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Akazi Reminds Us Not to Play Around With the "Art of War"

The Portland-raised recording artist, singer-songwriter, and producer Akazi makes a brilliant return with her blazing and foot-stomping single entitled "Art of War."

Through her love for film and movies, Akazi is able to morph the sounds of modern pop with contemporary hip-hop and film score. Growing up in a small town allowed Akazi to relish the sounds of guitar and choral music, sharpening her theatrical presence with help from the roots that built her artistic approaches.

Setting ablaze with her recent spiteful single, "Art of War," listeners can hear a different side of Akazi as she powers through this piece with the utmost confidence and lyrical dominance. While the instrumentation sends chills up our spine with their robust alt-rock approach, Akazi evens out the listening experience with a lyricism that's hard to forget.

Plunging into "Art of War," the track begins with a crunchy and nostalgic news bulletin from the Whitehouse declaring war. As the punchy and groovy sonics begin to soak our speakers in immense rhythm and might, we're instantly left feeling lifted into the song's organic and hearty sonic atmosphere. As Akazi begins singing her spiteful lyricism with the utmost passion and vigor, she makes her way to the powerful hook.

We're more than impressed with this song's instrumental dexterity, as the scorching hot guitars shift from major to minor while leaving us tapping our toes to every beat. We must also mention the powerful performance by Akazi, as she hits us over the head with a sharp lyricism that depicts someone's karma coming in hot. As she leads us to the outro, Akazi leaves us wowed with her brilliant and blazing performance.

Bask in the "Art of War" with help from Akazi's powerful single now available on all digital streaming platforms.

Welcome to BuzzMusic Akazi, what a striking and heated listening experience you've provided with your latest single, "Art of War." Could you describe the moment or experience that inspired this powerhouse single? What inspired the blazing instrumental arrangements within "Art of War," and how did you craft the instrumentation to reflect this war-like theme?

ANDRE PAXTON: With this one, we actually started with building the skeleton of the instrumental first. I believe the framework of the melody and the flow for the first verse vocal came next and then we built the whole song around that. We were trying to come up with a lyrical concept for the song and landed on “Art of War” because at the time we could both relate to the ever-evolving relationship you have with yourself and how it can feel like a battle at times. We all have that inner voice and sometimes we don’t always get along with it, but at the end of the day, you have to learn to coexist with it and move forward whether or not you always agree. Like many other things in life, there’s somewhat of an art to navigating this relationship and it can take a long time to master it. Once we had the basic pieces of the song in place we went back to the instrumental and made it more emotionally aggressive to emphasize the feelings of conflict that can happen when trying to see eye to eye with your inner self. The arrangement of the guitars at the end of the song started as more of an experimental jam to figure out another section for the song, but we ended up keeping it in the final version. I was heavily influenced by Rage Against the Machine and The Red Hot Chili Peppers growing up so I kind of channeled that aesthetic a bit when ironing out the final production. The goal was to make something unique from most new music that you hear these days by combining the more funky drum and bass grooves with the rock guitars and layered vocals and surrounding it all with modern-sounding production.

If we're not mistaken, your previous singles offer this mysterious and haunting approach to r&b. What drove you to create "Art of War" that contrasts these singles with incredible and powerful rock instrumentation?

AKAZI: I think I was a writer & creator just like to make good music, and I want to be known for making great music and have great story-telling, and to me, that comes in any form of creation. I grew up with a bunch of different genres being played and I hope to be an artist that can cross into multiple genres and do so seamlessly. I really do feel like my r&b and "dark vibes" are a fraction of who I am as an artist.

Should we expect more explorative and genre-defying songs from you in the future? Will you continue exploring different instrumental approaches within your future music?

AKAZI: Yes, absolutely. I have been experimenting with rapping, more dark trap-like sounds, but also have records that are soft and vulnerable, along with records that are massive and make you feel like you want to be a superhero. I really just want to keep finding ways to express myself as an artist and I want to make good records.

What's next for you?

AKAZI: Next, I have a single coming followed by a new EP Project called 'Losing My Mind.'

I am really excited about it as I think it will really give people a whole new version of me!


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