Knitting Factory Presents
Jay Lonzo, Akinyemi, Gabe 'Nandez
Eighteen year old MC, Jay Lonzo may still have a year of high school ahead of him, but he's already ahead of his class. The Crown Heights, Brooklyn native comes from the same fertile ground that birthed Jay Z, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Joey Bada$$, but he also draws inspiration from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle, and J. Cole. Jay Lonzo just released his debut album, "It Takes A Village." He has garnered accolades for lyricism belying his young age and enlisted the support of acclaimed producer Marco Polo for two of the LP’s tracks, including lead single “Dream World.” Jay Lonzo was just 15 when the process behind the 12-track It Takes A Village began, but the themes display a maturity of a seasoned writer. The album is a collection of stories from his high-school years, including those inspired by a father in recovery from alcoholism, a mother recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a complex relationship with an older brother and internal struggles with religion. With a heavy focus on family, the album and its title reflect the notion that we are all stronger as a unit, whether related by blood or otherwise.
Rising lyricist Akinyemi [ah-kin-yeh-me] has grabbed the attention of audiences with his unapologetically honest take on the struggles and beauty of the human condition, mixed with the drive to create and experience something new.
The Nigerian 22 year old, who hails from Queens, has a name that means “fated to be a warrior” in Yoruba. Akinyemi embodies that inner warrior in his music. Although his sound mirrors hip-hop legends such as A Tribe Called Quest as well as newer artists like Mick Jenkins and Anderson .Paak, he creates original and experimental melodies that include sounds and samples considered foreign in hip-hop.
Akinyemi recently opened for known acts Berhana, Sylvan LaCue, Heems, G4SHI, Chester Watson, Mal Devisa, and many others. His debut EP, summers, has received global recognition; it’s even in rotation at Adidas flagship stores worldwide. Akinyemi has been featured in The Village Voice, Mass Appeal, and Huffington Post's "BARS" (which amassed over a million views via Facebook), and many others. Akinyemi also has also dabbled in modeling, including for Spike Lee's clothing line, Defend Brooklyn, and for Steve Harvey, among others.