Future pop queen AKICITA talks overcoming impossibilities, fighting back against judgement and striving for greatness.

AKICITA is the singer-songwriter transforming her tribulations into a pop star’s journey. Breaking onto the scene with her fiercely independent and instantly accessible lyrics, the 27-year-old has fought back against those who’ve tried to silence her. The future pop queen moved to Los Angeles at 18 with dreams of becoming a musician, and after an uphill battle with no industry connections, she’s finally stamping her authority with moody and assertive soundscapes. 


Growing up in the small and remote town of Prior Lake, Minnesota, AKICITA’S upbringing was far from easy. The self-confessed, Disney-obsessed child flitted between boarding schools and experienced trauma on so many levels. After moving away, she spent much of her time partying, numbing the pain of the music industry’s precarious and unforgiving nature. The singer, with Dominican and Native American heritage, explores this moment on her recent track, ‘Liquor’, which offers a hand to those experiencing addictions of their own. 


Reclaiming her power on the latest dark-pop cut ‘FWMN’, AKICITA channels the skyscraping range of her voice to declare her independence. On the track, she says: “My whole life has been a war. I don’t win every battle but I continue to fight the war and I’m determined to win in the end. I hope that ‘FWMN’ can inspire others to stay and fight the long fight.”  


Here, AKICITA talks overcoming impossibilities, fighting back against judgement and striving for greatness.

