Interview with Toronto’s rising Afrobeat artist Akin Busari


Nigeria’s born, Toronto-based Akin Busari has been making music nearly his entire life. Busari’s music is a smooth blend of Afrobeats, Hip Hop, R&B, and reggae, a very fitting combination for the Toronto’s music scene. Aking is a recipient of best Toronto R&B/Soul Song, best Toronto Hip Hop Song at the Toronto Exclusive Awards, best Artist at the African Entertainment Awards in Canada, and a nominee for the Black Canadian Awards – an impressive number of accolades.

Earlier this summer Busari released his latest single “Number One” – “an ode to the love that is present in his current relationship” the press release shared. Quip catgut up with Akin recently, chatting about his background and future plans.

Kateryna Topol: Hello Akin, how is your week going so far?

Akin Busari: Hello, my week is great so far. Yours?

KT: Pretty good, thank you for asking! Let’s dive in – your love of music began at the Younge age of 7, at what point did you realize it could be a career?

AB: When I was 13 years, I got a record deal from my neighbour who was a musician. His name is Harry Mosco, he is late now (died in 2012 – Harry Mosco) but really believed in my talent and would let me record at his studio but I was too young to sign the deal and my parents wanted me to travel abroad.

KT: That sounds like a wonderful way to learn. Did you study music beyond that? 

AB: Not at all. It’s a gift and natural to me. I used to play drums in grade school and really loved the toy piano I got as a gift for my 9th birthday. I remember playing it and running out of the battery within 5 days. I just love music. 

KT: What is your process typically like when making new music? 

AB: My songs are inspired by real-life events mostly. My life experiences, circumstances, my environment, and the political climate dictate the mood, tone, and melodies I start with then the lyrics and contents follow.

KT: Your latest track, Number One,” is also based on your personal life, is that where you generally draw inspiration from?

AB: Yes, absolutely. I remember singing “Number One” to my woman before it became a song. I strongly believe my personal love life gave birth to the song and melody.


KT: “Number One” is doing pretty well on TikTok as well, how has that experience been for you?

AB: Shocking to be honest. I’m quite surprised by this. I knew it was a good song but didn’t expect this at all. I’m very happy with this.

KT: Very cool. Does TikTok help when it comes to promoting your bigger music portfolio as an artist?

AB: Yes. I’m motivated to write more TikTok-friendly songs 😊

KT: Haha, gotcha. You spent some time in Canada on a computer scholarship, what was that experience like?

AB: Not bad at all, other than music, I’m fascinated by computers and electronics, but I find myself singing a lot while working on computers. Singing helps me focus.

KT: In what ways did it influence your musical passions, if it did at all?

AB: Being technologically savvy helps to understand the mixing and mastering of instruments and vocals to create the perfect blend that is soothing to the ears…

KT: You’ve collected quite a few awards since, how important are these accolades to you?

AB: Awards and recognitions are a great motivation. It’s a pat on the back and encouragement to keep going so they are very important to me. It shows my art is appreciated and as a creative person, it means so much.

KT: What are you currently working on?

AB: I’m working on my album currently and preparing to release other singles as well. Also, “Number One” remix should be out before the year runs out.

KT: Is there a tour or some lie shows on the horizon?

AB: Yes, I’ll be performing at Stages Canada, Lula Lounge, and the Taste of the Caribbean events in Toronto this August. Some other dates are in the works.

KT: Fantastic! Do you have a dream stage you’d like to perform on? (Festival or headline) 

AB: I’m a huge football (soccer)fan so the world cup (opening ceremony) The Emirates (Arsenal football club Stadium), Summerfest, Coachella, and Essence Festivals would be great!

KT: That’s an excellent wishlist. Who are some of our music influences? 

AB: Bob Marley, Wyclef, Tuface, Lauryn Hill

KT: Very strong choices. Well, thank you for your time!

AB: Thank you! Much appreciated.

All images are courtesy of the artist

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