BEIRUT: Jack Akiki, who plays no less than 30 instruments, sits upon the cusp of being discovered by a larger audience, but for him recognition takes a second place to an infatuation of all things musical.
He is a 28-year-old multi-instrumentalist, who has had an unconditional love for music ever since he was a child. Music was a crucial part of his daily life, thanks to his DJ uncle.
Akiki spent the formative years of his life immersed in a never-ending universe of musical discovery.
“I composed my first song at the age of seven,” said Akiki.
At that age, he started composing on an old abandoned keyboard as a self-taught pianist.
“I used to spend hours in my small room, which I gradually turned into a recording studio, where I started my journey of sonic and musical discovery,” he told Annahar.
Growing up, he learned the guitar and then expanded his passion into the trumpet. He was fascinated by colorful jazz music; this captivation enabled him to build a relationship with colorful chords and mind triggering melodies; thus, it was his obvious choice after the guitar.
“What was really interesting about the trumpet is the way it really transforms a simple lip buzz into a sonically rich and beautiful sound,” expressed Akiki.
He added that the trumpet gave him the desire to pour his passion into as many instruments as possible.
Six years ago, Akiki began to indulge even more in the world of music and instruments. He dedicated his time, effort, and soul to the appreciation, experience, and translation of each new instrument his own way.
Over the years, he was able to add more than 30 instruments to his musical knowledge collection including the piano, saxophone, ukulele, clarinet, and the list goes on.
“I was intrigued with the psychological impact of instruments. In a way, playing every other instrument brought out a different personality in me,” noted the passionate instrumentalist.
He then went on describing his relationship with his instruments as an intimate, almost anthropomorphic one. Fascinated by the imperfections of an instrument, he was inspired to use them in creative, unconventional, and beautiful ways.
Composing melancholic, ambient and unconventional arrangements is his specialty; as well as taking mainstream songs and translating them into a new sonic experience.
In 2010 he finished his studies in audiovisual art at Université St. Joseph; and then dived deeper into the world of music by studying musicology in 2015 at Université St. Esprit de Kaslik.
Meanwhile, he started working at The Postoffice, (a post-production company) as an audio and music producer. While there, he spends more than nine hours per day in a sound studio, creating, producing, and living his dream.
“It opened doors for me to experiment music and sound in a professional setup,” said Akiki.
Spectre, his own music studio was something he always wanted to make true. It is located in Mansourieh where his band and clients record material.
Two steps into the studio, your gaze cannot escape the vintage guitars suspended on the red walls. Stacks and racks of audio equipment filling the room emerging with the abundant amount of technology equipment. In the recording studio, a dim blue light sets the mood, which makes it easier to get creative.
Being featured on Virgin Radio’s talent section encouraged him to launch his band’s’ Instagram page Undercover Jam. The band encompasses: Jad Rahme (singer), Boustani (drummer), and Jack Akiki (multi-instrumentalist/producer) and is set to debut in 2018.
“Jack plays music that embraces any emotion that you can possibly feel. His style, his passion is contagious. I once heard someone say that if you get high you will feel like you touched the sky; but what I say is, listen to this music, you will succumb to the ecstasy of music and life,” said Ralph Boustani, a band member.
While Akiki believes that music is something extremely personal for any musician, and that there are risks in sharing this intimate relationship, he will take a leap of faith and reveal his “musical journey” with the expected release of his band’s album next year.
“I’m at a point in my life where I have something very specific to say to the world,” Akiki told Annahar.