Having begun writing and performing rhymes as a young girl, the New Haven, CT (USA) born Akua Naru, began crafting in her early years what would later reveal to be a great talent for profound lyricism and extraordinary musical performances. Known as a traveler, as chronicled throughout her Jan. 2011 debut release, The Journey Aflame, this female wordsmith has garnered attention by trotting the globe, recording her experiences and fusing musical genres with her brand of hip hop. Formerly based in Philadelphia, there have been many stops along the way, from traveling West Africa to touring China, Naru moved to Cologne, Germany where she currently resides and creates music.
Since the January 2011 release of her debut album “…The Journey Aflame”, Naru has in a short time solidified herself on the scene as a model for what women can be in hip hop. The album has been written about in several countries and deemed a classic hiphop contribution by hip hop and jazz critics, as well as, academics from New York to Moscow. Placing at number one on the US college radio charts, with the JR & PH7 produced single “The World Is Listening”, in rotation on various national radio stations in France and Germany and appearing in record stores from Paris to Tokyo, “…The Journey Aflame” has definitely proven to do just that; make the world listen.
Naru has performed with the world renowned Afro Beat pioneer and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen, toured with classic Hip Hop group Lords Of The Underground, & shared the stage/collaborated with artists Patrice, Tete, Ursula Rucker, Blitz The Ambassador, german production powerhouse JR &Ph7, Detroit emcee Elzhi, Wax Tailor, Uk rapper TY, Voice Of Germany soul singer, Mic Donet, and recently featured on a new Red Hot release along side Tuneyards and legends Angelique Kidjo and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of the legendary Roots crew. Not just an emcee, Naru has also recently teamed up with one of the nation’s leading scholars, Dr. Tricia Rose, author of the classic book “Black Noise” & “The Hip Hop Wars”, to lecture at The Hip Hop Academy in Hamburg, Germany.
Naru’s latest release, Live & Aflame Sessions, is an eleven-track live interpretation of the studio produced Journey Aflame album, and was released in May 2012 by Jakarta Records. The album was recorded and filmed live with a 12-piece band highlighting blazing horn section, soulful strings in Cologne’s legendary Maarwegstudio2. The album was mixed by Echo award-winning Wolfgang “Stackman” Stach and produced entirely by Akua Naru.
With classic boom bap hip-hop sounds, profound mastery of lyricism, socially conscious rhymes, and astonishing musicianship, it is no wonder that Naru has garnered attention and accumulated rave reviews. Being associated with artist movements such as the 90’s hip hop era and acts such as Lauryn Hill & The Roots, Naru’s musical and poetic gifts have been appreciated within and beyond hip hop circles and are amplified within live performance. Accompanied by her band, DIGFLO, a six-piece ensemble including drums, keys, saxophone/flute, bass, guitar, and turntables, Akua Naru has a reputation for captivating audiences, hyping crowds, inspiring many, and forcing some to counter and dispel the myths regarding what they have been taught about women and hip hop. Clearly, her music and performances are a testament to the legacy of soul music and the powerful trailblazing female artist tradition on which it builds.
Her brand new album “The Miner’s Canary” will be released via The Urban Era in late June.