover, a launch campaign, activations and everything else. I’m a creator, so the more blank canvases the better. As for plans, I’d like to do a tour of Portugal.
In addition to your music, you also share videos and photos of surfing, a sport that is very much a part of your life. Surfing influences your creativity and mental well-being, do you see a connection between nature and your music?
Totally, because I say my biggest inspiration is Armando. I lived in Los Angeles and was a surf teacher there, in Venice. That moment brought me very close to who I am. I’ve been surfing and competing in this sport since I was a child. I take it as therapy. As a place to clear my head and come up with ideas. Some people create songs in the bath. Me too, but in salt water.
In your musical journey, you considered yourself shy and never imagined being a lead singer or pursuing a solo project. What made you overcome this shyness and take this leap in your career?
I think it’s the desire to show something that I’ve wanted all my life. I always had a lot of ideas that never “went out” for various reasons. So I think there came a time when I really needed to take that step and show the world my art.
Your songs deal with everyday details. Can you give us an example of one of these details that inspired one of your songs and how you turned this inspiration into a melody?
As my friend and idol Andre Silveira from Cartolas would say, this song is about relationships. I believe that everything in life is about relationships. I like to mention my single “CATARINA,” which is a song we hardly ever play live, but I hold it in high regard because it was a lyric I wrote for my first “teacher” at nursery school. I had a dream and set it to music about our relationship. Catarina is a saint, yes, she takes care of good children, the color and smell of jasmine, she hardly ever loses her tone.
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*With Regina Soares