Robyn Kohl on working with AKA as ‘Mass Country’ celebrates 1st anniversary

Iconic rapper, Kiernan “AKA” Forbes. Picture: Instagram

Iconic rapper, Kiernan “AKA” Forbes. Picture: Instagram

Published Feb 28, 2024


Not only does February mark the one year death anniversary rapper AKA, it is marks a year since the release of his posthumous album, “Mass Country”.

The album was produced and completed before AKA was gunned down in Durban on February 10.

Prior to his passing, the iconic rapper was in high-spirits knowing that he had created an album which, at the time, he referred to as one of his best works.

The album was released posthumously on February 24, 2023, 18 days after his death.

“Mass Country” was certified gold in just under two weeks since its release, and by June 2023, the rapper’s family had been honoured with several gold and platinum plaques in recognition of the album’s accomplishments.

The plaques included gold and platinum certifications for several singles on the project, including “Company” and “Lemons (Lemonade)”.

Marking the album’s first anniversary, Robyn Kohl (Lira’s ex-husband) of Jazzworx, the audio production company that produced “Mass Country”, spoke about how it was to work with the late rapper.

“He (AKA) had this incredible sense of sonics. He was very critical of the mix process, he was very critical of the professionalism of what he demanded from everyone who was in his team, from producers, engineers, through to the way everything came together.

“I think in that sense, his calling was definitely a little bit more than the average artist out there.

Kohl said AKA always tried to push the envelope of where he could go and wanted to use new sounds available to heighten the listener’s experience.

He said the team used Dolby Atmos on the first few singles of the album including “Lemons (Lemonade)” and “Prada” and that everyone in the background supported the idea.

“Unfortunately he couldn’t see it through but I’m sure he would have been very proud of the result.”

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Speaking on AKA’s character, Kohl said, “Kiernan (AKA) was very self-assured, he was the kind of guy who didn’t need an extra pep-talk...

“I think that goes a long way obviously for the culture of hip hop, it’s part of the DNA, but to actually live that, to embody that and to become that is a different task.”

Although AKA had a number of albums out, “Mass Country” became the first to be nominated for a South African Music Award.

It won Best Engineered album. AKA’s family also took home the awards for Best Hip-Hop Artist, Artist of the Year, Best Collaboration and Best Male Artist.