The story behind the making of AKA’s “Mass Country”

Over the past few weeks the entire country has been brought to a standstill by the gripping roll-out to AKA’s eagerly anticipated fourth studio album, Mass Country. While his untimely death has been a bitter pill to swallow for the nation at large, The Megacy have been determined to celebrate the rap icon’s legacy the best way possible: through music and new album available on all digital platforms.

With the family’s blessings, AKA’s team at Sony Music Entertainment Africa, T-Effect and Vth Season continue with aspects of the planned roll-out for the album, given AKA’s undeniable impact and contribution to the local music scene, the album comes out on the back of unprecedented public attention and support. The genesis of this album started in 2019, even before he put out his thematic project Bhovamania. Mass Country is a project AKA wanted to have as a thesis on Music originating from South Africa, Africa. Hoping the world enjoys the songs like we do.

The album dropped alongside “Last time” visualizer

T-Effect co-CEO and AKA’s co-manager Nhlanhla “Nivo” Ndimande, shares some insight on the making of the album. “It’s been a two-year process working on this album from him giving us the vision and just telling us what exactly he wanted to do. It was tough in the beginning because we were like, ‘Wait, you want to mix country music, maskandi and hip-hop? How does that even make sense?”’ But as the music began to take shape, AKA’s grand vision became clearer and clearer. What AKA wanted to do was create an album that the people of South Africa could embrace and cherish. As he’s done throughout his career by carrying the flag with him wherever he went, the Supa Mega wanted to create an album that sounded like home – an album for the “masses of the country”.

During the album’s stunning intro, AKA makes several references to some legendary South African moments like Sphiwe Tshabalala’s opening goal at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He also pays homage to iconic local musical pioneers like Zakes Bantwini, Johnny Clegg, Skwatta Kamp, Khuli Chana, and refers to proudly South African beverage Oros and potjiekos. It’s all in the spirit of patriotism and celebrating South Ah.The first session for the album was with the renowned BET Award-winner Sjava and “Mass Country” co-executive producer, Zadok. It was during these sessions that the team started to understand the sonic direction that would come to life during countless recording sessions across the country over the past two years. Throughout this process, producers like Oriah, Fdeeezus and Christer helped make this grand vision concise and cohesive.

While they followed a similar process and flow to that of previous albums like 2018’s stunning “Touch My Blood”, the entire team also incorporated new ways of producing an album. The first big camp we did for it we went and recorded at a house in Mooi River. There’s something that he said a lot during these sessions: He kept saying he was trying to do something that he’s never done before, so he needed everybody that was on the team to do something that they’d never done before. With his direction, the team was able to produce just that.Apart from Mooi River and his Johannesburg base, they also held a recording camp in Vanderbijlpark. The last song recorded on the project was “Company” featuring Nigerian pop and afrobeats star KDDO, whom AKA previously collaborated with on “Fela In Versace”. “Company” was recorded in Los Angeles last month as they wrapped up the album. AKA flew out to the U.S, met up with KDDO in L.A and finished it there.

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