International Taste Test: presenting aKing

Testing, testing, 123.

I’ve decided to incorporate a weekly entry into my blog so I can introduce to you/help spread the word about some fantastical music from abroad.

First up, South Africa’s aKing.

Made up of Laudo Liebenberg (vocals/guitar), Andrew Davenport (guitar – replacing co-founding member Hunter Kennedy), Hennie Van Halen (Bass), and Jaco Venter (drums), this group is so completely refreshing that it will awake your senses.

Two things instantaneously draw you in; the brilliance of the writing/lyrics and the depth (literally and figuratively) of Laudo’s voice.  His vocals are resounding and honest; completely distinguished. Stylistically, aKing proves that they can master incorporating an entire variety of musical genres.  They can produce a slow love ballad, unashamed danceable pop-rock, to a mixture of classic rock/folk sounding songs.

Their lyrics are what speak to me most (pun intended?).  With such emotionally resonating hooks, they’re very curious – poetic almost.  Certain lines will make you think and stick with you and dare I say – make you want to tweet them.  But also a simple yet interesting pairing of two words can be very clever; such as “enslaved but so free/surrendered captivity”, from “The Dance”.

“I find delight in empty days/I take my counsel with wine.”
– You and I

“I know my language has always been my limit/And this slurred speech is my own.”
– Heart of a Fool

“Glorious mistakes are anxiously waiting to be made/In the nervous arms of a breakdown I find embrace.”
“Anything too dumb to be spoken should be sung / a song is never finished, only abandoned / sing if you’ve got nothing left to say.”
 – Know your Bones

They’ve released to full length albums to date; starting off with Dutch Courage and then releasing Against All Odds.  I’m happy to report that right now they are in the studio, preparing to create a third album!

Try out one of their faster/upbeat songs, “Against All Odds”

Also check out something a bit slower; this is one of my all time favorite songs by them, “Know Your Bones”. Heavy-hitting lyrics.

Also try listening to this slow ballad, “You and I”.  It really showcases the beauty of Laudo’s deep voice.

The reason that I know about these gentlemen is through a former friend who was from South Africa.  Very few to little people know about aKing here in the states.  I’m here to try to help change that.  For what it’s worth, I’d love to get them to play some sort of large festival here in the USA.  I think that their local-rock feel and their raw passion would draw in many American fans, if only they had a chance to be showcased here.

Try them out and let me know what you think 🙂



September 23, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . International Taste Test.


  1. Rocco's Pop Revolution replied:

    i dig it. I like “Against All Odds” the best. those south african know how to get some good rock/pop beats

    • whatamellen replied:

      thanks!!! i’m so happy you dig. definitely try “the dance” that’s another pop/rocky infectious song off their first album. i was going to put it in my blog too but i figured i didn’t want to do a youtube overload!! 🙂

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