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Akira AK Opens Himself up to Love in EP Release 'Pearl'

Akira AK hails from Connecticut and uses his singing/songwriting capabilities to create very raw-sounding Pop-influenced music. Stemming the inspiration for content via both personal and fictional experiences, Akira AK loves to create music with an entertaining purpose. Attempting to appeal to the masses, Akira AK shapes his overall content around themes and topics that listeners can undoubtedly relate to. Combined with the ambitious production, Akira AK's music can easily have that elaborate pop effect!

Akira AK has recently released his album, titled 'Pearl.' The 5-track album features a range of emotionality from Akira AK and ventures along with vivid imagery regarding his intimate feelings. The first track, titled "Pearl," kickstarts the album and delves into the sacrifice and pain attached to the feeling of love. Akira AK takes the time to explain the strong and intense passion that love can manifest out of someone. "Pearl" is definitely a feelings-packed song, which effectively begins Akira AK's journey in expressing his underlying affection. Soon we find ourselves transitioning to the album's second track, "White Noise," which offers a positive aspect on beginning again. The production for this track picks things up and offers a bit more of an electronic presence to elevate the atmospheric soundscape.

That electronic element continues to persist with Akira AK's third track, "Storm in My Head." The track fondly uses a more prominent piano for its production, allowing for a serene and tranquil component to be established within the song itself. But Akira AK shakes things up the second the track brings about its electric guitar riffs, which work to deepen the intensity of the pop song. Akira AK doesn't keep this escalation going, as the album's 4th track, "I Too Shall Be Saved by Love," highlights a lighter auditory feel. The message Akira AK projects within "I Too Shall Be Saved by Love" is very encouraging, and it genuinely made us look at Akira AK a bit differently. We felt the yearning Akira AK so strongly discharged, and the potent emotionality involved within the song gave it an elaborate personality. This emotionality stayed just as pungent within the album's last track, "Rose." The positivity, warmth, and growth that comes out of this particular song makes it such a fitting track to end off 'Pearl.' "Rose" goes deep into the appreciation one has for love, and especially the appreciation that extends out to those that give it to us. Akira AK allows listeners to travel with his perspectives, and often, the perspectives he holds are very selfless and full of honest care. As an album, "Pearl" is incredibly personable, and Akira AK ensured the narratives told would encourage some light or understanding within others. This is what makes Akira AK extremely intriguing to listen to, and we already know his future music will stimulate similar impressions.

Discover Akira AK in his latest album 'Pearl,' here

Welcome, Akira AK! The release of 'Pearl' occurred not too long ago, and the 5-track EP features such a string of emotions! Would you say that the bulk of the content within this EP remains influenced by both your personal life and fictional stories, or would you say one superseded the other? 

Thank you!! I’m glad the emotion of the lyrics were communicated and felt, because that was definitely my intention – to have those noticed (as in all my songwriting). And I would say that the push to tell a story inspired by a fictional character was the main driver for the EP’s content. That being said, like last time we spoke, I always make sure that what I write is very particular in the respect that it pays homage to the source material (i.e. the story and character arc of “Pearl” from the show “Steven Universe”), while also being vague enough to apply to anyone who is not familiar with it. This way the song can be enjoyed by the most amount of people without going out of one’s way to really sit find and out what the song is referring to before enjoying it – you can just enjoy it.

In that respect, there is something for everyone with every song I write. I have always been a huge fan of music that is both an earworm, and has something “more” just below the surface to find if one decides to look – I make my music with that in mind.

And for those looking – yes, my personal story is embedded within each song, but in a more general sense. My habits, behaviour, thoughts, and mantras are all woven into each song’s content while still serving the EP’s ultimate narrative.

'Pearl' has been your second EP release, following your earlier EP 'Autotune + Heart.' How do you feel that "Pearl" has contrasted in comparison 'Autotune + Heart?' Would you say that you observed any level of growth between the two EP releases?

