A K U A
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A K U A

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Pop Soul

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jul
04
A K U A @ The Piston

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mar
24
A K U A @ Club Soda

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Mar
22
A K U A @ The Silver Dollar Room

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


Carson’s blend of experimental kookiness (which we’ve come to expect from her city’s indie scene), solid production chops and a soulful foundation is sure to provide a Zen-like reprieve from NXNE’s noise bands, mosh pits and aggressive electro. - NOW Magazine


Akua calls her music “remote soul” but that goes against the intimacy and immediacy of her songs. There's nothing remote about it. It's more like post-R&B. On her debut EP One's Company, Akua blends R&B melodies with glitchy drums playing Afro-Cuban polyrhythms and chillwave synths. - AfroPunk


A K U A is a good example of what can happen when you take your time to develop your art. The Montreal-based singer came up in choirs where she was content to blend into the background, and for a time sang covers in a hotel bar in Dubai—all in the name of finding her voice. Only after she had learned how to write her own songs and made some progress on overcoming her stage fright did she start work on the most beautiful EP, One’s Company, recorded with her friends Martin Rodriguez and Andy Bauer.

If we were betting gals, we’d put money down on this one’s future superstardom. - ROOKIE


A K U A is a good example of what can happen when you take your time to develop your art. The Montreal-based singer came up in choirs where she was content to blend into the background, and for a time sang covers in a hotel bar in Dubai—all in the name of finding her voice. Only after she had learned how to write her own songs and made some progress on overcoming her stage fright did she start work on the most beautiful EP, One’s Company, recorded with her friends Martin Rodriguez and Andy Bauer.

If we were betting gals, we’d put money down on this one’s future superstardom. - ROOKIE


Her debut EP, One’s Company, is the product of this newfound – and wholly justified – self-confidence. A five-track sonic banquet featuring previously aired tracks such as the stuttering, bratty ‘Told You So’ and the sombrely sprawling ‘Gravity’, alongside a clutch of new numbers which join the dots between Santigold’s vibrant synthy hip-hop jams and Grimes’s bedroom-bred hypno-pop. - The Line of Best Fit


With sweet, breathy vocals floating across an ambient soundscape, Canadian singer AKUA takes on the Prince-penned classic “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
Originally quietly featured on the self-titled album of Prince’s band The Family in 1985, “Nothing Compares 2 U” was turned into a global smash hit when Sinead O’Connor covered the emotive break-up anthem in 1990. Closely retaining the original melody for the most part but adopting minimalistic, ethereal production, take a listen to AKUA’s version below and grab your free download while it’s still available, courtesy of Rookie mag.

- Soulculture.co.uk


Her cover of the Prince-penned track that helped shoot Sinead O’Connor to stardom is respectful of the sonic hallmarks of the original, but
A K U A makes no bones about making the track all her own. Infusing the pulsing electro sensibilities of her own original work into the cover, she presents a take that wobbles on the broken beat of an off-time drum while her vocal is perfectly steady and airy. - Okayplayer.com


What's so good?
I was about to call it a bad music day when “Told You So” by Akua (ah-koo-ah) fortunately crossed my path and reminded me that it can never be a bad day for music.

Off-kilter bells intro on this track, like a mad woman seductively sounding an alarm. The song challenges the senses as it stirs up a cauldron of desire and trouble — both intrinsic and magical in nature — layered with bubbling bass and chiming synths. Akua’s voice commands surprising musical moments and pauses equally. - indieshuffle.com


Montreal based songstress A K U A released her debut EP, Ones Company, earlier in the month and looks set to be propelled towards stardom. A large part of this steady rise can be attributed to her wonderfully crafted sound, a mixture of alternative soul, combining minimalist electro and elements of Jazz.
A real strength of A K U A’s it would seem is the remarkable balance she finds in conveying a forlorn vulnerablity and tension within a voice of such soft but distinctive tone. The EP’s standout track, “Gravity” gets the visual treatment and the grandeur of the track is matched by this accompanying video. Check it out below. - Soul Culture


Montreal based songstress A K U A released her debut EP, Ones Company, earlier in the month and looks set to be propelled towards stardom. A large part of this steady rise can be attributed to her wonderfully crafted sound, a mixture of alternative soul, combining minimalist electro and elements of Jazz.
A real strength of A K U A’s it would seem is the remarkable balance she finds in conveying a forlorn vulnerablity and tension within a voice of such soft but distinctive tone. The EP’s standout track, “Gravity” gets the visual treatment and the grandeur of the track is matched by this accompanying video. Check it out below. - Soul Culture


A K U A breaks glass with her first notes. Vocals build with newfound confidence; she’ll be fine on her own. The words fall into static, it’s only the repetition that gives them truth. Morning comes and the bottle’s been swept away, an act of defiance rejected by the world moving on. The glass has been in pieces from the start, A K U A just knows when to pick them up. - Yours Truly


The video for “Gravity” is the perfect visual encapsulation of the aquatic suspension you feel from listening to A K U A’s harmonies. The R&B singer from Montreal is in character as a fish-tailed siren of the sea being coveted by admirers. The gently gargling beats in her production enhance the aquatic theme, but instead of lulling you to a gentle slumber, you become buoyed by a mixture of seduction and heartache.

