Local Frequency: Bay Area Artist Q&A w/ KID AKIMBO

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Photo: Rami Hyun
After years of dancing in clubs and festivals, Brazilian-born and San Francisco-raised KID AKIMBO has more recently been pursuing making music full-steam. AKIMBO is classically trained in voice and dance, and he makes genre-crossing dance music that's pop-electronica with Brazilian influences. He recently wrapped up tours of the Bay Area, Europe, and the East Coast in support of his November self-titled EP, and is currently finishing a music video for his single "Fun Boyz," to be released this spring. KID AKIMBO met with Local Frequency at Café Queztal to chat about Michael Jackson's choreographer, Ledisi, and Tenderloin trannies.

If you could describe your sound as a San Francisco neighborhood, which one would it be?
KID AKIMBO: It would be on a plane from New York to Rio with MIA leaving from the Tenderloin, which is where I live. You know, late night trannies, yelling in the streets.

You just got off a European tour, how was that?
KA: Fantastic. It got kicked off with a cover feature by XTRA! Magazine, which is Australia's largest gay magazine. I had the experience of walking around Vienna and being recognized. It was kind of a trip, to see my face everywhere. In Europe it's a different aesthetic in terms of people listening to music. It's broad, and so were my audiences. It's so different here in the States, where you have to fight so hard to have a little piece of something. After Europe I played a couple of shows in New York, and Miami as well.

Do you see yourself as an artist just for the gay community?
KA: Well, the short is answer no. I see my music as having a broader appeal than just the gay community. I've had a lot of gay people telling me to get out of the community a bit and explore other opportunities. People tell me I'm not just a "gay" artist, they say they can hear it in my musicianship, see it in my dancing, it's what I'm working on now. I also don't see myself as an R&B, dance, or electronica artist either. To me it's the whole package, just like my name, it means "all at once." That's really what I do. I sing, write, I do my own choreography. I'm getting into doing my own costume design as well.

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