“Pearl” FOR SURE has a stark contrast from “Autotune + Heart” by way of how each song is constructed. I really wanted to experiment on “Pearl” more with different sounds, instruments, plug-ins, effects, song structures, etc. I mean, for one thing, there are more drums on “Pearl” then there are on “Autotune + Heart”. To that effect, I really wanted to dive into more 4-to-the-floor music and make my dance background more known. I started out writing dance-pop back in 2011 in college – that’s where I learned the most about creating music (considering I am not professionally trained and all), so I really wanted to pay homage to that through this EP. It helps that “Steven Universe” (the TV show that the EP is inspired by) also delves into dance/electronic-pop – so it fit the sonic narrative of this EP nicely.

Lyrics-wise, I still was writing from the same point of view about life: that is reflecting on what has happened and recognizing how it was not great in the moment, but better for you in the end.

The real growth I feel like happened in the instrumental. It was very purposeful to keep some core instruments from “Autotune + Heart” in “Pearl”, to really show the growth from that EP to this one. My goal… suggestion… preference is to have people discover my discography and listen to it from the top (as in starting at the beginning of “Autotune + Heart”) to bottom (as in ending with the last song “Rose”, on “Pearl”), to really hear the transition from the foundational sounds being built upon all the way through to where we are now. If you have synesthesia like me (the condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, like the hearing of a sound and subsequently visualizing a color) then the whole listening experience of my discography should be like experiencing a color gradient – the transition should feel natural/earned by the time the sounds/colors flip.

Were there any particular tracks within 'Pearl' that hold more significance than others? 

Like any parent would say about their children, I love all my songs equally for different reasons… BUT I do have one song on “Pearl” that I have always liked just a smidge more for no discernable reason. That song is “I Too Shall Be Saved By Love” (the 4th song on the EP).

"ITSBSBL" holds a special place in my heart and ears for many reasons – maybe it’s because the chorus is so catchy and just scream-in-your-car worthy? (To me anyway) Or maybe it’s because while applying to the story of “Pearl” from “Steven Universe” (the character from that show that this EP and its narrative is inspired from), the song actually is DIRECTLY inspired by a panel in Tom King’s GEINUS “Vision” comic. There is one page in the story that just says literally says “I TOO SHALL BE SAVED BY LOVE” only, while the art depicts Vision and Scarlet Witch in bed coming to terms with their relationship. (pic here: IT COULD BE BOTH. But what I will say is that the song just feels “big” to me – and when I get the chance to honour the grandiosity in the future, I for sure will.

As an artist who focuses on bringing such rich and emotionally-packed music to listeners, what would you say your next theme is for future music set to be released? Do you see yourself switching up with the chosen themes down the line, or are you comfortable writing and recording music that follows the theme similar in 'Pearl'?

Oh well, you are too kind – thank you so much again for touching on that aspect of my music. It means a lot that you are able to really take that from what I create – it gives me faith that my music is heard on its merits above all else.

As far as switching up the themes of my music: I like to think of it as transitioning (using the color gradient example again per my synesthesia) into the more nuanced aspects of the overall subject matter of which I have always talked about: reflection and self-confidence. While I don’t want to give too much away, nor rehash what I said last time we talked, about how the next EP I am writing for will be inspired by a certain X-Man (or woman), what I will say is that the themes of creating your own narrative, and being in control of your own story, and even your own mistakes (through the inspiration of this character) is what I will explore.

The way I personally relate to this narrative is that I have (and maybe even still do a bit to this day) let outside forces, events, and sometimes even people, control how others see me, and even sometimes how I see myself. I wanted to really confront that habit of mine head-on with this EP, and explore why that is, what it feels like, and really push myself to move past it in order to feel comfortable with myself. Like all my music, I relate to it on a below-the-surface level, but the motifs that will be used throughout the songs will be taken directly from the source material in order to really embellish the EP and make that strong connection to this character that I love so much. Excited to share it with you and everyone else when it’s all finished!

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