Another one of her singles, “Told You So,” reflects the same vaguely trip-hoppy production and flowy vocals. A K U A writes her own material and co-produces her music with Andy Bauer of Twin Shadow and Martin Rodriguez. Her first EP One’s Company will be released on June 4th. We’ll definitely be watching out for it. - MTV Iggy


The video for “Gravity” is the perfect visual encapsulation of the aquatic suspension you feel from listening to A K U A’s harmonies. The R&B singer from Montreal is in character as a fish-tailed siren of the sea being coveted by admirers. The gently gargling beats in her production enhance the aquatic theme, but instead of lulling you to a gentle slumber, you become buoyed by a mixture of seduction and heartache.

Another one of her singles, “Told You So,” reflects the same vaguely trip-hoppy production and flowy vocals. A K U A writes her own material and co-produces her music with Andy Bauer of Twin Shadow and Martin Rodriguez. Her first EP One’s Company will be released on June 4th. We’ll definitely be watching out for it. - MTV Iggy


In our recent review of A K U A's live show, we noted that the Montreal-based electro-soul singer's upcoming release "should definitely be something to watch out for." That release will arrive on June 4 in the form of the EP One's Company, and listeners can get a taste of what's in store via the new video for "Gravity."

The clip for this moody electronic number is appropriately cinematic, as we see a beautifully shot drama play out between a mermaid and humans. It was shot in Florida and stars A K U A herself as the mermaid, with the story's fantastical elements complementing the song's daydream sweetness.

The video was produced by her brother Kofi Carson, and the song itself was produced by Martin Rodriguez and Andy Bauer, drummer for Twin Shadow. Check it out below the tracklist to One's Company. - Exclaim!


On the strength of hearing two of One's Company tracks, and a scattering of demos on her SoundCloud page, it's evident Akua is keen on vast and ambient synth soundscapes that are peppered with shades of soul and hip hop and unexpected tempo changes that give songs depth. You may have heard it all before, as there are many who are attempting this particular sound, but Akua is one in a million, doing things her unique and eclectic way, and it's reason why this singer-songwriter is one to keep eye and ear out for. - Soul Bounce


On the strength of hearing two of One's Company tracks, and a scattering of demos on her SoundCloud page, it's evident Akua is keen on vast and ambient synth soundscapes that are peppered with shades of soul and hip hop and unexpected tempo changes that give songs depth. You may have heard it all before, as there are many who are attempting this particular sound, but Akua is one in a million, doing things her unique and eclectic way, and it's reason why this singer-songwriter is one to keep eye and ear out for. - Soul Bounce


Montreal-based A K U A (pronounced a-koo-ah) is a newcomer to the music scene, who has hit the ground running displaying a versatility in her sound that is hard to come by. Through both of her released songs A K U A blends R&B and soul to create vocals that can subtlety maneuver their way through an emotional ballad or carry a heavy presence over an experimental electronic beat. The latter of which is fully explored in her new song "Told You So" an unusual, yet surprisingly satisfying force that distorts hip hop while stretching through its elastic sound. - EARMILK


A K U A is one of those artists that is floating just at the breaking point between sky and sea, she hasn’t yet fully emerged, but the momentum she’s building is coming to a crest.

Today, Pigeons & Planes is premiering the video for “Gravity” her first single—a whirl of heady vocals and fronds of electronic sound. - PIGEONS & PLANES


The Montreal-based (by way of London, ON) solo artist's latest "alt-R&B" One's Company EP travels on the familiar experimental wavelength of recent remote soul efforts from Rhye and Jessie Ware, but wholly unique enough to stand out on its own. - Exclaim!


The Montreal-based (by way of London, ON) solo artist's latest "alt-R&B" One's Company EP travels on the familiar experimental wavelength of recent remote soul efforts from Rhye and Jessie Ware, but wholly unique enough to stand out on its own. - Exclaim!


Slow simmering rhythms spread throughout a dimly lit room as sultry soulstress Akua lit off a smoldering set of late-night moods in front of a sparse but eager early evening crowd. Armed for her one-woman showing with a synth, laptop and effects trigger, the dexterous singer worked each element with a collected cool, her own smooth voice flowing effortlessly in and out of each track's creamy and, at times, rhythmic vocal accompaniment, while soft electronic tones completed the groove. Cuts like "Gravity" soothed, with its aerial synths and delicate beat touches, while the pronounced bass, curious percussion and Akua's own spright delivery in new track "One's Company" made for a satisfyingly hypnotic experience. That last song offered a few adventurous creative hints of what folks can expect with the Montreal resident's upcoming release just around the bend — a record that should definitely be something to watch out for. - Exclaim!


