England often brings us interesting juxtapositions of music; from FKA twigs to London Grammar and Lewis Watson, the Brits have been slowly invading the North American music scene. One of the more recent standouts is Azekel, a twenty-something singer/songwriter/producer from East London.
Azekel’s debut EP, Circa, dropped mid 2013 and since then the man has received praise from the likes of Pitchfork and The Guardian. While some publications have been referring to him as an alt-R&B genre artist, he considers himself to be more soul while not really aiming to adhere to any specific genre. As most musicians these days, he’s on a mission to “just make good music.” From the debut EP to this day, Azekel’s music is clearly defined and styled, the backdrop beats are glitchy, with dashes of live instruments and vocal fade outs.
Circa was an ode to Otis Redding, another clear musical influence in multiple tracks is Michael Jackson, (especially in “New Romance”) but in his own words, Marvin Gaye, Prince and D’Angelo were Azekel’s biggest musical influences growing up.
At the age of 13, Azekel began his informal musical self-education with keyboard pianos, and at that early age he also started to write his own songs. From there on he proceeded to learn how to play piano, guitar and bass. Since the debut EP last year, Azekel has been dropping singles throughout 2014, including “Holy Matrimony” and most recently “Chronophobia”, and there is a full album on the horizon: “I’m putting something out early next year. Mad excited about it.” And once the album hits the shelves we should also expect a tour.
Up to now, all of Azekel’s work has been solo, but don’t mistake him for forever a solo artist. He is always keeping eye on great voices and identities, “In terms of producers, would love to work with Rick Rubin. Apparently he’s like a music guru, who knows when the song is just right. He’s behind a lot of albums and songs that I appreciate.”
While we are excited to hear the upcoming album, we were also curious about what his future plans are and to no surprise they are quite big: “I just want to do something special in music, by pushing the boundaries and inspiring people in a positive way. I want to get my sound heard by as many people as possible. I’m aiming to be one of the leading artists of my generation.”