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Akintoye – The first of many

The first transcribed episode of Crystallized Beats

Hey guys what’s up? I’m trying something different here. I thought it would be interesting to read the interviews in article form. So, I am transcribing them and I’m going to start posting them here.

Fair warning, they are written the way that we speak. There are tons of “ums”, “uhs” and way too many “likes” but that’s all in our personality. And the culture as a whole. So, I am leaving them in.

Enjoy!

The Look with Kwake – Akintoye

Hey guys, what’s up? It’s crystal Amar. And you’re listening to the look on crystallized beats with quake. How you doing?

Kwake:

Hey, Chris, how you doing? I’m doing good. Good,

Crystal:

Good. So I can say I’m super psyched to talk about this. I’m waiting all day. So what did you think of go stupid?

Kwake:

It was stupid. In a a good way! Like I heard it, I was like, it’s, it’s a breath of fresh air. Like this is like the third or fourth artists in a row that’s like been a breath of fresh air, like this dude. I’m like, why aren’t you signed? I want to hear you all. You know what I’m saying? You know, you hear some artists and you’re like, whoa, somebody missed something. He’s that guy, somebody, somebody, somebody dropped the ball. Didn’t listen to that, to that tape. Like, lit!

Crystal:

Wasn’t me because I know I heard this and within like 15 seconds, he sent me, um, overload at first, he didn’t send me go stupid, but I’d heard 15 seconds tops of overload. And I was like, who is this? Like, oh my God. You know? So, I mean, go stupid. It’s like has a great vibe. And it’s like super positive and his flow is great and the beat is great. I loved everything about

Kwake:

It. Yeah. Yeah. That’s it is he, he mastered his flow. Yeah. His flows it’s different. And I love it. I love it. I love it. Like I love it. I love it. Yeah. Yeah.

Crystal:

I know. I want to talk about overload because that was definitely like killer. It’s super killer. And the beat is like insane and it made me so happy listening to it.

Kwake:

I’m telling you, and then like his bars, his bars, the way his flow was. And then he switched to do like a little double time for like four bars. And I, yeah, I, I was like, where’s this information? What’s his manager. Can I get a feature? Like, yeah, like it’s it’s so Damn, just, yeah, he’s fire. He’s, he’s fire. Like you see that you get five Mics brother. That, that, that song, those songs right there. And then like my Spotify kept playing. So I was listening to more and I’m like, look, look, I only need to talk about two, right? Yeah. Um, precise.

Crystal:

Yeah, it was, it’s super dope. And can you believe this kid is from Lagos’ Nigeria. Okay. His family moved him to Canada when he was 10. Thank God. Because he would have had, I mean, already it’s a struggle coming up as a musician, but to come up in Lagos’ like, it would have been nearly impossible, but his family moved him to Canada and now like, look at what he has accomplished. It’s like insane.

Kwake

Right. That’s that’s my next door neighbors. So my brother look at you!

Crystal:

Yeah. TJ is going to be psyched too. Cause he’s from Abuja, you know? So he’s going to be psyched to hear this too, but, um, yeah, so I’m hitting him up. Um, so yeah, I’m super stoked. And these are the two songs that I did for the podcast, but I put three songs on the article because there was just so much that I wanted to show everybody like vertigo. I don’t know if you listened to vertigo, but

Kwake:

That song is crazy!

Crystal:

Dude. The beat in vertigo is I had no, I would, I did not expect. I thought maybe we were listening to like a more serious song from him. And that beat came in and I was like, holy shit. Like it’s so good. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I didn’t hear one song that I didn’t like that’s for sure. And I listened to vertigo like five times while I was writing his article.

Kwake:

Yeah. I would go even further. I didn’t hear one bar. I didn’t like, that’s what I’m saying. Like he was that good, bro. You got those bars brother. Like keep spitting that. Keep spinning that for all of us. Like that’s the man bars. Like I, yeah. I like once this is over, I’m going to listen to more because like he got music, that’s it’s music, it’s music. I don’t think I’ve ever raved this much about the artist. And like they’ve been back to back to back, but this dude here is yeah. Yeah,

Crystal:

Definitely. And uh, you know, I’m just, I’m super psyched about it. And I think that everybody’s going to really like it it’s uh like you said, it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s something completely different, you know?

