Gig Seeker Pro


Jackson, Mississippi, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Established on Jan, 2011
Band R&B Cover Band


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Best R&B Artist:"

She’s done it again! Graham has been one of Jackson’s shining stars, singing like an angel for years, and she isn’t done yet. She continues to bring the eclectic mix of R&B, neo-soul, gospel and old school that we have come to adore and appreciate from her. No stranger to music, Graham has performed all over the South, from Tennessee to Alabama and back to her home state of Mississippi. No matter your age, color or musical preference, she will definitely bring you a show you will never forget. —Queen Folayan - Jackson Free Press


by Adrienne Hearn
Photo by Jason Jarin
July 19, 2006

The sweet and soulful voice of Akami Graham fills a room full of people who’ve come to kick back, share a drink with friends and listen to great music at the end of a long hard day of work. Here at The Executive on Thursday nights, it isn’t a rare thing to observe listeners eagerly showing their enjoyment by singing along, or to watch as male club-goers show their appreciation for Graham’s act by willingly giving up their own cold hard cash to the siren as she belts out some of the greatest hits from artists like Chaka Kahn, Betty Wright, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige.

Graham says that she loves to perform and loves the reaction that she receives from the audience. Her onstage presence is full of life and reveals an entertainer who is comfortable and at one with her audience. By contrast, upon first introductions, Graham seems a bit introverted, giving short but sweet answers to questions about her interests and her desires for a career in music, as well as her history as a budding vocalist with such a strong voice.
Born and bred here in the city of Jackson, 25-year-old Graham attended Jim Hill High School, where she was a member of the Jim Hill Singers. The reputable talent of the Jim Hill Singers allowed them to travel to places such as Italy, giving Graham a glimpse into the type of rewarding lifestyle that could be achieved as a great performance artist.
Graham’s stepping stone into the world of music began at the age of 5 when she began taking piano lessons. However, Graham states that she wasn’t even aware of her actual singing ability until much later: “I didn’t get into singing until junior high. My music teacher at school … I didn’t really know I could sing until he put me on the spot and made me sing a solo,” she says.
Graham’s Thursday night routine generally consists of R&B music combined with a bit of southern soul. Throw in a live band, and you’ve got a night of live entertainment that just can’t be beat. Graham says that music is indeed her first love and that she enjoys listening to Jill Scott, Bilal and Mint Condition as well as other music artists. Though at the moment she isn’t signed to any particular indie or major recording company, Graham’s desire is to find her place in the entertainment world one day. “I want to leave my mark as a real entertainer,” she says.
Graham is looking to put together her own solo project, hopefully with the help of popular Mississippi producer Drummaboi of Traxxtar Records. However, this time, pre-recorded hits from other artists will not be featured on this exclusive project: Graham says she will be writing her own material and believes she has a lot to say.

“I write about love, heartache, disappointment and different life experiences,” Graham says.

While “staying the pace” on the road to becoming a successful solo artist taking hold of as many performance opportunities as possible, Graham enlists the help of two good friends to help take care of the business that we as listeners are so rarely aware of in the world of entertainment. Dana Terry, owner of Signature Affairs, helps with Graham’s public relations, while Kory Banks, with Hardkore Promotions, acts as manager.

Graham can be seen and heard every Thursday night at The Executive on Bailey Avenue beginning at 9 p.m. The songstress is also available for hire for private functions as well. “I do different venues, weddings, you know, receptions … all types of private functions.” Graham can be booked through manager Kory Banks at 601-918-3914.



Best R&B artist: Akami Graham
To hear the best R&B voice in the city, make it your business to go to the Executive Place on Bailey Avenue. There, you can hear Akami Graham singing songs the godmothers of rhythm & blues made famous. Singers like Chaka Kahn and Aretha Franklin. As Graham puts her on twist on ‘70s classics, she brings you up-to-date, paying tribute to modern-day performing artists like Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige. This sweet and soulful singer definitely has a music career she can look forward to, and Jackson has in its own backyard, a star in the making.


