It’s only been a few weeks since AKA returned from holiday and he’s already knee deep in an Africa tour and juggling a bunch of other stuff. The bags under his eyes reveal the hectic schedule he finds himself in. “I’m tired,” he says. “I’ve gotta keep going. I need to make sure that my brand and my music stays where it needs to be and I keep pushing myself to do better. It’s exhausting but it’s rewarding.”
AKA’s hectic start to the year is the result of planning that started months ago.
“Those were all the seeds that I was planting towards the end of the year,” he reveals. “Because I believe that your year starts taking shape in November or December of the previous year. We did a lot of work in November and December setting ourselves up for a strong start to the year.”
Following the success of his chart-topping single, "Fela In Versace," AKA recently released the music video for his latest single, "Jika." The new video shows an elderly AKA in an old age home trying to entice his crush, something he eventually succeeds at.
“I just wanted to do something fresh and different, so my dude Nivo, who’s my director for all my AV and lighting, actually decided he wants to shoot the video. So then I was like let me put one of the homies on and he came up with that concept. I liked it, it was fun and quirky. And it spoke to love, and the song is about love so I think it was a cool idea.”
On Thursday night, AKA will feel the heat at his Roast. How do you keep your emotions in check?
“I’ve been prepared for 10 years for this roast because people have been on my case for 10 years. When it comes to taking things personally and being sensitive, I think I’m sensitive about certain things: my music, my family. But I think the Roast is going to be a walk in the park, to tell you the truth. It’s nothing that I haven’t faced before. I’m naturally good at this.
“If I’ve been in a rap battle and I’ve been in beef, then what is a couple of celebrities to me? It’s nothing.”
The Roast will be hosted by Pearl Thusi, who’ll be joined by roasters such as Mark Fish, comedian and TV personality, Nina Hastie, Nigerian pop star, Davido, and rock artist Francois van Coke.
To initiate the recording of his next album, AKA last week went to Hartbeespoort, rented three houses and brought along an all star cast of artists and producers.
“I want a different approach this time,” he said. “I wanna keep myself fresh and work with artists I may not have necessarily worked with before. I haven’t done enough music with Emtee, I haven’t done any music with Nasty C or Shekhinah or Sjava or Rouge.
“I wanna tick those boxes this time around.”
The Roast of AKA premieres on Comedy Central on March 11. The filming of the show will be at The Teatro, Montecasino in Johannesburg on Thursday.