Big feelings and small stories from everyday life – this is what Akjela narrates in their mother tongue. Dialect is reborn in a new guise – ready for the clubs.
Who is Akjela?
Akjela is the name of our project, our music playground. The origins of the band date back a few years ago, when I (Anji) moved back to Austria after over five years in Germany. Settling in as well as rediscovering my own roots and especially childhood language (the Upper Austrian dialect) kick-started a sort of creative process from which several songs and layouts have been born. In the process, the dialect has played a key role. Curiosity and the desire to let go of old patterns and to be unconventional led to the idea of mixing dialect and electronic music. For this purpose, we found the perfect partner, friend and producer: Niko Stössl (SlikNik). From this constellation made up of Alex, Niko and I, our EPs “Lauf” and “Bleib” were born.
Where does the name “Akjela” come from?
Well, for us it was important to choose a name that is not related to any particular language. For us, dialect is an art form that is not restricted to a single region or country. Also, we’ve always felt free to use different languages since the beginning. When our son Kolja told me he would play the role of AKELA, the leader of the pack of wolves that adopted Mowgli in ‘The Jungle Book’, for a school play, I pricked up my ears. AKELA means “single or solitary” in Hindi – in ‘The Jungle Book’, he is also called ‘Lone Wolf’. Laced with my favorite letter “J”, the name became AKJELA, melodious but also edgy.
The video “Steh Auf” was filmed by David Kleinl (well known for his collaborations with Bilderbuch and many others, AN). The production of the video was very time-consuming – and so was the production of the videos “You” and “Wüde Viecha”. What importance do videos have as a marketing tool for you?
That is a good question. Our opinions vary – Alex thinks a video is just a means to an end and if, to top it all off, it makes an impression – then it is even better! However, he would not put so much effort in it. On the contrary, I would illustrate each song. After all, in for a penny, in for a pound! We have been quite lucky to cooperate with talented, devoted and crazy people to produce our previous videos – David Kleinl, the mastermind of “Steh Auf”, Bernd Preiml for “Wüde Viecha” and Jenny Gand for “You”. However, “You” (the song “Bleib” is the title track of our brand-new EP) was recorded for the soundtrack of a fashion video. Each one is a matter of heart and soul and can only be realized by visionaries and idealists. Videos are a precious addition and a high art form! In the meanwhile though, releasing a single AND a video has become obvious – and we see that in a critical light. That is a real challenge and can also become a burden. If we are talking about “rules” though, it should be recalled that rules are made to be broken!
Which source of income is the most important for you as a professional musician – online sales, CDs or live gigs?
Live gigs definitely play a leading role. Besides being a source of income, a concert is the moment when your creative work gets a feedback from the audience – it can be badass, wonderful, merciless, fulfilling or disillusioning. The most important thing is being talked about!
What can we expect from you in the near future?
Right now, we are in an experimental phase that pushes us musically and emotionally towards our initial affinities. It is actually quite possible that our tone gets rougher, more cumbersome & blunt. We will see & you’ll hear! Thank you!