Shakka chats to Bella about his new album ‘The Island’ and Nottingham Carnival. He also talks about collaborating with Giggs and musical inspirations
The son of Dominican parents, left-field pop artist Shakka — a singer, songwriter, and producer — was raised in London, England and was exposed to music at an early age by his father, a member of a reggae band. Shakka studied at London’s Centre for Young Musicians and debuted in July 2009 with an EP, Foolishness, Vol. 1 — a mix of pop, rap, and reggae he deprecatingly referred to as “the early babbling stages of a haphazard singer/songwriter.” A conceptual mixtape release, The Shakka Crown Affair, followed in March 2011. He compiled his sung-and-beatboxed covers, including Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ Bout You” and a medley of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Usher’s “Climax,” and released them as The Shakkapellas in November 2012. Early the following year, he was featured on Wretch 32’s “Blackout,” a Top Ten hit in the U.K. The EPs Tribe and The Lost Boys followed, respectively, in 2013 and 2015, and Basement Jaxx’s “Rock This Road,” featuring Shakka, was issued between them.