In Conversation With August Makorr: Discovering His Origin Story, Sound, The Meaning Of New Single ‘On My Way’

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Godwin Mitchual

Augustine Ebrechi Akor, known professionally as August Makorr, is a Gabon-born Nigerian musician currently based in Los Angeles. Although his passion for music began in Nigeria, it wasn’t until August moved to Los Angeles that he would record his first-ever song. Due to a lack of studio equipment, Makorr would just write lyrics and keep them. Fascinated with the creation process, August writes, records, mixes, and masters his songs. The impressive worth ethic early on has been an advantage to August as he continues to utilize those skills to deliver distinct sounds to his listeners. Culture Custodian caught up with this gifted musician to get to know more about his musical journey, creative process, and new single.

Hey August, tell us a bit about you. How did you get started in music?

I’m a recording artist based in Los Angeles, CA. My home is Imo State, Nigeria but I was born in Libreville, Gabon. That said, I’m honored to have ties to these beautiful places in the world. My music journey started in Lagos Nigeria. I started with writing lyrics in hopes of owning some equipment in the future to record myself. I got a job after I graduated high school in Gardena, CA then I saved some money to purchase some recording equipment and I haven’t looked back since.

You were born in Gabon but grew up in a few states in Nigeria. What was that like?

I’m always thrilled when I look back at those moments. I grew up in Imo State but also lived in Port Harcourt, Abia, and Lagos State so I was exposed to different cultures. Power outages occurred almost throughout the year. As a kid, this meant more playing and less television. I enjoyed playing football with friends and watching Nollywood DVD movies when we used the generator for electricity.

What caused you to move to the United States?

My father had been in the States and my move was to continue my education and be exposed to better opportunities. It was always a dream for me and finally seeing it play out was surreal. I remember the excitement in the room when I told my friends I would be leaving. They knew how bad I wanted to make it big. I have too many people rooting for me so I take that opportunity seriously.

Walk us through your creative process. How do you compose most of your music?

I have a simple process that boils down to not overthinking anything. I listen to instrumentals while driving sometimes. If the beat hits home, I’ll make voice notes on my phone then get back to it at my home studio. Most of the time, the feel of the instrumentals helps me tap into past or current experiences which then guides the direction of the song. If I like the beat on the second listen, I go straight to making the magic happen. I have songs that were written in a span of months and some that are finished in an hour or two. I don’t rush the process, I go wherever the music takes me.

How would you describe your sound?

My sound is constantly evolving so I don’t define it because it places limitations. As an artist, I let my creativity take the wheel so I draw inspiration from elements in different kinds of music.

What inspired the creation of On My Way?

My visit back home to Nigeria inspired the song. It was a much-needed trip due to the stress I was under at the time. It felt like I hit a reset button after I landed in Nigeria. Right from the airport where teenagers were working in the hot weather. That wasn’t new to me, but being around that environment again where everyone is fighting for survival was inspirational and it stuck with me. Seeing my family and some friends put me in a state of tranquillity that I haven’t been in for years. All of these, coupled with other experiences, led to the feeling for this song. I felt blessed and have had this optimistic energy ever since. I wanted to make something uplifting and that’s how On My Way came about.

Let’s talk collaborations. What specifically made you collaborate with fellow Nigerian singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Tim Lyre on this song? 

I love working with other artists, especially ones I can genuinely connect with personally or musically. I work with artists that inspire me to a certain degree or ones that I simply enjoy listening to. Tim is different and talented. I wanted someone that executes well. I’ve been watching him grow and hit new milestones so I reached out. He loved the song and that’s how the collaboration happened.

As an up-and-coming musician, what keeps you going in the face of challenges?

I come from a different place. My motivation for everything I do is bigger than me. There are kids in my hometown that have no access to simple things like the internet or stable electricity. I think it’s selfish of me to ever consider quitting and letting them down. My family means everything to me. There’s no stopping so I have to give it all that’s left in me at any time.

What would you like your fans to take away from this conversation?

I’m just a kid from Ezinihitte Mbaise in Imo State, Nigeria. I come from a different side of the world and the support means a lot to me.

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