But yeah, so I, um, I’m glad that we talked about it and he’s like, I’m super stoked to get this out there.

I will send you the links of everything will be out in like, I’d say 15 minutes probably I’m on top of it. All right, man. Talk to you soon.

Kwake:

All right. Talk to you. Bye.

akintoye

The interview – Akintoye

Crystal:

Hey guys, what’s up. It’s crystallized beats and I’m crystal Amar. Tonight’s featured guests. I’m super psyched to introduce you to Akintoye out of Toronto, Canada. How are you doing tonight, man?

Akintoye:

I’m doing great. Thanks for having me I’m excited to be here for it.

Crystal:

Excited to have you, so that’s great. Um, so why don’t you first take a moment and introduce us to your music style and like how this developed.

Music style

Akintoye:

So my style of music, if I had to describe it, it’s kind of wide. My influences are kind of all over the place. Like a whole lot of old-school funk stuff and, and, and super lyrical rappers I grew up on. So my style is somewhere in the, in the storytelling, uh, high energy, um, uh, bars after bars, after bars type music, but also like, especially on this next project, I’m starting to slow it down a little bit and play with some singing in some melodies.

Like I, if I had to describe one aspect of my style, I’d probably just call it storytelling. Um, cause I feel like that’s the one thing that’s just consistent across the entire board. Um, and the way it came about is kinda like being from Toronto and, and just from like the Toronto area, there is a sound and I never really resonated with the sound of the city, not to say that it’s like, you know, not to make a statement on the quality of the sound of the city, but it just never resonated with me.

Um, and I always knew I wanted to make something that was a little different sounding and, and I was able to get really, really lucky and link up with some amazing producers, Dan and Chateau and Ricky. And they’re the ones who are responsible for all the production on my next project. Um, and, and these are dudes who don’t have a typical conventional producer background.

Like Dan started in rock and, and all types of different types of music. Hip hop was actually a new cornerstone for him. Um, Chateau has a background in like playing violin and all types of different instruments and Ricky,  he’s from the Caribbean, he’s from Grenada. So he’s used to making that type of music and growing up with that type of music, I think it’s awesome that we were able to kind of join together and make this music. That doesn’t sound anything like the rest of the music in this city that we’re from.

Crystal:

It doesn’t sound like anything that’s out right now. It doesn’t sound like anything that I have, um, come across with the independent artists that I work with. It’s very, very different and it’s super positive and I love it.

Akintoye:

Thank you.

Moving to Canada

Crystal:

You actually moved to Toronto from Lagos’ when you were 10. So yeah. How was that transition?

Akintoye:

Um, it wasn’t easy the way that the move kind of happened and it wasn’t, it wasn’t like, you know, my parents were like, Hey, we’re our life is going to be in Canada now. Like, it wasn’t like that. It was more so of like, we’ve been here for a while, like what’s going on? And then they were like, oh no, we live here now. And I was like, oh, okay. I didn’t hear, I didn’t. I had some cousins, but I had cousins in the U S and I didn’t really have older cousins around that could show me the ropes. I didn’t know anyone. Um, and I’m an older sibling. Uh, so I kind of had no real guidance as far as navigating this brand new country that I’m in. And I kind of had to just figure it out as I went along. And it wasn’t easy.

Um, when you kind of get plucked from the country that you’ve known your whole life at the age of 10, 10 is like a real turning point age where you start to semi figure out who you are. And I kind of had to figure it out really, really fast. I was different from everybody else, just culturally, I didn’t understand the things that these guys were talking about. Not, not in the language point, but just like the, the culture. It was the culture just didn’t line up necessarily. Um, and the values weren’t necessarily the same, it’s way more lax over here. Like you can kind of do whatever you want over here and even in school and the teachers kind of let you go, but back home it’s like, it’s, it’s, there’s, everything’s a little bit more high stakes. Um, I felt like my values that I was raised with kind of didn’t directly translate to growing up here.

