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"AKMUK" / Blog

Hello Planet Earth...

Hi, I'm Akmuk, Hip Hop producer, Jazz pianist. My thirst for music was fueled at a very young age. I never understood why I was attracted to various sounds, rhythms, patterns. No one in my family played instruments, or sang for that matter, but the one thing I do recall is being surrounded by family members playing great music everyday. James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Peter Frampton, Stevie Wonder, B.B King, Minnie Ripperton, Ohio Players...just beautiful, graceful artists. I know now that this was all a precursor to me falling in love with a wonderful new vibrant art form that we all know as Hip Hop. I was 15 when I began break-dancing, and simultaneously was getting pretty nice as a street dj. It was during this time that I made the "true" connection between Mc'ing, and Dj'ing. I was lucky enough to become friends with some of the hottest rappers in my city, and thru them I began mc'ing. I was 18 by then. Sometime that year a friend of mine, Jim Wright - another mc, introduced me to a Boss "Dr. Rhythm" drum machine. That was THE defining moment for me. I don't come from money, so I did everything I could to surround myself by people with equipment, and instruments. I never even owned, or rented a set of turntables as a dj...had the skills though therefore making it easy to obtain such things. By 21 my rhyming skills were getting tight, and my beat-making skills were so so at best. It wasn't until I moved to New York that my musical knowledge, and ability would change majorly. I posted flyers looking for musicians to experiment with hip hop, and jazz, and quickly got a response from a funk guitarist in a band called 'Jocomo'. He shows up with his axe, and a 12 pack like, wassup!!! I ran my joints for him, and was surprised that he liked any of my beats...they were all sample-based with no live instruments at all. I think it was because I was beginning to get real good at sampling for 'instruments', as opposed to grooves/phrases. I learned that technique from The Bomb Squad, Dj Premier, De La Soul, KRS One...you know, the greats. Well, this dude eventually introduced me to a jazz sax player named Keith Pray, and his band L.O.S.. These guys were well educated, with tight skills on their instruments. This is when I first heard my tunes transcribed, and executed by a jazz/funk crew. It was spiritual, to me anyway. This was the playing field for me...I knew it. Their influence is what got me into college. I had to know what they know, I had to play how they play. Yeah, it was worth it, because I feel like I have no limits now when it comes to creating music. My sound now...It's a blend of everything I've experienced, witnessed, learned over the years. My style is my collective thoughts spanning 24 years. This is what I know, this is what I do, this...is what I love. You will, eventually dig me. Peace!!!