Manchester-born, singer/songwriter Akemi Fox is solidifying her position in the R&B renaissance the music industry has been witnessing for a few years. Bringing the pop cultural argument to a close, R&B is not dead. Instead, its sound is evolving and Akemi Fox is not afraid of evolution. Excited by the expansion of the genre Fox's recent sophomore EP You're My Favourite Day is the embodiment of love stories and seasonal summer highs. The artist's melodies and lyricism beautifully haunt you and she views music with the same kind of reverence. Read on to find out more about the artist and her creative direction.
For readers who just might not know who you are, how do you not like to be introduced? And what or who, quintessentially, is Akemi Fox?
I am Akemi (a-kay-me) Fox, a singer/songwriter from Manchester. I like to write songs about love and hopefully get you in your feelings.
The alternative R&B scene is phenomenal right now! There's a whole level of skill and creativity to build upon within an incomparable genre. How did you find yourself here?
Oh yes, definitely, it's great to be a part of it. I think R&B has always been my favourite growing up, I just loved its romantic element and beautiful vocals. I'm really inspired by that music because it made me just feel emotional, which I love about music.
What difference do you think artists bring when they're singers/songwriters rather than just signers?
Hmm, I guess it's just way more personal because it's literal thoughts from your head shared with strangers essentially. I think a lot and I love to express myself with words so it's something that came naturally to me, it's one of my favourite things about music.
People are saying R&B is dead! People being Diddy, what's your take?
Ah, I've heard that. I don't think so, there's a lot going on, especially with smaller R&B artists that are doing their thing. It's definitely not dead, I think things evolve so people try a slightly different variation of what R&B first was but I say that's interesting.
You supported the Children of Zeus in 2021. What was it like being back on stage for you after not just lockdown but spending time creating in your room and in an insulated environment?
I actually just came out to play our song Balance, which was exciting. Funnily enough, I had lost my voice slightly so my vocals weren't the loudest sadly but it was lovely hearing the crowd sing along with me. It was a real pinch-me moment – very emotional. I love being back on the stage, there's no better feeling, even if my voice was slightly gone (laughs)!
What was your favourite thing about supporting and what are you most looking for on the Kojey Radical Tour in November?
It's so nice to play to an audience that has never heard of you. It's definitely scary too because you hope they enjoy it. But it's such a fun experience to be on a huge stage that you haven't yet performed on. I'm really looking forward to it!
Your newest EP, You're my Favourite Day, is music that's melodic but also really visceral. I can imagine vinyl playing, light, and air coming through open windows, swaying around my room without a care in the world. What's some music you have on repeat or projects that you are always drawn back to?
I love that description. I always wonder about the way people listen to my music. I always said this one was fun for a beautiful summer's day, basking in the sun and vibing to the music. I am also drawn back to Channel Orange by Frank Ocean and Anderson .Paak's Malibu. Also, Children of Zeus' Travel Light is a classic for me for any time of year. And anything from Hiatus Kaiyote. At the moment I'm really loving Flo's music, they're giving me some OG R&B vibes. I'm also really into the song Lemonade by Ria Sean.
I Want It, a latest single with artist July 7 has that injection of Afrobeat sound that effortlessly elevates a song. Even though you've asserted yourself into the lt R&B scene, how do you feel about incorporating other sounds or bending the parameters of the songs you release?
I think it's so important. I feel like I'm inspired by so much music so why would I not add different elements to my songs? It's always nice listen to something a little bit different from what you're used to from me as an artist.
You've talked about being a creative person and potentially wanting to be a triple-threat, do you feel blessed or burdened by the various different creative avenues that you could possibly explore in your career and lifetime?
Oh no, it excites me. I think I was always destined to do something creative and I really hope there are opportunities for me to do different stuff down the line. I did want to go and study drama at uni, so maybe you'll see me in a movie one day (laughs)!
For international audiences do you feel like the British R&B scene can often go under the radar at times?
Maybe. I love the British R&B scene. I think now we have social media and stuff it's easier for people to find music from all around the world. However, the British R&B scene is a bit more low-key compared to North America and I hope that changes one day!
Finally, if you had to succinctly capture why you sing what would be your sole reason?
To comfort you and make you feel good. There are so many songs that bring me back to a lovely memory, I hope my music can take you back to happy times or help you through some sad ones!
Akemi Fox Metalmagazine 5.jpg