So I had to kind of find a middle ground of like, all right, I know that this is where I’m from, and these are the values I was raised with, but I’m not so sure that these are the values I’m going to carry on in my life. And I kind of had to figure that out at a very, very young age and it was difficult. I had a whole range of emotions going on, but like the one thing that I’m lucky I found early enough that kind of stayed consistent, despite all the changes going on was writing music and was writing raps in and coming up with verses and not necessarily knowing it was going to be anything, but just having this thing that over the entirety of the time I’ve been in this country has been constant. It just made the entire transition bearable. I’m not so sure if I would have been able to, to make it and be as positive and happy as I am now, if I hadn’t discovered that. Wow.

Crystal:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I mean, it, must’ve just been such a huge culture shock.

Akintoye:

Supermassive especially in like the biggest culture shock you’ll see is in school, I’ve never been the type of kid to like go anywhere. I kind of just like staying at the house. Um, so it was mostly at school where the culture shock was present and you drop a kid in with a bunch of sixth graders, you know what I mean? It’s they, they ruthless, they do not care. I got called all the names, all the, everything, every, all the racism and the, everything that you could possibly think of that will come along with coming to a brand new country and being around people that don’t look like you, or know anybody that looks like you, or know how your culture works back home. It was a mess and it was really, really tough, but I’m just happy. Yeah.

The music

Crystal:

Right. Definitely. Uh, so what’s the latest project that you released?

Akintoye:

Um, so back in December, I released an album called vertigo and it’s kind of the first album that I released to ears that weren’t just people I knew personally, um, a little bit like maybe just over a year ago, I started gaining a little bit of traction on Tik TOK and vertigo, which I dropped in December was the first time that I’d ever released an album to like at the time, a couple of hundred thousand followers on Tik Tok. Um, but at the time that was like the craziest number in my brain.

Like, whoa, like I’m about to put out this album and like there’s a couple hundred thousand people who genuinely could catch this and listen to this and see how they feel about it. Um, since then we’ve come a very, very long way. And with this next album that I’m releasing, um, we kind of took a step up and, and stepped a little bit out of our comfort zone and then also improved on some of the things from the last project to kind of make a more cohesive, cleaner project from, from the production to the, to the verses and the storytelling.

I felt like this next project centerpiece, um, is going to be leaps and bounds ahead vertigo, even though I still hold vertigo really, really dear my heart is like the first album that, that people heard for me. I felt like this next project is going to be the one that’s going to take us to a whole new level of ears and people listening

Crystal:

Right on. And when are you going to release that?

Akintoye:

Uh, so that’s coming out July 23rd, Friday.

Crystal:

Wow.

And it is, that’s pretty crazy. So, um, let’s see. What about like live shows? Do you have any live shows going on or anything like that?

Akintoye:

Um, so, so back in November, 2019 was the first time I ever did like a live hip hop shows, like just, just straight raps from beginning to end, no anything in between. Um, and I did that a few of my friends and I put that together just like in the time we went to university and, um, and we were supposed to do another one in March, 2020, but then COVID hit and shut the whole thing out. And for those who don’t know, like the Canadian government does not play about COVID, um, they do not play the second. They said everything is shut down. Everything was shut down. We were in lockdown up until last Friday, the first time that like businesses were able to open indoors really, as far as like restaurants and that type of stuff. Like we couldn’t sit down in a restaurant until last Friday, they are not playing with COVID at all.

They were like, we’re shutting it down. They shut it down. You had the first wave, but then they opened up a little bit and then the second wave was crazy. And they were like, yeah, no, we shut it down. That’s it didn’t let anybody go anywhere or do anything. Um, only now that the vaccines are getting rolled out and everybody’s, you know what I mean, the cases are going down. I think they just announced that like at the start of next month, you’re going to be able to come in and out of the border from the U S to Canada. Um, if you’re vaccinated, like they’re not playing around.

So as far as live shows go, um, hopefully by the end of the year, if not definitely early next year, we’re looking at coming down to the U S and hitting some of the hot spots of our listenership, maybe Chicago, and maybe take a trip to LA and see what that’s looking like. Um, but yeah, we still have all that in the works.