Hi AKICITA! Take us back to the beginning – what role did music play in your life growing up?
Hi! Of course, let’s take it back. Music was always such a steady force in my life when I felt like my life was all over the place. Being in multiple boarding schools, always meeting new people and being in different foreign environments, I always had music in my heart. As corny as that sounds, it’s true. I’ve had melodies and lyrics in my head for years. I always expressed myself in that way, just not publicly. No matter where I was or how low I felt. One thing that never changed was my gift and passion for writing and singing music. Holding on to that dream saved my life so many times. Music still saves my life to this day.
Are there any artists you listened to then who still influence you now?
Absolutely. There are so many amazing artists from so many different genres that I’ve always loved. Some examples would be Beyoncé, BANKS, Rihanna, Melanie Martinez and Britney Spears of course.
At what point did you decide to pursue music yourself?
I decided when I was 18 that I wanted to pursue music myself but I didn’t even know where to start. I had to go through some tough lessons and really didn’t think it was something I could take seriously until like 2021.
How did you find your sound, and how would you describe it?
Honestly, I’m constantly finding my sound. I hate putting myself in any box because I’m constantly switching up my vibes. I get bored easily and like to have new visions, new eras and new sounds. I’d like to think my voice itself has its own unique sound. The music around it will forever be changing. It depends on what mood I’m in that day!
You’ve released a few tracks already this year and had an amazing response. What challenges have you faced in that process?
I definitely struggle with imposter syndrome, because I’m still so new to this. There’s so much that goes into this and it’s the type of career where you really have no idea how people are going to react to your art and your vision. Also, having specific expectations for how things happen and how my vision is executed is something I’ve had to back off from because things never happen exactly how you imagined. 
What track are you most proud of?
As of right now, I’m most proud of ‘Liquor’ because it’s the most vulnerable song I have out to date. I went back and forth with the idea of releasing it. I eventually got to a place where I told myself, ‘This isn’t just about me and my feelings.’ At the end of the day, if being open about my personal struggle with alcoholism can help somebody else feel less alone, that’s more than enough for me. I felt so alone in the thick of it. I really didn’t have anyone to look up to when it came to managing the struggle and being brutally honest about how dark it could be. I think it’s so amazing I get to do that through my art. 
Your new song ‘FWMN’ is all about reclaiming your power. Can you elaborate on the story – your story – that inspired this song?
My inspiration for this song was about how I overcame so much that I didn’t think would be possible. It’s about my turbulent journey to success and how making mistakes kept me down for so long. It’s also about knowing how many people didn’t believe in me when I was down but wanted to act like they always did. I know who those people are. I’ve had many people in my life underestimate me and my resilience and tenacity. One thing about me is I’m not gonna stay down. I always get back up better than before. And that’s how I know I’m a fighter and I’m gonna make it out just fine. It’s easy to judge from the outside looking in and I’ve had so many people I loved and cared about not understand these parts of the journey. This is about letting them go no matter what they think about me and being grateful that my inner fire has gotten me this far. 
When writing about life experiences, is putting your thoughts down a cathartic process for you? When did you discover songwriting in this way?
Oh, absolutely. It’s cathartic because it’s such a safe space for you to validate your own feelings and emotions. It’s just you and the music. The music speaks for you and speaks to those who need to hear it. I’ve written songs since I got sent to my first boarding school when I was 13. Being that young, there was so much I wanted to say about how I was feeling but knew that I couldn’t express to anyone. I only truly had myself. I learned that lesson very young so I just came up with melodies that matched the energy of my emotions and put words to it. Songwriting is one of the most fulfilling things I do. 
Do you ever feel vulnerable putting very personal tracks out?
Yes, of course. Sometimes I get stuck in my head and overthink how people will perceive it. I’ve asked my producer and my manager so many times if I’m giving off too much of a depressing vibe. I am in such a different place now. I’ve always wanted to break the stigma around mental health and addiction so it’s time I practice what I preach and keep talking about it. I am continuously learning to be more comfortable in the discomfort. It’s just necessary for change and for growth. That is what we are here for. People can be uncomfortable, but it’s okay. They’re going to be when it comes to topics that I sing about in my songs. But I believe it’s important to talk about them because it’s real and it’s part of life. We shouldn’t make it taboo to talk about the truth of mental illness and addiction. It silences people who need to be heard, seen and helped. 
How do you hope listeners will respond to this track? What do you want to make them feel?
I try not to have any expectations anymore and just have intentions instead. My intention is to make people feel truly seen and heard. For them to be able to really feel their pain, face the shame, the fear and feel empowered by the fact that they are getting through it. It doesn’t matter what that process looks like on the outside. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you or how many times you have to fall to get there either. Nobody else is living your life but you. I think everybody deserves to feel like somebody cares and listens to them to try to understand them, not silence them and dismiss or discard them. And even if they don’t understand you, you still deserve compassion. With so much judgment in the world, it’s hard to feel like you’re allowed to be a flawed human being. You are, I am, everybody is. That’s what being human is actually about. 
There’s an EP coming soon – what else can we expect on that project?
I’ve been sitting on this project for years. This is where the self-empowerment part starts. The rise after the fall. And that’s just the beginning of it. 
As a debut project, what message do you want it to convey?
I want it to convey as much raw honesty as possible so that people know a little bit about what I’ve been through to get to where I’m at now. To have my full story. I think it’s important to know both the dark and the light in people. It helps you understand them as a whole person. Only knowing the light is not the entirety of knowing someone, in my opinion. I want to connect deeply to my listeners. And I want everyone who listens to know that by sharing my pain and the dark parts of my journey does not make me a victim, only a warrior still standing. It’s just the real. This is what I’ve been through and it’s part of my story that I will continue to share.
Do you have a vision for the EP visually?
I have many visions. Huge visions, actually. They’re a little too much for the budget at the moment but listen, when you want something badly enough, you make it work. Being your own label is an entire other beast. But I just love playing around with different makeup, hair and styles. Visually, I strive for modern takes on traditional things. I try to be as original as possible. We all take inspiration from so many different people and things but I really like to sit with myself and take inspiration from the heart.
Looking to the future, what does success in the music industry look like to you?
I love this question because I have so many different ways I look at success in the music industry. For me personally, it looks like touching as many people as I can and making some type of mark on people who listen. It also looks like getting great placements for TV shows/films, getting invited to award shows and red carpets if we’re talking about the more vain side of things. I still want to be a star and that’s what it’s always looked like to me. Writing a song for an amazing artist or an idol of mine; doing collaborations; features with people I look up to; and Mentorship from the greats.
Lastly, having a big enough platform to make change for the better. 

Listen to 'FWMN' below: