AKA. Picture: Twitter

Local rapper AKA has promised fans that he has made some improvements for AKA Orchestra eThekwini, taking place in Durban on Saturday, November 02. 

In a press conference, AKA, real name Kiernan Forbes, revealed that he won’t be wearing a suit at his show. At a similar show that took place at Pretoria’s Time Square venue, he looked the rapper chose to wear a suit to fit in with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and he admits that he regretted his decision.

“It’s too restricting and it’s hot,” he said, to laughter from the assembled guests. “I want to be relaxed and not too formal. I don’t want to create boundaries and make myself inaccessible. This is all about making sure that the audience is as relaxed as possible and has fun. It’s also about opening them up to the world of classical music and how it’s not that serious.”

He mentioned his admiration of orchestras, especially how members take their craft so seriously, including dressing up in black tie.

"Growing up seeing them with their gear, carrying around it with pride. Also just the whole concept of dress up to the presentation, which I’ve since learnt is not for me."

Asked what lessons they learned at the staging of the first concert that had helped them improve for the Durban concert, he said that the sound will be much better.

Rehearsals of the AKA Orchestra eThekwini at the Durban ICC PICTURE: ROMEO MASINGA

“It’s AKA and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra playing together, so I want the orchestra to be heard clearly. We have hired a sound technician to just deal with the sound of the orchestra so it’s a well rounded show. We didn’t have that earlier this year and we realised how important it was.” 

The decision to bring the concert to Durban is mainly because his biggest fan base, he says, is in Durban. 

“My biggest sales come from Durban and for me it’s important to make sure that I reward my fans for their support."

Speaking to him at the show's rehearsals on Saturday morning, he said that doing the show with an orchestra has not only changed the way he approaches creating music, but it has made him a better musician.

"There has been a shift in my view of music and my approach to my music. My music making process has been different since putting together these two orchestra shows. The shows have given me so much more appreciation of musicality as a whole. When of the most sureal and humbling moments was actually seeing my songs being written out as music scores, just that process alone shifted my mindset."

The AKA Orchestra eThekwini is taking place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.