Best R&B Artist: Akami Graham
by C. D. Eubanks

This stunning and seductive songstress has been tantalizing local listeners for five years. Graham credits her success to her humble beginnings as a church pianist and singer. But it was at a performance of the Jackson group High Frequency that she was asked to sing, and it jump-started her R&B career. Since then, Akami has been wowing audiences with her powerful voice and range with a stage presence that will hold you captive until she lets you go. With influences like Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, Lisa McClendon, Mary J. Blige and Mint Condition, this vocalist is sure to have something for every listener. If she was this hot in 2007, I can’t wait to see what Akami has for us in 2008.

Second: (tie) Dorothy Moore; Romain / Third: M.L. / Good Showing: Recognition; Kamikaze


Jackson native Akami Graham is ready.

She is ready to return for a second run as the lead vocalist for the B.B. King All Star Band of Holland America Line.

The cruise ship conglomerate debuted the B.B. King’s Blues Club concept in March 2013 on the cruise ship ms Eurodam. The club quickly swelled in popularity, and by 2016 eight ships will feature the ardent sounds of Memphis Beale Street.

Perched and poised in a chair, Graham speaks with a voice serene and velvety. It is a voice that is in stark contrast to her singing vocals, which have a Tsunami-like power that drenches listeners in a giant wave of emotion. Graham recalls the moments in life that prepped her for the leap into show business.

She was only 5 years old when she began piano lessons. She was 6 when her mother organized a mini-concert for family and friends at the Medgar Evers Library. Graham sang and played the piano equipped with “bangs, blush the whole deal.”

Hugh Davis, a teacher at her junior high, was influential in shaping Graham’s gift. “He is really the one that discovered I had the voice to sing. I sang ‘I Have Nothing’ by Whitney Houston for a program at St. Joe’s in junior high, and I got rave reviews, and that’s when I realized I could really sing,” says the now 34-year-old Graham.

Singing earned Graham a scholarship to Jackson State University. Majoring in music, she worked as a bank teller while attending classes. But fiscal reality cut short her music teacher aspirations.

“It was around my junior year, and I was making more money at the bank than I would have coming out of school as a music teacher. I got so discouraged. I was just like this is pointless, and that’s when I decided to make banking my career,” says Graham.

Singing, nevertheless, was still an absolute. She graciously credits the band High Frequency for helping her become a highly sought songbird during her 20s. “They tricked me so good,” Graham says, smiling.

“Because they already knew I could sing, they invited me to come to their show. I thought I was just coming to watch the show, and they asked me to sing, another Whitney Houston song, ‘I Believe in You and Me.’ ”

Graham began performing background with the band and others, occasionally singing a solo or two. ‘I had some people say, ‘Listen … we want to hear more of that, why don’t you form your own band.’ After getting encouraged by so many people to do that, that’s what I did,” she says.

Graham’s band, The Key of G, has helped her achieve the acknowledgment and respect that led to awards and accolades. She has even opened for artists such as Musiq Soulchild, Chrisette Michele and blues legend B.B. King.

Singer and friend Larry Johnson told Graham about the B.B. King Blues Club auditions. “He was like ‘you should try it. They need female singers. This is something you should consider,” says Graham.

And so, in April 2014, she caught the Greyhound bus to Memphis and was the first to audition. “I went before everyone else because I had to catch the bus back. They were actually late getting there and I was like ‘look, I don’t want to rush you, but I can’t miss this bus. I have to get home,’ ” says Graham.

She was offered a position with the cruise line on the spot and given the contact information of several Mississippi musicians. “He was like if you know those guys, why don’t you call them and see if they need a female singer so I could have everyone from my area. They were all from the Jackson-metro area — one guy, the saxophone player, was from the Coast,” Graham says.

Equipped with a once-in-a-lifetime offer and a new band, Graham struggled with a decision — trading security for passion.

Graham credits her brother, Eric Graham, for tipping the scales. “He said, ‘Sister, what are you waiting for? You don’t have kids, you don’t have a husband. The time to do it is now. Don’t wait, don’t come up with excuses not to do this, come up with reasons to do it,’ ” Graham recalls.

Eric Graham, retired from the Navy and now a field service engineer in Georgia, did what he thought a big brother should do. “When she asks me for advice I take that seriously,” he says. “I give her my honest opinion on stuff. I left Mississippi four days after I turned 18. I love going home, but the world is bigger than Mississippi. The world is bigger than the United States. I think it would only make her a better person and a better artist.”

