The 28th of January is the day AKA was born, and to celebrate Doro Mega’s birthday we have drummed a few facts about him you are not aware of.
Okay most of us pretty much know the fact his real name is Kiernan Forbes, but there’s a middle name. AKA’s real government names are Kiernan Jarryd Forbes. Yup, we just one upped you.
He is considered one of the country’s biggest Hip Hop acts based in Johannesburg – the heart of the South African music business. But he is actually bred in Cape Town, where his hustle began, sharpened and graduated.
Long before the super successful solo career, AKA was actually in a KORA Award nominated group called Entity back in 2002. Their track Touch N Go achieved moderate commercial success. They just about got this close to snatching the Best African Hip Hop gong, and also gave a performance at the show.
He started studying Sound Engineering but would later return to his first love – performing.
It is here that he joined forces with fellow creatives to form a production fraternity called The I.V. League back in 2007 (now you understand his Facebook name!). They basically did the most back back, boasting production credits in acclaimed works of some of the most commercially successful Hip Hops in the country at the time – including PRO, Tuks, Khuli Chana, Teargas, Psyfo, JR, Jub Jub and many more.
At long last AKA finally began pursuing a solo career as it would seem so destined. In 2009 he released his debut album Altar Ego with the smash hit Mistakes, which would go on and top several local charts and earn him a Metro FM Music Award for Best Newcomer, Best Hip Hop and Best Produced Album.
He was crowned Best Dressed Man at the GQ Awards during the same year. You know you have arrived when that publication wants to say something about your style.
The rapper has opened for some of the biggest international acts like Kanye West, Rick Ross and Kendrick Lamar amongst many others. These days AKA is questioning the over privileging of international artists while our own get mistreated on our soil and has vowed to cease opening for international artists in the future.
AKA’s sophomore album reached Gold status in South Africa, with over 20 000 sold.
The album produced massive hits Congratulate Me, Run Jozi, Eyes On Me and Sim Dope which would all seal his title as the Prince of South African Hip Hop.
AKA was announced the most played artist on South African radio stations in 2015, beating out some of pretty big artists like Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Adele and Ed Sheeran internationally and also came ahead of Black Coffee, K.O and Micasa locally.
His number 1 smash hit Baddest got playlisted in the UK by BBC 1XTRA, who later included him in their Hot in 2016 list.
2015 continued being an extraordinary year for AKA. In addition to winning numerous local and international awards and securing nominations that include one at the BET awards, he partnered up with Rocka for the 3RDWRLDBOSS eletronics range.