Today we’d like to introduce you to Rahkua.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Rahkua. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I started singing and performing at the age of three. My life since then has been surrounded by the arts, from doing festivals with my whole family to formal education within art schools from childhood through to my college experience at New York University. Being an artist was always a part of my identity, but I began personally putting my energy behind it professionally in 2013 as I released my debut album, “Love, Loss, Lies.”
My parents have always cultivated a strong cultural connection in addition to the importance put on the arts and education. So, when I got the opportunity to take my talents to the birthplace of civilization (Africa) in 2015, I started the platform – Project Africa: LA. It is meant to help artists expand their global presence, enrich their art through cultural exposure, and contribute to the development of global citizens who can impact and improve the world.
It is based in Los Angeles, providing various stages for artists to use as creative outlets of expression, but includes an international component. It depends on financial support from the community through donations, which also helps to get more people involved in the pan-African mission and cultural expansion. Each voyage is geared toward the exploration and understanding of the culture, art, history, and social workings of a different African nation.
These experiences can be monumental for artists’ artistic development. And the service component of the trips functions to give back to the communities and foster positive international relationships and a pan-African connection of cultural exchange. Project Africa: LA has thus far visited Egypt, Ghana, and South Africa. This summer’s voyage is to Lagos, Nigeria.
As a solo artist, it’s great to have many different domestic, national, and international platforms through which to share my art. I’m currently working on three new projects, including a rap mixtape as my lyricist persona, a Project Africa inspired EP called “Beautiful,” and my second solo studio album, “FriendZone.”
Has it been a smooth road?
It has definitely not always been a smooth road and still is not. There are always hurdles and obstacles to overcome. As a solo artist, my main struggle as of late has been getting the second album finished. I’ve had so many false starts, setbacks, and just frustrations on the recording/production side that have disallowed its completion. I take solace in the fact that the artistic side remains uncompromised, but it definitely gets frustrating not to be able to get those great ideas into a finished body of work. Luckily I have so many “in the meantime” outlets to keep me motivated.
Three of the main struggles I’ve faced as the founder of Project Africa: LA have been funding, time balance, and support. As an independent, grassroots platform dependent upon the community (and personal contribution) for funding, it’s difficult to get some main action items accomplished. And then balancing my time between developing and excelling my business as an artist and honing the efficacy of this platform for other artists is a real juggling act.
Both funding and my willingness to devote time to be in the service of others is influenced by support. Without financial support, there is no funding; and without community interest, show attendance, and certain operational support, my motivation sometimes wanes. It’s all a cyclical, interconnected dynamic.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
As an artist/entertainer, I am the walking, talking, breathing business. My passions are vast and my talents deep. My main focuses are singing and acting. But it is important to create multiple streams of income, and it is great to monetize auxiliary passions that ultimately feed into your main focus or help you accomplish it faster/easier/less expensively.
I am a singer, songwriter, executive producer, actress, poet, lyricist/rapper, painter, sculptor, jewelry maker, clothing designer, graphic designer, educator (Arts Enrichment & STEM for elementary), mentor, video editor, YouTuber, and author. I also do my own social media marketing (for over 25 accounts across most of the main platforms).
In addition to all those things, I created a platform to help other artists as well and encourage international travel, exchange, commerce, and cultural/educational diversification.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is the destination for aspiring entertainers and artists. There’s just so much opportunity here; and so many ways to create your own lane even when you can’t find your way to busy freeways. It is easy to get lost in the overwhelm though, so you have to remain focused, maintain integrity, and be flexible in your approaches to success even while being rigid in your goals and definitions of what that success is to you.
- Tshirts $25
- CDs $5 – $10
- Handmade Ghanaian inspired clay masks $20 – $150
- Posters $5
- Armbands $1 – $5
- PALA Tea (coming soon) – $10
- PALA Fashion (coming soon) – $50
- Earrings $25
- Address: 4331 Degnan Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90008
- Website: rahkua.com and projectafricala.com
- Phone: 3239637252
- Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com (mailing list) and firstname.lastname@example.org (music email) and email@example.com (hair blog email)
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rahkua_lovelosslies/ and https://www.instagram.com/projectafricala/ and https://www.instagram.com/aheadofmyhair/ and https://www.instagram.com/rahkua_music/ and https://www.instagram.com/rahkua_model/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rahkua.ishakarah
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rahkua
Rahkua; Sidney Conley; Frank Ross; Sir Worldwide; Rahzizi Ishakarah; Frank Kissi & The Electric Band; AJ Johnson; Hot & Cool Cafe; +233 Jazz Bar & Grill, Art + Practice