Her parents, however, weren’t on board, even though they were convinced of her talent.

“Even as a young kid I experienced it then, ‘you’re going to have to find something else because that’s not going to pay the bills.’ ”

Graham boarded the cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 7. It was a decision that would have Graham, lead male vocalist Courtney Little and her bandmates performing three 45-minute shows six nights a week in an arena that housed 1,500 guests.

Together they entertained audiences with songs by artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to B.B. King.

“Every show, every gig that I have done in Jackson prepared us for that because that was the real deal. That was show business — the lights, the wardrobe changes, the little parts of acting, the skits. It was a production,” says Graham, who returned to Mississippi in March.

“I got to learn about different cultures. There were people from the Netherlands and Indonesia. Then, of course, when we would port somewhere, Turks and Caicos (islands) on Monday, Puerto Rico on Tuesdays, Wednesdays would either be St. Thomas or St. Martin, Thursday was a sea day and Friday would be Holland America’s private island Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. It was beautiful,” says Graham.

Life on a cruise ship, however, was not without its problems. Technology and phone use was limited, and she would sometimes long for the company of her family and friends.

“It took us about a month to get our bearings straight to figure out where we were. You could easily not know what day it was. But the days of the week were on the rugs in the elevator so we depended on them to keep track of what day it was,” Graham says.

Actively waiting a new date to set sail, Graham has not missed a beat performing, giving her loyal fans her hybrid mix of R&B, gospel and neo-soul.

Interestingly, Graham’s ambitions do not follow the path of the typical singer. She has no desire to cut an album or look for a record deal. Fortune, fame and a million Instagram followers are not on her bucket list.

“I want to get out there and pretend to be Tina (Turner). I want to do the dances. I want to get in that element. I want to feel that fire that she felt. I want that rush. I don’t have to sell albums. I just want to do what I love.”

Contact Rachel James-Terry at racheljames601@gmail.com. - CLARION LEDGER


In Progress



Born and raised in Jackson, Miss., R&B artist Akami Graham (unofficially named “Jackson’s  Princess of R&B)  has earned the reputation of being a performer who has the ability to captivate an audience with her soft, but powerful soprano voice.

Realizing her love for music at an early age, Akami started her music career singing, while playing her own accompaniment on the piano for family and friends. Her first professional performance was at the age of six. Those who watched her play the piano and sing with the skill and grace of a seasoned veteran, knew they were watching a star in the making. Akami continued to develop her talent as a vocalist and performing artist, by singing in church and for events at her junior high/high school. In 1999, she was named the Omega Psi Phi Youth Talent winner. Over time, Akami’s passion for music began to grow, she realized that “music was a ‘love’ that didn’t require her to give anything, it just required her to love it back.”

An electric performer, Akami’s sound is a diverse mix of R&B, gospel, and neo-soul. She cites Jill Scott, Fantasia, Chrisette Michelle, Lisa McClendon and the late Whitney Houston as the team of women who have inspired her style of music. Taking the Jackson, Miss. music scene by storm in the early ‘00s, Akami’s dynamic performances continue to mesmerize those in attendance. Her ability to effortlessly sing songs with precision, clarity and pitch has made her a local favorite, with an increased following of loyal fans.

Akami has earned great respect of many prominent people in the music industry, giving her the opportunity to open for artists such as Jaguar Wright, Musiq Soulchild, Chrisette Michele, and Blues legend B.B. King. Akami has also headlined Holland Amercia Crusilines as lead female vocalist of the BB King All Star Band (2014-present).

Recognized for her unquestionable talents, Akami has won several awards including: Jackson Music Awards Nominee for Best Female Vocalist (2003-2006); American Idol Semi-Finalist (2005), Nightlife’s R&B Artist of the Year & Best Singer  in Jackson Free Press (2007-2011); and most notably the Jackson Music Awards for Best Female Vocalist (2010 &2013).

Although she is best known for performing cover tunes, Akami is starting to branch out and create music of her own. With the help of several talented song writers and producers, she is aiming to deliver an album with songs that will electrify listeners as they take the journey inside of her love affair with music.  

Band Members