...An EP due in early June has been two years in the making. Carson also spent a stint doing back-ups for on-again/off-again local outfit She’s Got a Habit, the dividends from which paid out in the form of a continued creative partnership with Berkeley-jazz-schooled bandmates Martin Rodriguez and Andy Bauer (who now happens to be drummer to indie pop sensation Twin Shadow).... - CULT MTL


She's only been recording music for a few years now, but I'll bet you'll be hearing lots of A K U A's (pronounced "a-koo-a") seasoned sounds very soon.

A K U A is another artist I saw and met up with at Tinderbox Music Festival this weekend, and her live show was nothing short of breathtaking. A K U A produced an eclectic-soul performance with just a looping pedal, synth, and a mic. The result was so rich and lush, it filled the room and hushed the crowd. And then there's that voice: a husky, yet crystalline instrument that reminded me a lot of early Sade. (You know, "Smooooooth operator...") Not bad for the Canadian songbird's first big show in New York!


- GLAMOUR


In the never-ending universally hipster search for the next Brooklyn, the Telegraph's Lucy Jones boldly pronounced in March, "Montreal is the new Brooklyn"
"Unlike the speedy, garage rock and harmonic melodies of the Brooklyn scene," says Jones, "the nu-Montreal sound is underpinned by looping, sampling and layering. Tune-yards, Purity Ring, Grimes build their songs using various machines which they feed in and out of, allowing them to create a wall of sound they couldn't do alone."

Well, okay. If you care at all about this as a Montrealer, you might want to check out the looping, sampling and layering of Montreal darlings
A K U A and Hua Li along with Brooklyn's very own interpretation of this "nu-Montreal sound" by Pegasus Warning. It's at the Belmont. Maybe it will make you feel like you're in the "new Brooklyn."

A K U A considers herself an eclectic dish made to inspired your musical tastebuds. When she whips up a set it sounds something like this:

1/4 cups - Soul

1/4 cup - Pop Influence

1/2 cup - Indie (could be substituted with 'Alternative')

-Rhythm & Blues (to taste)

-Stir and Garnish with Ambient Synth - Midnight Poutine


In the never-ending universally hipster search for the next Brooklyn, the Telegraph's Lucy Jones boldly pronounced in March, "Montreal is the new Brooklyn"
"Unlike the speedy, garage rock and harmonic melodies of the Brooklyn scene," says Jones, "the nu-Montreal sound is underpinned by looping, sampling and layering. Tune-yards, Purity Ring, Grimes build their songs using various machines which they feed in and out of, allowing them to create a wall of sound they couldn't do alone."

Well, okay. If you care at all about this as a Montrealer, you might want to check out the looping, sampling and layering of Montreal darlings
A K U A and Hua Li along with Brooklyn's very own interpretation of this "nu-Montreal sound" by Pegasus Warning. It's at the Belmont. Maybe it will make you feel like you're in the "new Brooklyn."

A K U A considers herself an eclectic dish made to inspired your musical tastebuds. When she whips up a set it sounds something like this:

1/4 cups - Soul

1/4 cup - Pop Influence

1/2 cup - Indie (could be substituted with 'Alternative')

-Rhythm & Blues (to taste)

-Stir and Garnish with Ambient Synth - Midnight Poutine


Akua a la voix, le charisme, la prestance, le charme pour tout emporter sur son passage. Musicalement, tout ce que j'ai entendu d'elle, que ce soit acoustique ou appuyé sur des boucles électro, confine à la perfection. Elle est le vent nouveau de la soul music, capable de concilier la tradition du genre avec la modernité la plus avant-gardiste. Elle a dans le regard cette lueur d'audace de ceux qui savent exactement ce qu'ils veulent et ce qu'ils valent. Croyez-moi sur parole, elle atteindra bientôt les sommets et rendra le monde plus beau, plus sensuel et un peu moins imparfait. - J'ai tout lu, tout vu, tout bu...


