Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, known by his stage name AKA, is a South African hip hop recording artist and record producer. He is a multiple award nominee and winner, both internationally and locally. His break through came after the release of his single, Victory Lap, followed by its remix, with features such as Khuli Chana. On the back of this, he released his first album, Altar Ego, which became a great success. He has grown to become one of the most significant hip hop artists in Africa. He is respected for his contribution to the growth of hip hop and the foundation of a legacy in Africa. He has influenced many and even stirred controversies with his intimidating and unique skill. His rise has been rapid, and he is popularly considered a young living legend. He recently started dating Bonang Matheba, the South African TV and radio personality, entrepreneur and model. Since their relationship became public, the couple have received widespread media attention. This has led to a synergistic relationship, and the two are often perceived as one of Africa’s power couples.
Birth name: Kiernan Jarryd Forbes
Also known as The Supa Mega, 3RDWORLDBOSS
Born: January 28, 1988 (age 28) Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Genres: Hip Hop
Occupation(s): Rapper, record producer, sound engineer
Years active: 2002–present
Labels: Vth Season (former) Sony Music Entertainment Africa
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In 2009 AKA ventured for a solo career with hits like “Mistakes”, “In My Walk” and “Do It” with the latter making it to number 1 on the South African 5FM Top 40. He won Metro FM Music Awards for “Best Newcomer”, “Best Hip Hop” as a solo act and “Best Produced Album” for his debut Altar Ego. It is then that he was dubbed “Prince of South African Rap” by one of the national newspapers. He also won “Best Dressed man” during the GQ Awards in South Africa alongside Oscar Pistorius.
In 2011 AKA’s song “Victory Lap” won Channel O’s Most Gifted Hip-Hop Video at the 7th annual Channel O Music Video Awards and at the 18th South African Music Awards AKA was awarded Male Artist of the Year and Best Street Urban Music Album.
AKA has opened for Kanye West, Snoop dogg, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Kendrick Lamar in their South African tours. He has won many awards including “Best Street Urban Music Album” and “Male Artist of the Year” at the 18th South African Music Awards (SAMA) In late 2014 rapper AKA signed a multi-album deal with Sony Music through its new local urban label Sound African recordings. Executive head of A&R for Sony, Zakes Bantwini made the announcement through their platform. ‘We’re excited to add AKA’s illustrious career to our stable. We are excited about AKA’s growth prospects in Africa and beyond.’ The Sony Music/AKA partnership is the key catalyst to change the business and face of Music across Africa, especially in the key areas of quality, distribution and content management’. In June 2015, AKA’s sophomore album Levels was certified Gold, by the Recording Industry of South Africa, for shipments of over 20,000 copies domestically, as of May 2016 the album was certified platinum by RiSA.
On 27 November 2016, at the end of the Idols Season 12 Finale, AKA premiered his single “The World is Yours” and performed it for the first time on the show. Later that week, the single premiered on American Radio station Shade 45, hosted by Sway, and on British Radio Station BB1 Xtra.
As of 5 December 2016, AKA’s 2014 single “All Eyes on Me” and 2015 single “Baddest” were certified Platinum and Gold respectively by the Recording Industry of South Africa.