Akira: Learning the Ropes and Finding Truth
Written by Ry Lei
Published Oct. 5, 2018
Photo taken by Tom Stewart @tstew.photography
More often than not, where we grow up has an influence on who we are. Some of us grow up fitting well into the background, never once prompting anyone to look at us twice. Others spend their lives standing out, turning heads without meaning to.
For musician Akira, it was the latter. Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut as a half-filipino gay man living in a predominantly white and wealthy neighborhood, he never really fit in.
“Greenwich is literally known for being affluent. My family wasn’t anything close to that,” said Akira.
In 2016 he started the “We The Heroes Ball," a cabaret-style fundraising event that gives to LGBTQ+ organizations.
"This event can be something that gives us comfort but also pushes some of us outside our comfort zones, and I think there’s a perfect balance there.”
Leaving his comfort zone seems like a hobby for Akira—it’s how he got exposed to performing for the first time. As with most performers, it started with a middle school talent show.
“I got a taste of what it was like to perform in middle school, and I think that’s just how I got started,” he explained. A taste of it was all he needed to fall in love with performing. Though he took breaks from music and performing every so often, they were always something he returned to.
“Throughout high school I was coming to terms with my sexuality and while that was a period of questioning for me, what I knew was that I wanted to do music,” mentioned Akira.
Ever since that realization, Akira has channeled his raw truth and passion into his music. In 2017, he released his EP Autotune + Heart, featuring four tracks that all drive home his personal style.
On the EP cover? Two men in love. Akira has found a place where he honest.
But not overnight.
It took distance, time, and going to college; while he was there, simply being surrounded by like-minded individuals and being in such a positive and creative environment allowed Akira to experiment more with his style, his voice, and his sound.
To read the rest of our exclusive interview with Akira, get your print or digital copy of issue four today!
See the rest of the articles from issue four here