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March 28, 2016

Portrait 6/300: Akwasi


Hiding in our rear wing we’ve got a space filled with over 200 creative minds, all together forming a creative workspace named “Broedplaats VKG”. They’ve been here since 2007 – long before Volkshotel even existed. Over the years, things have changed, but the “Broedplaats” still plays an important role in keeping this building lively, local and creative. In one of the studios you can find the headquarters for “Neerlands Dope”, a label started by rapper and producer, Akwasi. Time to have a chat about his future, role models and flying the nest.


Tell us, what triggered you to become a rapper?
“I think my desire to rap started all the way back to when my brother was performing at a Dutch cultural competition called De Kunstbende. He is 10 years older and I’ve always looked up to him, like you do with an older brother. At that point when I saw him perform, I thought: I want to do that. So I picked up rapping when he stopped.”


You’re doing quite good at the moment, what are your hopes for the future?
“I’m happy and grateful as long as I can do what I love, which is to make music and use my label to give other artists the chance to independently do what they love. It would be awesome if we could go more international, maybe have a branch of Neerlands Dope in London. We’re also looking to do more interdisciplinary projects, as I think it’s really interesting to combine, film, theatre and literature. But no matter what, the bottom line will always be about music. I’ll never stop making music, even if I stop in this business I will always have have it in my life, head and heart.”


What is your relation to this creative workspace?
“I’m also part of a group named Zwart Licht. Together we’ve made 3 albums, which have all been recorded in this very building, before the Volkshotel moved in. I was very fond of the place, sometimes I even slept over because the vibe was so cool. At the time, I never would’ve imagined that I would get my own label with a studio here. But it feels like my second home now.” 


“But you know it’s in the name, (directly translated broedplaats means breeding space) this is a place where people can build a little nest, and breed on their career. At one point we will have to fly the nest, and give new people in this branch the same opportunity and space to start off, like we did.” 

Akwasi Ø. Ansah (1988)
Studio 1.XX, Broedplaat VKG

Graduated from the theatre academy of Maastricht in 2012
Most recent projects:
◈ The release of the new album of Zwart Licht
◈ Presenting new Neerlands Dope‘ artists
◈ Stay tuned for De Jongens, a new sitcom Akwasi is writing at the moment

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