Akenya is a multi-genre singer, pianist, composer, and arranger. Her music places a strong emphasis on jazz and incorporates elements of hip-hop, soul, pop, classical, and world music. A proud Chicago native, Akenya has performed and recorded with some of the city's leading artists such as Smino, Saba, and Chance the Rapper. In 2016, Akenya joined forces with emerging rapper Noname, appearing on her acclaimed debut album Telefone and touring as her musical director and opening act in Europe, the Middle East, and North America. After appearing with Noname on her Tiny Desk Concert, Akenya was asked to contribute vocals to Chicago legend Mavis Staples's Grammy® nominated, 2017 album If All I Was Was Black. While recording at the famous The Loft Recording Studio, Akenya worked closely with the album's producer and writer, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.
In the jazz world, Akenya has collaborated with and performed for the likes of Esperanza Spalding, Fred Hersch, Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, Luciana Souza, and Dave Holland to name just a few. This past August, she was hand selected to be a part of Red Bull Music’s Round Robin, an improvised concert of duos with an eclectic, all-star line-up including Matana Roberts, Ben Lamar Gay, Jeff Parker, Roscoe Mitchell, Makaya McCraven - with whom she played a duo set - and many more. This January, Akenya made her New York City performance debut at the 15th annual Winter Jazz Fest performing her own set of original music, as well as playing keys in the new, rising band Resavoir.
As a solo artist, Akenya's unique sound and versatile musicianship has garnered the attention of top tier publications such as The Chicago Tribune, The Fader, and Afropunk. She has performed her original music across the country and abroad. In her home town, Akenya has played nearly every major venue including Thalia Hall, Lincoln Hall, and Metro. In the fall of 2017, she made her solo festival debut with a stellar set at North Coast Musical Festival. Akenya is currently working on her highly anticipated, debut LP, Moon in the 4th. Her newest single Decay is out now and can be streamed, downloaded, and purchased anywhere music is available.