AKA aims to charm a big slice of the world
WHEN one speaks about the most successful celebrities of last year, a certain hip-hop star by the name of Kiernans Forbes - better known as AKA - springs to mind..
This award-winning rapper has been a continuously growing brand with music, TV presenting and numerous awards to his credit
He meets us at a restaurant in Sandton City, arriving a few minutes late and dressed casually in neutral colours paired with fancy gold-trimmed shades.
The 24-year-old rapper was fashion magazine GQ's Best Dressed Male for 2011, but has no dreams of owning a fashion label.
"I leave that to the professionals but could be a brand ambassador instead, depending who is paying," he says.
The high-life rapper actually had his first stint on the music industry at the age of 15 in a group called Entity.
The group created the hit song Touch and Go, but finally decided to call it quits in 2006.
After the group went their separate ways Forbes was the only one still eager to continue pursuing a career in music.
"For my second break I needed a name that conversed successfully with various things and people and that's how I came up with AKA," he explains.
Forbes released his first solo song, Do It, in 2009 and impressed the music industry with the slick flow of his rhymes and his charming looks.
Another hit, Victory Clap, followed a year later and got him a lot of airplay on several radio stations.
The song provided Forbes with enough status to tackle his first album, Altar Ego, in 2011.
"I was very much involved in the writing and production of this album and worked with people like Proverb and Khuli Chana, who influenced my music while I was growing up."
The album scooped three Metro Awards, two SA Music Awards, one Channel O and a Hype award as well as four awards from the SA Hip-Hop Awards .
The singer recalls his performance at the Samas as one of the highlights of his career, while the hip-hop awards spawned a bittersweet story that had him ranting on Twitter about withdrawing his nominations.
The matter was put to rest, with AKA becoming the most-voted-for artist as well as winning the most awards at the historical event.
The rap star is currently promoting his new video, Jealousy, and is one of the presenters on a show called Top Entertainment on Top TV.
"I am always looking for ways to diversify my brand, so getting into television was quite fun and a great experience from the music based things I do," he said.
Forbes says he recently returned from a trip to Jamaica, where he was part of a TV show that will be on our screens by February.
As most people set goals for themselves for the new year, Forbes also has plans as the year begins - which include performing in several African countries and in Europe.
Apart from that, his main goal for 2013 is to live a healthy life and to be wealthy.