Lately, I’ve had some of the most talented rising Artists land in my inbox. Ti Akiel is a talented upcoming Artist from Minneapolis, who’s currently making his name for himself with his latest release titled, Sixtwelve. Ti’s latest release is a well refined mix-tape with hard hitting productions, such as our favorite, Tighten Up –an instant hit. Below, Ti Akiel offers the full breakdown of his creative process, as well as more insight for each track on Sixtwelve. Ti Akiel is on our radar for 2018, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for his music.
You can grab Sixtwelve on Spotify below, or if you’re an Apple Music subscriber, you can easily stream Sixtwelveby clicking here to launch the track in Apple Music or iTunes.
Connect with Ti Akiel below and tell us what you thought of Sixtwelve by catching us on our Instagram and Twitter.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel)
This is probably the most conscience I have ever been on a track. I wanted to put it first to send a message. I wanted the listener to understand that my priority is social injustices that have plagued my community for years. It was important for me to have these thoughts be heard before I get into my own personal stories, memories, and views. I chose to use a spoken word style because I didn’t want the listener to be distracted by a beat or instrumentation.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel) Produced by YSMbeats.
First and foremost shout out to Jermaine Cole for the inspiration for this track. When I originally began to write this song I thought that I would definitely use it as my intro. However once I got done writing the second verse I knew that the song might be too much honesty to be an intro. Once I decided I wanted to go with “Too Deep for the Intro” I knew the chorus and hook had to give the song a very different vibe than Coles song. Making the song sonically different was important because although I’m inspired by artists I always want create something new rather than recreate something that already exists.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel) Produced by Flip.
Writing this song was interesting because I wasn’t where I needed to be vocally to execute the song, when I wrote it. I actually kept this song in my drafts for over a year before I Thought it would fit well for what I was trying to accomplish. This song is the first real sample of this style of music that my listeners have ever heard from me. Once I was confident in my ability to execute the song I happened to be creating this project and knew it would be a perfect fit. The meaning of the song is also important to me because it portrays a real relationship that I had in real life.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (Written by Ti Akiel & Lucien Parker) Produced by MaseratiGoKrazy.
Expanding on the new sounds from Suburban Shawty, On Me uses similar vocals and mixing in more of an upbeat fashion. Lucien came in clutch with his verse giving the song another layer and sound that is very unique, but also fitting. This is actually the second time Lucien & I have collaborated and I think we work very well sonically. Lucien, like every artist on this mix tape, is from Minneapolis. I wanted to work with the talented artist in the city just because I think its important for all of us to gain a following, so we can sustain something great for the city. Lucien is one of those guys that I know can get on any track and ill be impressed, so I had to make sure I came correct on my verse as well.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel & El Smooth) Produced by Will Phillips.
City Hustle is a track that really brings the whole project together. Once sixtwelve is released I don’t expect this song to be many people’s favorite, but it definitely is needed to achieve a cohesive project. El Smooth and I have worked on a few songs together, but this one is the first time I felt each of us told a story together. The title of the song came naturally because Smooth is from the south side of Minneapolis, while I’m from the north side. Were basically telling the story of how we operate in our city. While the stories of Northsiders and Southsiders may slightly differ, we all have to work together if we want to make it out, and put the city on.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel) Produced by 25.
This song, in my opinion, is the most important track of the project. Not only is it the turning point, but it is also where I truly unveil the new sound that I’ve been working to create since my last project. Since I’ve been making music I have always loved not fitting into a typical song mold, and this song is another example of that. Throughout this tape I’m pretty sporadic on how I formulate and construct each track, and this song is no different. Lyrically I think this song is important because it’s the first time I really open up about how I got to this point, but it also points to where I’m going. I think that’s why this is the most important song; not only is it a turning point in the tape, but also a turning point in my career.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel) Produced by KingMezzy.
