Dubbed the ‘King of rap’, AKA (29) has also been called ‘SA’s Kanye West’ because of his rants on Twitter. By his own admission, AKA (born Kiernan Jarryd Forbes) has always been ‘loud and proud’ and one to voice his frustrations, which has earned him both fame, and notoriety.
He has won many prestigious awards, including the 18th South African Music Awards’ 2015 Male Artist of the Year, and Best Street Urban Music Album Award. His music has made it to number one on both local and international radio stations.
Born in Cape Town, AKA and his high school friends formed a band called Entity. He later worked as a record producer and sound engineer before releasing his 2011 debut album, ‘Altar Ego’, which launched his career.
In 2016, his singles ‘All eyes on me’ and ‘Baddest’ were certified Platinum and Gold respectively by the recording industry of SA. From opening for international rappers like Kanye West and Snoop Dogg on their SA tours, to hosting his own shows and building his own brand, AKA is one of SA’s top earning rappers.
He’s not known for his modesty, and when asked about the similarities between himself and West he said: “I think Kanye is the American AKA!”