It is mid-September, the nights are getting colder, the leaves are holding on for dear life. This could mean a few things. The most enjoyable being of course, Pop Montreal. On the music side of Pop Montreal we have an exciting line up of artists coming into this city. Homegrown talent however is making headlines at this year's festival.In the mix of things, Montreal resident, AKUA will be keeping us warm through music and melodies next Saturday, SEPT 24th at LE BELMONT. - Midnight Poutine


Finally, the wonderful Akua closed the showcase as the featured artist of the night. It’s a little beyond my capacity of words to describe, but her electro sound, electric presentation and fabulously sexy voice with her original sounds and looping and personal world really drew everyone in and held us there. She’s got an interesting background, as a Canadian from London, Ontario with one parent of African origin and the other of Canadian-British origin. Loved the stuff. And she excused herself for playing solo as she said the band was not quite ready yet. But frankly, she didn’t need a band last night. - Brad Spurgeon's Blog


I was aware Akua was a singer, but I didn’t discover the greatness of her abilities until I saw her live. Throughout her performance I couldn’t stop turning to my friends to say, “She’s so sultry!” And Akua is indeed the epitome of sultry. She embodies its very definition and has it embedded in her persona, from the tone of her voice to the swag in her sway. Her ethereal voice reminded me of Beyoncé’s “Halo,” and her angelic presence was made more apparent with the aid of a smoke machine as she sang the lyrics “I feel like gravity” to a mellow dreamy electronic beat. Up on stage, even whilst singing and dancing, she managed everything from the keyboard, synthesizer, to multiple microphones to catch her soft soothing voice.

Though her voice may be peaceful, her presence is empowered and confident. With her lacey black dress, cheetah print leggings, and military combat boots, she is not one to be taken lightly. Gathering from my observations of: 1) a packed dance floor, 2) ubiquitous loud cheering 3) professions of love, and of course 4) her sexy commanding stage presence, I have deduced that this badass chick is indeed a saint. - Leacock's


The doors opened at 10pm and our main act was to be preceded by two local acts: chanteuse a k u a and dubsetp/funky dj CONSTRUCT. I got there close to 11pm and after about an hour’s wait, first act a k u a starting setting up. This is an aspect of going to concerts I enjoy the most, discovering music I may have ignored otherwise. It was a very stripped-back performance and all the better for it. Her music could be best described as electronic indie pop and I literally loved every second of it. She even slipped in a cover of Ace of Base’s All That She Wants, to the delight of most of us there. Here’s to hoping for big and better things for her. - arthurscott.ca


“Pay attention. A K U A’s gonna be playing stadiums one day.” That’s what Little Scream’s, Laurel Sprengelmeyer said as she hit the stage at Kung-fu Necktie. That was our takeaway too. After seeing Sharon Van Etten guitarist, Doug Keith do his solo thing, we were absolutely mesmerized by Montreal-based indie R+B priestess, A K U A. Her synth/sample-based one-woman show sounded a bit like Toni Braxton singing bleep-heavy electronic covers of ’70s AM Gold. And, while Little Scream put on the charming performance of a seasoned band, we’re pretty hyped to see A K U A again. OK, maybe not at a stadium, but we predict she’ll at least play Union Transfer in 2012. - ROCKAPHILLY


Discography

One's Company -EP
June 4, 2013
Self-Released

Gravity
Official Music Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Iq4Q93wYoI

Photos

Bio

"Montreal-based A K U A is a newcomer to the music scene, who has hit the ground running displaying a versatility in her sound that is hard to come by" – EARMILK.com

With emotion and texture at the center of her songwriting there’s reason A K U A’s music has been so warmly received by the few that have happened upon it: it’s real and it’s raw. 

Having already sparked musical comparisons to Rhye and Jessie Ware, and having opened for established acts such as Solange and Cody ChesnuTT, it’s safe to say that A K U A’s career as an unsigned solo artist is off to a promising start.

While her introduction to live music began as a timid backup singer during university, deep down, A K U A had her heart set on a solo project from the moment she stepped on stage. Yet it would take hours of tinkering alone in her bedroom and a brief (but weird) stint singing at a luxury Middle Eastern hotel-bar for A K U A to overcome her self-doubt and hash-out the unique sound she's come to possess. 

Deciding early on to defy the conventional mold of “singer-songwriter,” A K U A took an interest in music production right away, spending hours dabbling in production software, loop pedals and vocal effects.

What emerged from this musical exploration was a variety of raw and deeply personal songs and soundscapes which A K U A would further develop with the help of producers & multi-instrumentalists Andy Bauer (of Twin Shadow) & Martin Rodriguez. 

A K U A has managed to translate her sonic ecclectism to the live stage; impressively commanding a synth and controller while at the same time, delivering vocals which stand out amongst the instrumentals and cut straight-through to the soul.

While 2012 marked a series of warmly received live performances at NXNE, Pop Montreal , CMW and Tinderbox Music Festival, 2013 welcomed the anticipated release of her debut EP ‘One’s Company,’ which quickly caught the attention of online tastemakers at Pigeons & Planes, Okayplayer, MTV Iggy, Exclaim!, Yours Truly, IndieShuffle and Earmilk.

“You have heard it all before, as there are many who are attempting this particular sound, but A K U A is one in a million doing things her unique and eclectic way, and it’s reason why this singer-songwriter is one to keep and eye and ear out for.” –SOULBOUNCE.com

With an exciting first year behind her, A K U A will be touring her EP while working on a collection of new recorded works.

Band Members