Akilimanjaro, The Power of 1 is the live electronica/hip-hop solo project of Boulder’s favorite live emcee, Akilimanjaro. Akilimanjaro is Akili Obika and he began performing and recording in bands and as a solo artist back east in Washington D.C. and in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Since arriving in Colorado a few years ago, he has been seen and heard on stage with many of Colorado’s best jam, jazz, funk, and reggae bands including Hot Soup, Pamlico Sound, D.V.S., Aakash Mittal, Smash Thompson, Rude Boys, Weapons of Mass Creation, and more. He has been on the stage at the Fox Theater, Bluebird Theater, and at several area bars and clubs: Mountain Sun, Southern Sun, Pearl St. Pub, Conor O’Neil’s, Lazy Dog, Reuben’s, Whistler’s (Nederland), and First Street Pub (Nederland). Akilimanjaro is known for giving an energetic and crowd pleasing performance of a mix of freestyle and written rhymes, songs, and poetry and when he makes his guest appearances, audiences usually crave to see and hear more of him.
With Akilimanjaro, The Power of 1, fans now have the chance to experience Akilimanjaro performing in his own element. In his performances, he begins by using a sampling and sequencing keyboard to create a sonic bed of deep basslines, hypnotic melodies, and funky programmed or looped beats. Next, Akili lays down his vocals through a microphone which he occasionally runs through various effects boxes and processors. He also uses a turntable and his extensive collection of vinyl records to add voices and effects and to create original remixes of songs from genres as varied as hip-hop, folk, reggae, rock, classical and jazz.
Although Akilimanjaro, The Power of 1, has a sound that is rooted in hip-hop and electronica, he is as likely to draw inspiration from Laurie Anderson, Phillip Glass, Bob Marley, and Depeche Mode as he is from OutKast, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, The Roots, and Nas.
Akilimanjaro recently recorded a mixtape album called Who Is This Man?, which features a mix of songs from studio recordings and songs from live performances. The album is available on CD at his performances and can also be listened to and/or downloaded from his bandcamp website. Videos are available on Akilimanjaro's youtube channel.