Come correct is and was the theme of my life while writing sixtwelve. Over the last year I saw my fair share of L’s and noticed that most of them were due to people not keeping their word, or falling thru in some way. I didn’t invent the term “come correct”, but I definitely made it my own over the last couple of months. Whether its business, school, music, or just life I started forcing people to come correct if they wanted to have any interaction with me. I also applied this thinking to myself, and how I make music. Ever since I started making music I’ve always thought that the music would somehow speak for itself without actually doing the legwork to get myself heard. I realized that if I wanted proper results than I myself had to come correct to ensure those results. This is definitely the most confident I’ve been on a track to date, and I think that confidence came from knowing my ducks were all in row.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel & KC Alexander) Produced by 25.
When I originally created this song I just wanted to be on the chorus, but after I heard how the song came together I had to throw a short verse on the end. I wanted KC to rap over the main verse because I’ve always felt he hasn’t gotten proper credit for his skills as a rapper. KC since then has decided he wants to focus on his art and not rap anymore. Once I learned that, this verse became a little more important to me. Anyone who has followed my career knows that KC and I started by doing joint projects (NP1 & NP2), so the fact that this could be our last song together is very bittersweet. Although I hope he decides to rap again, for now this is the last of Ti Akiel & KC Alexander.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel & Mayyadda) Produced by Ty Rose.
I’ve often reflected on summer 2015 as the best time of my life, so I thought it was only fitting to tell that story in a song. The first verse starts with me reflecting on memories from that summer and how I feel about them now. However with all the positive things that happened that summer, right now it feels like the people that helped me make those memories aren’t even apart of my life. The chorus was written by me, but executed perfectly by Mayyadda. Mayyadda probably spent no more than 30 minutes in the studio, and most of that time was spent catching up about life. Singing has never been easy for me, so it was amazing watching her in the studio. Shout out to everybody that used to get active in the 616, this one is for y’all.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel) Produced by FOREVERFRIDAY.
This is probably the most controversial title for a song I’ve ever had. I was very indecisive on whether or not to name the song after who it was about, but in the end I felt it was the right move. Since I’ve started making music I’ve always aired on the side of being as transparent as possible, and I think that’s why I ultimately made this choice. I’m writing these notes before anyone has seen the track list, so I honestly have no idea how people are going to react to it. Honestly I’m fine with any reaction I get, as long as people judge the music more than the title.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel) Produced by MaseratiGoKrazy.
Tighten up I think will be considered the hit off of the tape. Although I’m not releasing it as the single, I think that this song has the most potential to blow up. This song actually took the shortest amount of time to write, surprisingly. I was about to go to sleep one night and decided to listen to a couple more beats before I did so. After I had listened to the beat about five times I had already written the chorus and the first verse. I knew that I had something with the song and decided sleep had to be postponed. I stayed up all night getting the right cadence and verbiage, and recorded it in two takes during my next studio session. In my experience every time a song comes about that easily, it usually means the song is pretty fire.
From the mix tape “Sixtwelve” (written by Ti Akiel) Produced by Will Phillips.
This last song was actually mostly a freestyle. I only had part of the first verse written before I went in to record it. I knew I wanted to freestyle part of this track because I wanted to leave my listeners with some as authentic as possible. I tried to create a level of transparency that isn’t always conveyed through the music. The people who know me well would tell you that I like to keep to myself, so I know that could be frustrating for someone who listens to my music. We often want to know everything about the artists we follow, so I decided to talk to my listeners for the finale. Hope y’all enjoyed—sixtwelve
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Honestly 5 years ago I would have never thought I would be seriously making music. I’ve always
had a love for Hip-Hop and R&B, but I was very comfortable being a fan rather than an artist.
I’ve always been a writer however, and as the years progressed I learned how to channel my
love for writing into lyrical expressions. Everything that I write is a real, personal experience,
and I think that really translates to a good listen.
Sometimes listening to a “finished project” is weird because when I originally write most verses
it’s more to get something off my chest, rather than make a good song. My end goal is for my
stories and experiences to inspire other people like me, and put on for the AP. (Minneapolis).