Covid craziness

Crystal:

All right. That’s cool. I had no idea that you guys were shut down until last week.

Akintoye:

They did not play at all. They did not play

Crystal:

I’m in Florida in the U S and they pretty much never shut down. Um, it’s not like the rest of the country. I’m actually from Massachusetts. And so all my family, all my friends, they’re in Massachusetts and, you know, they’re wearing masks to stores and outside when they’re pumping gas still, and in Florida, nobody wears a mask. Nobody has a mask on everybody’s in and out of stores, hanging out with each other, you know, smoking off the same bowl when we’re smoking weed and stuff . It’s just completely like another planet down here, to be honest.

Akintoye:

Like being in Canada and like opening my phone, like I’ve seen videos of people in Florida, like, it’s almost like COVID didn’t exist!

Crystal:

Yeah. Oh yeah. Nobody. I mean, mostly that’s pretty much the stance on COVID, if you ask most of the people that are from around here, like they’re like, yeah, it’s a big hoax.

Akintoye:

Oh my God. I wish it was a hoax, quite frankly. I wish it was. And it’s like the, the, uh, I had to be like, extra careful with COVID. Cause, cause I’m an asthmatic, right? Like I like my asthma is really, really bad. Um, and my, my brother’s an asthmatic and my dad has eyes and it’s just like a house where like, COVID cannot enter this household. And, and we just, we just, we weren’t trying to play with it. So like, when I say locked down, I mean like, like even now that they’re opening everything up, I’m still a little bit worried. Like if I’m going somewhere and it’s, and I know there’s going to be more people than the people I usually interact with in my bubble, I’m still kind of shaky and where you’re like, I don’t know, and I’m fully vaccinated, but I’m still like, you know, a little bit nervous. Like I can’t play with COVID. I refuse to make it this deep into COVID and the catch coping now I just, right. Yeah,

Instagram live and Tik Tok – @yeahitsak

Crystal:

Definitely. That makes sense. Um, so I mean, you know, I guess we will hopefully be looking forward to some shows once you guys are, you know, not under such strict regulations up there. Um, what about like Instagram live? Do you ever go on live?

Akintoye:

I go live on a IG live pretty often, sometimes a little bit too often. I go live on Tik Tok a lot and, and when I go live, I typically just kind of, um, set my phone up and just, and just make a song or just freestyle on live. Like, like my lives are very much music centered lives. I don’t like going on live and just kind of sitting there and like, I know rappers do that thing where they’re like be in the car and then they’ll just like be on live and just don’t let they change angle. I don’t know. Um, and, and like, when I go online I like going on live with a purpose, so like, if anybody ever wants to see me, like what my process looks like of like recording the songs or writing the songs or anything of that nature, like you’d probably find it on the Instagram live.

Crystal:

All right. And what’s your Instagram and your Tik Tok?

Akintoye:

Both are yeahitsak

Conclusion

Crystal:

So, is there anything else that you want to add? Anything you want people to know about?

Akintoye:

Um, definitely gear up for this project. It’s going to be very, very different from whatever people may expect. Especially if you go back, you listen to the music that I have out right now. Um, at least half of this album sounds nothing like anything that I’ve ever released ever. Um, the, the insert it’s, production-wise, it’s tight and it’s different sounding. And we took some risks. Um, lyrically, I feel like these are my most vulnerable verses and I was really, really open with a lot of things that I go through and the things I lived through and the things that go on in my head. Um, so yeah, gear up this album is going to be different and hopefully you’ll hear my name in a lot more places after this comes out on Friday. Right.

Crystal:

That’s super exciting. So I’m really happy for you, and I’m thrilled that you were on the show. Thanks again, bud

Akintoye:

Thank you. Thanks for having me. This was fun. I had a blast.

Crystal:

Definitely. I’ll be talking to you soon. Thanks

My two cents

I loved talking to Akintoye! I love his music and I am really glad that he emailed me. As far as the transcription goes, this is a new and interesting way for you guys to experience the show and I hope that you enjoyed it!

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