Kiernan Jarryd Forbes
Cape Town, South Africa
|Other names||AKA, SupaMega, Bhovamania|
Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, known professionally as AKA, is a South African rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Cape Town, Western Cape, Forbes gained significance after releasing his single "Victory Lap" which was released from his debut album, Altar Ego (2011).
In April 2020 Forbes alongside vodka brand Cruz launched the watermelon-flavoured drink with his initial on the bottles. That same month, Forbes was featured as a special guest on WWE Live events which were held in Johannesburg and Cape Town. As for 2019, he was the roastee for the Comedy Central Roast special.
Life and career
1988–2013: Early life, beginnings and Alter Ego
In 2002, Forbes alongside his two friends Vice Versa and Greyhound, formed a hip hop group called Entity. The group received a nominee on the KORA Awards for the Best African Hip Hop category. Entity disbanded in 2006, leading Forbes to go study sound engineering. In 2006, Forbes co-founded the production collective The I.V League alongside two other members. The I.V League made production credits for artists including Khuli Chana, ProKid and JR. In 2009, he released three songs, which include "In My Walk", "I Do" and "Mistakes".
On 28 July 2010, Forbes released "I Want It All", which is the lead single from his debut studio album, Altar Ego. The album also pre-released two singles which was "All I Know" and "Victory Lap". "Victory Lap" was a success as it topped South African local radio charts. Alter Ego was then released on 23 August 2011. The album was certified gold by RiSA for its commercial success. The album won several accolades notably being for the 2011 Metro FM Awards winning for Best Hip Hop Album, and the 2012 South African Music Awards for Best Male Artist of the Year.
2014–2017: Levels and Be Careful What You Wish For
Forbes released his second album, Levels on 30 June 2014. The album was supported by four singles: "Jealousy", "Kontrol" (featuring Da L.E.S), "Congratulate" and "Run Jozi (Godly)" which features KO and Yanga. The album was certified platinum as for 2014, and double platinum for 2018 by RiSA.
On 2 December 2016, Forbes released the lead single "The World is Yours" from his future third album. With delay of its release, Forbes ventured with associated act Anatii in composing a collaborative album, Be Careful What You Wish For. Be Careful What You Wish For was released on 28 July 2017, with positive response from critics. It was supported by three singles: "10 Fingers", "Don't Forget To Pray" and "Holy Mountain".
2018–present: Touch My Blood
With the pre-release of "The World is Yours" in 2016, Forbes also pre-released songs including "Caiphus Song", "Star Signs" (featuring Stogie T) and "Sweet Fire" in supporting the release of his third album, Touch My Blood. Concerning the album's front cover, Forbes took to Twitter announcing a contention for graphic designers in designing the artwork for his album, using his clear face portrait. As numerous entries were sent, Forbes chose the winner named Taonga, who received an internship with Beam Group. Before fifteen days of its release, he released the controversial single "Beyonce" which was a dismissive song dedicated to his past partner Bonang Matheba. Touch My Blood was then released on 15 June 2018 as it was set to release on 25 May 2018 but then delayed for taking time in building its promotion. The album was certified platinum then later certified double platinum by RiSA as for 2019. Touch My Blood sixth single "Fela in Versace" featuring Kiddominant received higher commercial success compared to the other singles.The album features guest appearances from fellow South African artists including L-Tido, JR, Yanga Chief, Stogie T, Kwesta & Okmalumkoolkat, as well as a sole international appearance by Nigerian artist and producer Kiddominant. 
Forbes began dating producer DJ Zinhle at the end of 2014 After receiving several South African Hip Hop Awards accolades, Zinhle hinted at their relationship by tweeting "Congratulations to my winner". The couple have a daughter named Kairo Olwethu Forbes, born on 8 July 2015. In August 2015, Forbes and Zinhle split after it was revealed that Forbes allegedly cheated on Zinhle with television presenter Bonang Matheba. As Forbes and Matheba denied the allegations, they declared as they revealed their relationship in 2016. Forbes and Matheba broke up in December 2017. However, Forbes and Zinhle got back together in late 2018, although later in 2019 they broke up again.
Following the death of his Fiance Nellie Thembe, reports emerged that Forbes had been on drugs. Forbes then issued a public statement in response saying he would not be drawn into exposing their troubles as a couple to defend himself against “one-sided views”. The rapper’s statement came in the wake of a News24 report, which claimed to have seen images where Forbes can be seen using his hands to violently break down a wooden door, to enter the bedroom in their apartment in Bryanston, Johannesburg where Tembe was hiding. The incident allegedly took place on March 13.
