Amsterdam based AKA Block (real name: Tim Blok) announces the release of a new mixtape, ‘drop, ripple, OCEAN’ – set for release this winter. Along with the mixtape announcement, AKA Block today is sharing the first single to be lifted from the mixtape, ’90’s Baby’ (feat Rawso). A glistening soulful R&B/pop cut, brimming with creative production flourishes and glitchy instrumentals. Based around a series of delicate keyboard chord progressions, “It’s a mood board of ‘lessthan lover, more than friends’ between a non-couple living their best lives,” Blok explains. “She’s an ice-cold lady with options who loves to fly too close to the sun, he is able to see that what is up, must come down but ‘now’ is not the time to be thinking about coming down.”
Growing up in Amstelveen (a suburb towards the south of Amsterdam) AKA Block recalls his initial base being quite an uneventful place to grow up. Moving into his teens he found himself in the big city more often – acquiring an eclectic group of friends with an equally eclectic music taste: from hip hop heads and Rastafarians – to die hard Slipknot fans. Writing his first song at the age of 15 (an ill-fated attempt at reggae called ‘Smoke All Day’), Tim Blok has since worked tirelessly on honing his songwriting, production, and overall artistic presence – all leading to the release of his first real body of work, which stands as a wonderfully immersive consolidation of his career to date.
More recently inspired by the likes of Erykah Badu, Outkast, and Damian Marley – AKA Block’s music comprises a broad spectrum of influences and sounds – fusing R&B, pop, jazz, and hip-hop into one cohesive, intricately woven sound of his own. His forthcoming 8 track mixtape ‘drop, ripple, OCEAN’ plays host to a selection of new artists, songwriters and singers – all relatively unheard of, yet all on the rise. The first of which, Rawso – who Blok co-wrote lead single ’90’s Baby’ with, as well as him featuring on the track. First coming across him via Blair Blake’s Sunday Service playlists – AKA Block said – “The guy sounded like a damn superstar” – quickly tracking him down, and flying out to meet him at his house – where they wrote 90’s Baby in one afternoon. These sorts of fruitful collaborations are scattered across the 8 tracks, featuring other exciting new talents including VLOSH, Tray Haggerty, SYPS, Dani Harrison, Fiction, YaelWatchman, and Tannergaard.
Aside from the music, Tim Blok is a talented visual artist in his own right. Creating and delivering all his own artwork and visuals – he sees this side of the project as equally important. Spending 3 years during his childhood living in Barcelona (age 9-12) – he recalls regularly getting into trouble during recess – inadvertently resulting in him spending detention with an unlikely muse. “Mr. Magana, my art teacher took meunder his wing and I would hang out in the art room where we studied Salvador Dali, Picasso and other Spanish artists. So before music became the primary way of expressing myself, I was strongly drawn to drawing and painting. When I make music it always goes hand in hand with a sonic pallet consisting of colours, memories and fantasy. My collages, paintings and videos allow me to express more clearly what I see when I’m making my songs.”
Now, with the release of his debut mixtape – he’s ready to take things one step further. “When I make music I try to be asauthentic and honest as possible. This is a project full of songs that trigger important and intense memories/ emotions to me. I hope people get to connect to the energy we put in to these songs and experience this mood board of sound fully.”
‘drop, ripple, OCEAN’ is the sound of a man on a mission to inspire future generations of songwriters and producers – and this is just the start. New single ’90’s Baby’ is out now and ‘drop, ripple, OCEAN’ is out this winter.