Accompanied by mesmerizing strings and brooding R&B production, Akurei candidly captures nostalgia in his latest EP September. Meditating on a number of themes, among them being a quarter life crisis, the Australian artist brings his most introspective work yet. GUM had the opportunity to catch up with Akurei and gather his thoughts on the latest release.
How do your personal experiences inform your songwriting process?
I think that artist’s of all disciplines draw from their personal experiences to varying degrees. I guess I do pretty heavily. Music started as a diary of sorts for me, when I was 16 years old. I’ve always felt it’s important to preserve that same sense honesty in what I choose to share now, I’m drawn to that and I think a lot of people are as well.
Your production plays with a number of genres, how would you best describe your sound?
I think there’s a tension in my music that I’d attribute to the years I spent in high school playing in metal bands, which sounds kind of funny. That was about five years, and I think that’s been a huge influence on my sound. I play with guitar a lot, and pull every sound apart and put it back together again, so I suppose it’s a combination of those things.
As a body of work how does ‘September’ build upon your previous releases?
Thematically, it almost feels like part b, or a sequel to ‘August.’ ‘August’ was this look forward to how I perceived my life would be based on the relationships I had and my understanding of who I was and what I wanted.
Ironically, almost immediately after finishing ‘August’ the constants in my life unraveled. ’September’ is a collection of songs I wrote in the process of rebuilding a personal foundation. I listen back and feel pride in what I’ve created, as a songwriter and producer. I did a lot more of the production on these tracks than the last EP. I feel a lot of gratitude as well, for the bitter-sweet experience of falling apart and the opportunity to grow from it.
You collaborate often with Golden Vessel (Maxwell Byrne) what does collaboration mean to you as an artist?
Maxwell is my best friend. We’re both so involved in each others projects – I’ve spent a lot of this year touring his album with him apart of the live act, and he’s been involved with my project too, sometimes with additional production, more recently working on the visual elements – video and press shots.
I think we’re both just super excited about what the other person is doing, there’s a lot of encouragement, feedback and banter between us at all times. So collaboration is almost second nature to our friendship.
I’ve been working with a few other artists I love, T Scarlett & Emerson Leif. It’s a refreshing way to work, learn and create – with friends.
Be sure to keep up with the artist below.