Next Wave #1126: Idi Akz

Meet the viral rapper speaking his truth...

It’s fair to say that at the age of 15 most of us aren’t laying the foundations for a career as a musical sensation. Idi Akz, hailing from the humble town of Burton on Trent, defied expectations and did exactly that. “My musical journey started from the time I was around six. I was going to a church in Burton where my mom would lead in the choir and my father would play drums. Seeing my parents getting involved with music inspired me.”

With influences from Oasis to Billie Eilish, the experience of growing up in a predominantly white community exposed Idi Akz to artists that added a unique fusion to his sound that set him apart in the UK rap scene. In 2021 he released his second single ‘Two Years Clear’ and, as often happens these days, TikTok virality rapidly jettisoned him into the spotlight of the UK music scene. Since then the now 17-year-old rapper has accumulated streaming numbers that would make any major label artist quake in their boots. The experience of this release also stands as his biggest milestone: “It started off with me posting a preview. My friends encouraged me to post it. I was never planning on releasing the song in the first place. I felt it was a bit too honest. But then I put it out there and it did well on TikTok, in a day I got like 80,000 views and I’ve never got anything close to that. Then it spiralled!”

With a first EP ‘Leave This City’ under his belt already there’s nowhere to go but up for the young prodigy. “I’m proud of my EP, there’s a storyline behind it and it’s my first EP as well. It’s about me, coming from the town that I grew up in, talking about my experiences, my hardships as well as losing friends, relationship problems, finding yourself and wanting to leave the environment.”

Many artists who hit it big before they finish school often jump straight into the industry but Idi Akz is dreaming of something different, a spot at LIPA, Liverpool’s world-renowned performing arts school, “I need to understand the theory of music more. I want to get to a point where I can produce for myself, I can do my own marketing, I can do a lot of things myself, but still have a team around me.” Collaboration is on the horizon for him with a slew of artists in his sights. “In the UK scene I’d like to work with J , Pa Salieu as well, Nemmzz and Strandz. JBee would be good too, we started making music around the same time so I think it would be interesting.”

WHAT: A unique fusion of rap and lo-fi melodies
WHERE: Burton on Trent
3 SONGS: ‘Two Years Clear’, ‘DSLM?’, ‘LTC’

FACT: He’s actually a longtime Swiftie.

Words: Naima Sutton
Photography: Bella Howard // @bybellazine
Styling: Sabrina Soormally

Idi Akz wears the Grade Trousers, 275 GBP and Taro Zip Sweater, POA; by Axel Arigato.

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