- Words Notion Staff
Fresh new artist on the block, Arkuen, shares his musical firsts with Notion – from making music in the middle of the night to performing at the Royal Festival Hall.
Growing up in a Colombian-Jamaican home, Arkuen’s natural environment was a melting pot of sounds: salsa, cumbia, and bachata to dance hall, lovers rocks, soul, gospel, and reggae.
The south-west Londoner attended the well-known BRIT School, from whose gates have also emerged talents including Adele, Amy Winehouse, Jessie J and Tom Holland. An interdisciplinary artist at his core, Arkuen combines jaw-dropping dance choreography and acting.
In 2019, Arkuen headlined at The Last Race; he choreographed Rachel Chinouriri’s showstopping 2021 video for “Plain Jain”; and he made an appearance in TS Graye’s video for “Take Notes”. Now, the young artist is gearing up for big things and releasing his debut solo music project.
We caught up with Arkuen to talk musical firsts – from Jessie J to Jessie Reyez and more. Dive in!
The first song I ever made that I can remember was a song on the piano called “River”. Close people around me still say that song expresses who I am the most.
The first song I released officially you could say was “While the World Sleeps” on Soundcloud. I use to make a lot of music in the middle of the night and thought it was funny that everyone was asleep.
When I was 9, I knew I was going to be an artist when I performed at the Royal Festival Hall.
I can’t remember a time of wanting to give up! It’s probably there but I get up quickly and don’t let myself think like that. I guess it would have been in school – not a cute time.
The first CD I owned was Jessie J’s “Who You Are”.
I believe my first proper concert was Jessie Reyez – I love her.
I haven’t been starstruck.
The first instrument I owned was actually a guitar.
When I realised everything else in the world can change in how it makes you feel but music is always there – same feelings as when I was a child, music is something that is sure in life.
“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.