Alex AkelaWhen his mother asked him, which instrument he wanted to play, 6-year-old Alex firmly answered: "Electric guitar !" Yet this was a rather radical choice in his parents' eyes... Violin and piano were more "appropriate" instruments. In 1994 Akela completed his music education, graduating on both instruments after eight years of music school study. But his love for six string beauties only got stronger as the time went by. So he picked one up at the age of sixteen and never let it down ever since. And when the first chords were played, the first songs were born. Yet it took this 'Flying Dutchman' a long way to step up into the spotlights all by himself and hit the road as a solo artist.

Alex AkelaAfter having gained experience as a violinist in a symphony orchestra and as a multi-instrumentalist in various bands, Alex eventually found himself in 2005 wondering, which path was truly his. He felt a strong need to set for a new direction - the one that would let him develop himself musically in any way he wanted to. "My own songs were just lying around, gathering dust... a real shame, that's how I felt about it. I needed to let all those stories and ideas out, so starting a solo career was the most logical and natural choice. The bands I'd been playing in just split up, and it was a relief to be able to do my own thing without making any compromises." Being influenced by different music genres, Akela steadily gravitated towards semi-acoustic approach of gigs. His interest in roots music grew over the years: "Stripped down songs with really good lyrics and fine melodies, rooted in blues, folk, Americana or even jazz - that was and still is my cup of tea. I strongly admire people who sing about what they stand for, what they are... And if they're equally good on their instruments as well as at singing and songwriting, then they really got me hooked." There was another thing Alex found himself hooked on - performing live. Playing in bars, cafes, small theaters and open air festivals all over the country for attentive listeners, making contact with the audience, - it still gives him the greatest kick. "That chemistry between the listener and the artist is really one of the most inspiring things, it gives you wings ! As a musician, you are ready to face any challenge if your reward is this indescribably feeling of being appreciated."

Alex AkelaHowever, Akela's reputation as an excellent sideman wasn't left unnoticed by colleagues. Numerous guest performances with fellow singer-songwriters proved his ability to provide a subtle yet very musical and inventive back up on different instruments: electric and acoustic guitars, violin, mandolin, banjo, fretted and fretless basses, Hammond organ and small percussion. Mathijs Leeuwis (NL), Hanneke de Jong (NL), Marijn Wijnands (MaRain) (NL), Bob Martin (USA), Vanessa Peters (USA), Lynne Hanson (CAN), Michael Weston King (UK), Terje Nordgarden (N) and MC Hansen (DK) are among the artists Alex has toured with. "I always consider it a great privilege to be able to play with fellow songwriters, especially if they come from afar for a Dutch tour. Their songs are what it's all about then, and I try to strengthen and support the message in their music and lyrics as good as I can."

Alex AkelaThis combination of accompaning other musicians and playing solo seems to be that unique path Alex has previously been looking for. "It keeps my mind fresh and gives me enough inspiration to keep on writing, recording and touring. As long as there are listeners out there, I will be singing and playing for them. That's for sure."


1 July - A Day In The Park, Venlo (solo)

6 July - Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Amsterdam (with Mattanja Joy Bradley)

15 July - Zomerfeesten (Waalbrug), Nijmegen (in the round with Mathijs Leeuwis & Sebastiaan van Bijlevelt)

24 July - Cafe 't Spektakel, Asten (with Mattanja Joy Bradley)

25 August - St.Jacobskapel, Nijmegen (solo)

15 September - t.b.a., Hoogeveen (with Mattanja Joy Bradley)

6 October - St.Jacobskapel, Nijmegen (with Mathijs Leeuwis)

17 November - De Groene Zwaan, De Rijp (Mathijs Leeuwis Trio)

20 November - Cultuurhuis, Heerlen (solo, double bill with Martine Bond)

7 January 2013 - Meneer Frits, Eindhoven (Mathijs Leeuwis Band)

3 March 2013 - Den Herberg, Belfeld (Mathijs Leeuwis Trio)

12 May 2013 - Theater Walhalla, Rotterdam (Mathijs Leeuwis Band)