A young Kiernan Forbes realised the importance of a solid education as he started his career in the music industry by first studying sound engineering.
Many years and a string of number one singles later, Forbes, better known by his stage name, AKA, is giving back to disadvantaged students by launching a sound engineering scholarship. Aimed at promising, disadvantaged students, the scholarship covers full-year tuition for a full-time Higher Certificate in Sound Production.
“Not too long ago, I was also studying sound engineering at a place called Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE). I wanted to produce music, become an artist and to get my sound out there,” said the 28-year-old Joburg-based rapper.
AKA is a very talented, committed artist who has an amazing work ethic and is the perfect person to have as a scholarship patron.
“The scholarships are there to provide opportunities for young disadvantaged creatives and we are inspired to be able to offer a platform that can truly change lives.”
Originally from Cape Town, AKA made his mark as a teen in the rap group Entity. When the group disbanded in 2006, he convinced his parents to let him study sound engineering as a means to get his foot in the door and for him to obtain a qualification. “Honestly though, it was about learning the craft behind making beats. I knew I wanted to become an artist”, he said. The rapper has made his mark as an artist, touring the UK and opening for the likes of Kanye West and Snoop Dogg.
He claims the tools learnt through sound engineering has benefited his live full-band performances. “I had to learn how to be proficient in the studio. We learnt Pro Tools, for example, which I still use every day, it has benefited me live. When I do a soundcheck, I know what language to speak to the engineer. It helps to speak their language. If they understand me, my show can become better.”
“This scholarship is a way to contribute and when I got involved I never really thought about the context of last year, it was an afterthought. This is something inspiring and has an aspect of longevity. However, the affordability of education is a big thing in our country right now and for me to be able to help give opportunity to people is amazing.”
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