Over the last few years Kingslee "Akala" Daley, 25, has emerged from London's hip hop scene as one of the leaders of a new British artistic renaissance.
In 2006, Akala released the album It's Not A Rumour, featuring the trance-sampling smash Shakespeare. The album received critical acclaim from the British press and earned Akala the Best Hip Hop Artist award at the 2006 Mobo awards.
Reflecting the disorder and flux of contemporary life Akala's last album Freedom Lasso (October 2007), is an energetic and visionary essay on the modern way, sampling the likes of: The Cure and Siouxsie & The Banshees.
Akala has toured with artists such as 50 Cent, Christina Aguilera, Jay-Z and DJ Shadow, made numerous festival appearances (Wireless/Glastonbury/V Festival) and toured Europe. In 2007 the British Council asked Akala to promote British culture abroad and he performed a series of concerts in Nigeria and in Vietnam for their first ever hip hop show.
Akala is a restless hip hop polymath who has rolled through school (straight As at GCSE/attended the Royal Institution of Mathematics), played for West Ham and Wimbledon and worked in the fast-food trade (he ran an Ayia Napa jerk joint), all before he turned 20.
In 2006, he focused his energies on the business of hip hop and created the Illa State record label and more recently launched The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company with the help of Sir Ian McKellen. The group runs workshops and theatre productions aimed at young people who are considered hard to reach.
Its main objective is to create social cohesion between young people from varying social and economic backgrounds.