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Akio

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Akio Kawahito, aka DJ ID, is an internationally recognized Hip Hop DJ and one of South Africa’s most influential contributors to the genre.

Born in the United States to foreign parents, Akio graduated from Rhodes College with a degree in Economics and Art History. Upon graduation, he moved to Japan where he worked in various consulting roles and started his first DJ residency at the Nagoya club, The Plastic Factory.

After two years in the East, Akio moved to Amsterdam to pursue a postgraduate degree, eventually receiving an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam. During his time in Amsterdam, he started one of the biggest weekly Hip Hop nights at Lux and also was a resident DJ at Amsterdam’s oldest Hip Hop bar, the Duivel.

After working as an analyst at the International Criminal Court in the Hague for one year, Akio quit his job to start the NPO ConsciousFlowz which focused on Youth Development using music. This brought him to Cape Town, South Africa where he managed 7 highly successful projects in the Cape Flats.

During this time, Akio started Kool Out Lounge, a grassroots Hip Hop event that became the largest Hip Hop event in the city eventually expanding to Johannesburg and Durban. This success empowered Akio to bring international artists such as DJ Babu, Blu and Exile, Akil  (Jurassic 5), Talib Kweli, Mobb Deep, BadBadNotGood and more to South Africa. Between 2009-2011, Akio and Kool Out were the most prolific supplier of international Hip Hop talent to South Africa.

Since 2010, Kool Out Concepts has been the most influential Hip Hop brand in South Africa pioneering the Braamfontein movement and spawning spinoff events in Botswana and Mozambique. Additionally, Kool Out has become a major consultant for corporate brands focused on the Urban and Hip Hop market having written or contributed to campaigns by Sprite, Play Energy Drink, Miller, Castle Lite, Castle Milk Stout, Nokia, DC Shoes and more.

Kool Out has also consulted for various festivals such as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and Cape Town Festival.

Akio also manages and DJs for the highly successful rapper Reason, having guided him from underground artist to international sensation.

In 2014, Akio launched the website KoolOut.Co.Za which focuses on urban culture. Since inception in June 2014, the website has averaged 50,000 monthly hits with consistent growth.

In 2015, ID released his first single “Brand New” which peaked at #1 on 5FM’s The Stir Up and YFM’s The Hip Hop Floor while cracking The Urban Top 40 on both stations. He is currently a radio mix DJ for The Beat Eruption in Maseru, Lesotho and presented the award for Best DJ at the South African Hip Hop Awards.

Known for his diverse track selection, ID blends Hip Hop, R&B, Old School, Kwaito Jazz, Funk, and Swing. Having held resident status at clubs in Japan, The Netherlands, and South Africa, ID always finds a way to read the crowd.

In addition to his normal sets, ID also DJs for 2x SAMA nominated artist Reason. In 2014, ID in partnership with Play Energy Drink, Microsoft, and DC Shoes, released the first DJ DVD tutorial in Africa.

In 2015, ID released his first single “Brand New” which peaked at #1 on 5FM’s The Stir Up and YFM’s The Hip Hop Floor while cracking The Urban Top 40 on both stations. He is currently a radio mix DJ for The Beat Eruption in Maseru, Lesotho and presented the award for Best DJ at the South African Hip Hop Awards.

  • Former Resident DJ on ETV’s Shiz Niz (2012-2014) (3 million Viewers)
  • Has performed at festivals such as The Cape Town International Jazz Festival (2x), Oppikoppi (3x), Griffin Sessions (2x) Back to the City (6x), Synergy, STR CRD, Rocking the Daisies (2x), Earthdance, iRocke Festival (Los Angeles), and Reeperbahn (Germany), SXSW (Austin Texas)
  • 2012 South African Hip Hop Awards Nominee: DJ of the Year, Promoter of the Year
  • 2012 Oudemeister Master In The Making
  • 2012 Trace Music Channel List for “Sexiest DJs”
  • Play Energy Drink Ambassador 2012 – 2014. Youtube Documentary has produced over 28,000 views
  • 2013 South African Hip Hop Awards Nominee: Promoter of the Year, King of Gauteng, King of the Western Cape
  • 2014 Nokia Ambassador
  • 2014 Released Africa’s First Instructional DJ DVD
  • 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards Nominee: Promoter of the Year and King of Gauteng
  • Mixed Skyzoo’s “Homecoming” Mixtape
  • Featured in Rolling Stones, Hype Magazine, GQ and regularly in various newspapers.
  • 2016 Nescafe Gold Ambassador

Opened for the Following Artists:

  • Slum Village 2009
  • People Under the Stairs 2009
  • Blu and Exile 2010
  • DJ Babu 2010
  • Ras Kass 2011
  • Talib Kweli 2012
  • Kendrick Lamar 2013
  • 2Chainz 2013
  • Nas 2014
  • Timbaland 2014
  • Wiz Khalifa 2014
  • Big Sean 2014
  • Pharoah Monch 2014
  • Mobb Deep 2015
  • Skyzoo 2016
  • BadBadNotGood 2016

Online Presence and Social Media 

Website: www.koolout.co.za (50,000 monthly views)

Twitter: @Akio_DJ_ID (4,740 Followers)

Instagram: @AkioKawahito (4,152 Followers)

Facebook: Akio Kawahito (3,780 Friends)

Booking Information: banesa@koolout.co.za