- Altar Ego (2011)
- Levels (2014)
- Be Careful What You Wish For (with Anatii) (2017)
- Touch My Blood (2018)
- Bhovamania (2020)
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award Ceremony||Prize||Recipient/Nominated work||Result||Notes|
|2012||18th South African Music Awards||Best Male Artist||Altar Ego||Won|
|2013||Channel O Africa Music Video Awards||Most Gifted Hip Hop||Himself||Nominated|
|2014||African Muzik Magazine Awards||Best Male, Southern Africa||Nominated|
|Best Rap Act||Nominated|
|MTV Africa Music Awards||Best Hip Hop||Nominated|
|Channel O Africa Music Video Awards||Most Gifted Hip Hop||Nominated|
|2015||African Muzik Magazine Awards||Best Male Southern Africa||Won|
|MTV Africa Music Awards||Best Collaboration||Won|
|21st South African Music Awards||Best Male Artist||Levels||Won|
|Kora Awards||Best African Hip Hop||Nominated|
|BET Awards||Best International Act (Africa)||Nominated|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best African Act||Nominated|
|M.O.B.O. Awards||Best International Act (Africa)|
|4th South African Hip Hop Awards||Best Collaboration||AKA – Baddest (featuring Burna Boy, Khuli Chana and Yanga)||Nominated|
|Anatii – The Saga (featuring AKA)||Won|
|Most Valuable Artist||
|Most Digital Sales||Won|
|Song of the Year||Anatii – The Saga (featuring AKA)||Won|
|AKA – Baddest||Won|
|Video of the Year||AKA – All Eyes on Me||Nominated|
|Anatii – The Saga (featuring AKA)||Won|
|Da L.E.S – P.A.I.D (featuring AKA and Burna Boy)||Nominated|
|AKA – Sim Dope||Nominated|
|2016||15th Metro FM Music Awards||Best Collaboration||AKA – Baddest (featuring Burna Boy, Khuli Chana and Yanga)||Won|
|Best Hit Single||Won|
|Best Remix||AKA – Baddest Remix (featuring Fifi Cooper, Rouge, Moozlie and Gigi Lamayne)||Nominated|
|22nd South African Music Awards||Best Collaboration||AKA – All Eyes on Me (featuring Redsan, Burna Boy and Stonebwoy)||Nominated|
|Best Remix.||AKA – Baddest (featuring Fifi Cooper, Rouge, Moozlie and Gigi Lamayne)||Nominated|
|BET Awards 2016||Best International Act||Nominated|
|2017||BET Awards 2017||Best International Act||Himself||Nominated|
|2019||2019 Kids' Choice Awards||Favourite South African Star||Himself||Won|
|BET Awards 2019||Himself||Nominated|
|Namibia Annual Music Awards 2019||Pan African Artist of the Year||Won|
|2020||26th South African Music Awards||Music Video of the Year||AKA - Jika ft YangaChief||Won|
- KEKANA, CHRIZELDA. "AKA's Beam Group is shutting down!". TimesLIVE. TSHISALIVE. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- "AKA Launches Signature Cruz Vodka". HuffPost.
- "WATCH: AKA takes bars into wrestling ring". eNCA.
- "Hip-hop Entity making waves". IOL.
- "#FlashBackFriday: Entity (AKA)". News24.
- "The Story of How Pro Gave AKA & IV League Their Biggest Break". OkayAfrica.
- "A.K.A – Alter Ego". Livemag.
- "AKA's "Victory Lap"". News24.
- "Newcomers dominate at Metro awards". TimesLIVE.
- "AKA – Levels album review". Livemag.
- "AKA's LEVELS album goes Platinum". People.
- "AKA celebrates reaching the top position on SA radio charts". East Coast Radio.
- Mphuthi, Pearl. "AKA's The World Is Yours". People. Retrieved 16 June 2018.[permanent dead link]
- "AKA and Anatii drop 'Be Careful What You Wish For' album". East Coast Radio.
- "AKA announces winner of Touch My Blood challenge, reveals album covers". Political Analysis.
- "AKA drops major files on #Beyonce & the internet is a mess". TimesLIVE.
- "AKA postpones Touch My Blood album release to 15 June 2018". Political Analysis South Africa. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- "AKA'S ALBUM GOES DOUBLE PLATINUM". Daily Sun.
- "AKA celebrates reaching the top position on SA radio charts". Political Analysis.
- "WATCH | AKA owns the WWE ring with his spicy raps". TimesLIVE.
- "The 2018 Comedy Central Roast of AKA". Joburg Further, he is one of South Africa's most expensive artists to book for a performance, after he confirmed on twitter a performance would setback a promoter 20000.00$ internationally or R300000.00 locally as of February 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic he has also used his prior endorsement with Vodacom a popular cellular network to launch his app "AKATV" which has content uploaded to users who pay a monthly subscription fee of R50/30$. He has had notable guests on his show the "BraaiShow" such as Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula, fellow hip hop compatriot Siyabonga "Scoop" Makhathini, to name a few.
- "Rapper AKA and Dj Zinhle Finally Make Their Relationship Official". OkMzansi.
- "8 times birthday girl Kairo was the most adorable celeb tot ever". News24.
- "The year that was for AKA, Zinhle and Bonang". Channel24.
- "AKA finally speaks out on Bonang split". The Citizen.
- "AKA AND DJ ZINHLE BACK TOGETHER". Daily Sun.
- "AKA 'inconsolable', Anele Tembe's family confirms her 'untimely passing'". news24.com. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
- https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/authors/deepika-naidoo. "AKA responds to reports of 'violence and drugs' in his relationship with Nelli Tembe". SowetanLIVE. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
- Bhengu, Lwandile. "PICS | Rapper AKA broke down a door to get to Anele Tembe - a month before her death". News24. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
- "See Nominees for the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) 2014". Bellanaija. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Home – Samasama". Samusicawards.co.za. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- "AKA, Cassper Nyovest, DJ Black Coffee NOMINATED for 2016 BET Awards and more African artists". theedgesearch.com. Retrieved 20 May 2016.