LesKingdoms
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LesKingdoms

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Hip Hop Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Apr
18
LesKingdoms @ The Rivoli

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jan
25
LesKingdoms @ Virgin Mobile Mod Club

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Nov
01
LesKingdoms @ Lee's Palace

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


Like much of Toronto, the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood has undergone great change. As condos crop up on nearly every street corner and new transit lines are built to expand the city, the midtown area, frequented most by businesspeople and commuters, has seen vast growth. Nothing is stagnant, and the streets are a hubbub of honking and screeching. Even amid this noise, Caroline Akwe attracts Torontonians with her music.

On a cool September evening, Akwe sits near the intersection belting out powerful soul and playing gently at her keyboard. Onlookers stop and sit at Akwe’s side and sway to her tunes—a blend of hip-hop, alternative, and pop music. Also beside her is her notebook with scribbled lyrics, and her boyfriend, Nick Seo, picks up what the wind scatters. Together, they form the duo Les Kingdoms.


Akwe is a soft-spoken young Torontonian originally from Haiti. Growing up there, amid civil strife, she and her family would find refuge in music. “From a very young age, I would listen to music with my friends, but I would hear it differently,” she says. “I thought about it more. I analyzed it.” Her mother would often play music in the house, pushing her to take music classes at a young age. Akwe says her mother was her inspiration from the start.

But it wasn’t until Akwe met Seo, who is Canadian-Korean, that Les Kingdom was formed. “The whole idea of Nick being Asian and me Black, we’re all part of kingdoms, whether continents or culture,” she says. “I created Les Kingdoms to glorify who we are on earth and to give us a place. We’re part of something and it’s something special.”

Right here in the city’s midtown, Akwe is carving out her own kingdom, playing music in a space so frequently filled with the noise of construction and commuters. Her sound is a mix of soul and modern influence, from pop to folk and rock. “I moved around so much growing up and always was surrounded by many cultures,” she says. “I always try to give everyone something they can relate to.”

While she performs elsewhere in the city, Akwe is always drawn back to Yonge and Eglinton’s multicultural population. She says there are many people who genuinely love to take a seat by her side while she sings. “At the square, I feel it’s where all the souls meet,” she says.

In the summer of 2015, Akwe faced hardship when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The first time she learned about it, Akwe was in the kitchen cooking a meal and her mom was in the living room. “Something told me to peek over,” Akwe says, “and when I did, she was gone.” Her mom wandered out of their home at St. Clair and police discovered her days later 45 minutes outside of the city.

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Her mom is under 24-hour care, but the pair still listens to music together. “She’s still young, but her mind gave up on her,” says Akwe. “She could be very serious, very quiet, but then you play music for her, and she’ll close her eyes and just start dancing. She’s there, and she’s in that moment.” Her mother’s favourite song, Édith Piaf’s “La foule,” will often bring the pair together. “When she’s in that place, it’s magic and I want to be there, too,” she says. It’s inspiration for Akwe to connect with her own audience.

Much like the Yonge and Eglinton area itself, Akwe’s identity and sound are still growing. Even though she is one of few artists in the neighbourhood, Akwe plans to stay put with Seo; the pair hopes to nurture the midtown arts scene as they finish production on their first album.

In making her music, Akwe’s not just infusing the cityscape with sound— she’s making it a welcome hotspot for tired feet to sit, relax, and enjoy the show. Hers is an accessible magic, where regular fans will come back with coffee and muffins for Akwe and take a seat by her side. There, everyone is illuminated by those same square lights; everyone is in their own small kingdom. - "THIS" magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

                      Toronto-based Canadian-Haitian-Gabonese singer-songwriter musician Caroline Akwe, has journeyed around the globe belting out her tunes for over a decade. A young, soft-spoken, classically-trained pianist from raised in Montreal (with roots from Belgium and Haiti), has officially emerged onto Canada’s music scene, but it wasn’t until Caroline met Canadian-Korean rapper, singer-songwriter Nicholas Seo, that the two burgeoning musicians found instant chemistry through their love of hip hop, that Les Kingdoms was formed. 




                      The powerhouse songwriting production duo has created a timeless music repertoire blend of hip-hop soul, rock, and alternative sounds that are shaping the way for a new revolution in music—quickly capturing the attention of local Torontonians, club and venue owners alike around the country. All soundtracks and audio productions are created under the umbrella of their production company, LKCollective, a Toronto-based boutique music production house which creates original music, soundtracks and audio production for musicians, commercials, video, film and television.  




                      Les Kingdoms’ motto: "We believe that all beings on this planet deserve to spread their wings and fly to the highest skies and mountains. Only then can we truly experience a sense of freedom. We are free to be unique and colorful. We are free to love, be loved and feel loved. We are free to give. And from within each and every one of us there is a light... one so bright, that once shown to the world, it will never be the same again ...''


                       


                      As Les Kingdoms prepares to finish production on their independently produced self-titled album, and their plans for a multi-city tour, they released their latest single “Wild, Wild World” available for streaming and download on iTunes, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube,  www.leskingdoms.com and other streaming services. 




                      “The whole idea of us coming together is to show that we’re all part of kingdoms, whether continents or cultures,” Caroline says. “We created Les Kingdoms to glorify who we are on earth and to give us a place where we can be ourselves and give everyone something special they can relate to. It’s inspiration for us to connect with our audience.”  


                      (Portions of this bio courtesy of Nicole Abi-Najem from THIS Magazine) 




                      For booking performances and appearances: 


                      Spencer Casseus 

                      Email: spencercasseus@gmail.com

                      Mobile: (347)-682-9325

                      Location: Manhattan, New York




                       


                      Band Members