Empress Akua - Roots Reggae Singer Biography - Roots Reggae vocalist, songwriter, recording and performing artist, Empress Akua creates music that uplifts, informs and expresses the creative foundation of reggae, including live musicians for studio recording and employing techniques in the sessions that are rooted in the genre’s genesis in Jamaica five decades ago.
Recording and releasing music with the Issachar Muzik label, Empress Akua is honored to be included as an artist on the label distributed by Tuff Gong International, the record label and distribution company founded by the late Bob Marley that continues today.
Her first single distributed through Tuff Gong on the Issachar Muzik label “It’s Cold Out There” was released in July, 2017 and received positive feedback and interest both as a single and music video. A thoughtful, reflective tune, the song showcases Akua’s soulful melodies against a warm reggae beat.
“It’s Cold Out There” was produced by Kingston, Jamaica-based Chris Records and Issachar Muzik, the label founded by Kingston native Jah Lloyd Shaw now based in Los Angeles.
Releasing during Reggae month 2018, on February 9th is the artist’s follow up single on the Issachar Muzik label, “Gwaan (Dutty Babylon)” a cautionary tale that puts the spotlight on evil doers and their actions. Produced by Jah Eye, a deep roots one drop sonic bed is flavored by gritty guitar lines as the artist’s searing vocals chant a command to “gwaan" in the Jamaican patois meaning “go on” and scatter to “dutty” aka dirty Babylon, the Biblical concept in Rasta culture that symbolizes systematic oppression and the urgency to end all of its forms.
A music video conceptualized by Empress Akua accompanies the single. Rich with Rastafarian culture in the form of reasoning, nyabinghi drum circles and the artist acting as witness to and griot on the wicked ways of dutty Babylon.
Based in Los Angeles, California, Empress Akua has been performing, touring and recording her own material with many of the greatest musicians and producers, not only those that the Reggae genre has to offer but throughout the music industry overall for the past several years.
Performing as a support act Empress Akua has opened in the Los Angeles area for a number of Reggae artists including Damian Marley, Steel Pulse, Barrington Levy, Anthony B, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Ras Michael, Slightly Stoopid, Jimmy Cliff, Pressure & Midnite.
As a touring artist she has opened for Ky-Mani Marley, Sister Carol, Mikey Dread, Eek A Mouse, Black Eyed Peas, Outkast, Ben Harper Goodie Mob T.I.& Xibit.
As a support vocalist, Empress Akua has toured with many reggae artists including Ini Kamoze, Horace Andy, Anthony B & Pato Banton. As a recording session vocalist, she has contributed to many sessions over the years with artists including Rick James, Majek Fashek, Toni Chin and Fully (original members of Peter Tosh and Bob Marley’s band and now called Fully and the Fullwood band), Pato Banton, Chuck Foster, El Jai, Eek A Mouse & KRS-One.
Born and raised in south central Los Angeles, Empress Akua traces her roots back to the Aboriginals of New Guinea and the Native American Cherokee Indians. She was introduced to reggae music at an early age writing her first song at age eight, and has not looked back since. Committed to the “meditation of a goddess”, her vision and message remains to uplift Pan African culture in the diaspora and encourage positive thought and actions as well as exhibiting compassion for the well-being of the less fortunate.
Her powerful, soul-stirring voice and performance style have drawn comparisons to the likes of Lauryn Hill, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt all three of which the artist names as her personal musical influences.