On the Record: Akso Heart

Where does the name Akso Heart come from, who is he and what’s his music about?

The name comes from the word ‘Aks’ meaning image/reflection. And ‘heart’ being symbolic of emotions and understanding. I am Akso Heart. I am a new musician based in London. I would describe my sound as RnB/Pop with sprinkles of every other genre you can think of. It’s my first step into music, so why not try it all! My mission is to continue connect with the online, social community with my opinions expressed through my craft.

I feel like my music is inspired and placed in points in my own life or the people around me. It usually signifies a specific story or moment that I hope is truly relatable. A lot of upcoming projects are about evolving and I have been pushing personal boundaries and this has been reflected in the music.

Tell us about your muses when writing/recording music? 

I love RnB music,  particularly when mixed with elements of upbeat pop and dance. My first single, ‘No More’, was really inspired by artists like Craig David and MNEK who are able to use their RnB undertones in upbeat, lively music. 

Talk us through the artists and events that influence your creative output

I am always inspired by artists who create whole projects with specific flows ; a collection of music where each track gives something different but, in the same token, has a uniformity in some respect. I also love when artists are able to add references to other projects. When starting to write, I wanted to ensure, although I was exploring different genres, that I was able to put little references and easter eggs – just for me so I could remember specific track inspirations for nostalgia.

Of course, it is undeniable that the pandemic was a huge influence to a lot of creatives coming out this year. My lyrics for ‘No More’ was a reflection of this – feeling bound/locked up and feeling limited, not just in my art, but in my life. My single reflects that urgency and freedom-seeking cry that we have all been saying during the past year but in a vibrant and hopeful way. When it comes to artists, I love the ebbs and flows of Frank Ocean’s music – particularly the earlier projects. When you listen to the album, even the interludes give us something to understand small parts of who he is artistically or otherwise.

If you could collab with any artist, who would you work with?

Always love being asked this question but it would end up being a huge list! It’s hard to pick one, but currently I have been loving the material The Architects have been putting out. A genre, that is a complete u-turn for me but the music and visuals of “dead butterflies” is super haunting. The performance in the empty stadium feels emotional but hopeful. It would be a dream to work with them to push the creative envelope for me personally. 

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Right now? A concert, a gig – that electricity of an audience is like no other. Feels like anywhere that we can connect properly (in person) is an aspiration at the moment.

But also, I wouldn’t mind going to a place with some sunshine and sitting by the ocean. When I’m sitting on the beach and I can hear the flowing waves whilst I sit in silence, there’s something very magical about it.

What effect have the various lockdowns had on your creativity?

It’s been peaks and troughs. 

I have been in a completely sunken place, feeling low, isolated, stagnant and ‘foggy’ if that makes sense? And then now, although not totally in the best space, I am feeling more determined, hopeful and excited. 

I was lucky enough for the lockdowns not to be a block on my creativity. In fact, it accelerated and expanded my artistic expression. 

Although, I would be lying if I said it has not been difficult. It was personally a tough year for me, and it certainly did not help that the lockdowns came every time I needed to be around people…but I am grateful to be alive and safe. My advice would be to explore those deep lows during those times of limited creativity. If you can write, write. If that’s not working, pick up a new hobby to spur the inspiration. I worked with resin art pieces when I was finding it tough and it kept my mind off things, super therapeutic! For anyone reading this, just remember diamonds are made under extreme pressure, your time to shine is coming soon – We will get through this.

Is there anything you’d like readers to know or to take away from your debut single ‘No More’?

‘They can never hold us down’ is the first line of the song. 

‘They’ can sometimes be ourselves. Don’t limit yourself by being wrapped in fear and expectations. I have been guilty of this most of my life. And no, I am not fully confident in myself. But what I am now willing to do is make a fool of myself, get laughed at, feel judged because I know now that what I want in live I need to strive for.. for me and not anyone else. If the pandemic taught us anything, life is indeed too short, so live your life for yourself, enjoy it while we can.

What impact would you like to see your music make on the music industry?

Representation is being spoken about a lot nowadays. As a South-Asian artist I was inspired by greats like M.I.A and Jay Sean – What these artists did for me is represent our culture without it being a gimmick or a marketing ploy. And more importantly not conforming to either the industry standard or the cultural pressures. They stood their ground for what they represented and created the music that they enjoyed. Their music is of a great standard and they didn’t box themselves into what is expected of them. Although it would be an honour to even have a quarter of their success, I hope one day I can be recognised for making great music, being unique and talented just like them.

Looking to the future, what can we expect from Akso Heart? 

So many exciting projects coming! I have a music video for “No More” coming out soon! I am so happy to be adding some visuals to my first single – A milestone for me in my life. Beyond this, I was lucky enough to record 12 tracks that I plan to release this year. I have also some upcoming collaborations with some incredible talented musicians which I am super excited about. I am also starting my own Youtube channel. It’s “go hard or go home”, right?

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