Every so often in life, you get a chance to meet someone who is a master, of something. The knowledge and a specific skill set that is of the highest degree. At this very moment, I can’t say Akhil Sesh is master of his craft (yet). Wether it is music, photography, modeling, graphic design, or fashion. But what I do know, is he has the fortitude to take whatever lane he wants.
Akhil: Did you turn up for your birthday bro?
Me: Nah man, I was chill a lil bit this year, wasn’t tryna go too hard. [laughs]
Akhil: That’s a sign of maturity.
Me: What’s good with you though, just dropped a new song I see.
Akhil: I just knocked out some work for 11 by Boris Bidjan Saberi, and uhh, you know who Ben Baller is?
Me: Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, that’s the dude.
Akhil: He has a new clothing line called “Superism”. I’m actually styling, creative directing, and shooting the first official thing right now; we’re shooting it in Detroit, about 15 different looks.
Me: Is this gonna be a winter or a summer collection?
Akhil: Its kind of all season, high fashion some acne studios type shit. There’s some nice peacoats, some Hugh Hefner type jackets, but I’m bout to roll up, hold on.
Me: Say no more, I peeped from the mannerisms (laughs). But you’re onto something with your art, like idk what you’re bad at, and not even to look for a flaw, but just.
Akhil: It’s the way I approach things, like the people on the inside who know me know, cause to the general public it may seem like yeah he’s good at whatever , but really, behind the scenes. I’m a extremely hard worker, before I ever come out with anything Ima research it 3-4 times , watch videos of the people who’ve done it really good , ya know, get out there, when I get the program rewatch it again. By the time I come out and have mentors with it , and hit up people, like I’m very thorough. Everyone just doesn’t produce high quality right out the gate, you gotta work at it, and that’s what I’m aware of , so I just have that work ethic cause I wanna get better. Art is limitless, the potential is limitless, so there’s no reason for me to walk around like I’m something cause I can work on something till the day I die and still not be shit. But that’s just the way i go about it to keep progressing forward. For me, I’m confident anything I touch I will be good at, just give me a little bit of time to work on it. That’s why for me I’m coming out with phases of my career as I figure out the game, you gotta wear different hats, and go thru different lanes in different ways, approach things differently, like the music or the fashion, and even within fashion, like streetwear, high fashion, to sneakers, every approach is different.
Me: Agreed, agreed, let’s do a little background, so you were born in India correct?
Akhil: So I was born India but I never really lived there I spent the first five years of my life in Ireland, that’s when my mom pushed me into the creative scene; singing, drawing, painting, theatre, like I was taking piano lessons at 5 years old. My earliest memories on stage is like being Peter pPan and shit (laughs) like this is where I’m most comfortable doing this creative shit . Then I moved to Cleveland when I was 6, lived there a couple years, then Rhode Island for a few years, then I finally moved to Michigan, but after I moved to Michigan I moved to LA in 2011/2012 then I moved to New York in 2013, but then I moved back to home Detroit to elevate the city and be the face of the culture.
Me: So you’re in Detroit right now?
Akhil: I’m in Detroit RIGHT NOW. I’m tryna really put Detroit on the map the proper way. I’ve been client building a foundation in other places so I could come back and be “the guy” ya know? Because the narrative that comes from outsiders is just to display the city in a way to get the most views, even if it’s not the most accurate representation, but that’s why they milk drill music and the negative imagery, it garners the most attention. Like it’s real out here, people are dying, everyone I know has been robbed or whatever, everyone has guns this and that but the reactions are hypersensitive for people who don’t live or aren’t from here.
Me: So give me a breakdown of the Detroit music landscape
Akhil: Well, Danny Brown’s crew is called bruiser brigade, with SKYWLKR , etc
Me: Skywlkr is fye
Akhil: Yeah, we opened up for Trash Talk when they came, but yeah I put on for India cause I’m from there, but I’ve lived most of my life in Detroit.
Me: Describe your photography for me
Akhil: That’s hard, really just gritty stuff, urban but authentic.
Me: What about your music though, your style is kinda different
Akhil: It’s not mainstream, but it’s initially interpreted that way where it’s very pleasing to the ear but its not atypical so it sits in this awkward space. When I first started, I would recreate beats and sing melodies on top of raps, and I’ve been singing since I was 5 so I know all the harmony scales, chord progressions, etc so when I hear music I understand the science behind it and what sounds good sonically. You can go back to my earlier videos from 5-6 years ago when this sing/rap style wasn’t really accepted, like there wasn’t really a lane for it. I can say now I didn’t really know shit back then, but people might’ve thought I did. By putting that project out, I learned the industry and it set the foundation for what i’m building right now. Initially I was an artist doing modeling because I understood how important image was. I was linked originally to antisocial social club but I was working with photographers, and then when I moved to New York I was getting scouted as a model, like off the street, but eventually I fell in line with the photography people in NY, like I had dope mentors off top, such as Ryan Leslie. Like I initially moved to New York cause I was opening for Cam’ron, and I initially intended on linking/working with him but then I ended up getting tight with A$AP Mob. The day A$AP Illz walked for DKNY; I was able to book a photographer I managed to shoot some behind the scenes, they came to the crib and we were smoking etc and thats when we got close and I got to shoot Nast and Rocky. Just consistent hard work. Like me and Illz shot everyday for like 6 months to a year straight.
Me: Tell me some of your experiences shooting with A$AP.
Akhil: Like I said me and Illz were shooting everyday, like DKNY stuff or just whatever we wanted. I ended up getting really sick and had to move back home, and that’s when I started traveling on my own. The first place I went to was Japan, and that’s what popped off everything for me, travel photography. Like High Snobiety really put me on, they gave me like a photo essay style piece, titled “Visual Impressions of Japan with Akhil Sesh”, which really set it off cause photographers usually don’t get credit like that unless you know, you’re really someone.
Me: Would you say the industry is-
Akhil: It’s super political, I could’ve taken shortcuts. (Not gonna say names) I could’ve kissed ass, dickrode people to get on but thats not my steez. Im usually the type of guy who sits back and quietly observes, but I know I got it. I’m that dude. I’ve been living this life. I don’t have to portray anything. This is all I do, I don’t even talk about sports or shit like that, and since I’m still on the come up, I’m still hungry, like I approached you. I’m still creating opportunities for myself. People think I’m on and shit. I don’t have an ego. What I’m realizing is once you have a self sufficient attitude you start to bypass problems, and you focus on self improvement to overcome them.
Me: For career progression. New York or Los Angeles?
Akhil: New York 100%. LA is like a huge movie set. Everyone’s an actor. NY’s full of real people grinding. Example, in LA you can show up to something like 2 hours late and just be like oh traffic and then goto ur lil restaurant at lunch and come back 2hours later, whatever. In NY, if you’re late, by that 2nd day, you’re fired. Someone else already replaced you for that opportunity. You eat lunch at your desk cause you don’t have time to leave and come back. A lot of company headquarters are based out of NY. LA is somewhere you go, AFTER you’ve made it. New York is the epicenter of American culture. I wasn’t shit till I moved to New York. If you wanna do anything , you have to just go out and do it . If you wanna be a photographer, take pictures, musician? make music and so on. Don’t worry about being a star, or the perks, but if you focus on now, working hard, everyday on being the best at your craft, the opportunities will present themselves.
Me: So what you got planned for the future my g?
Akhil: I got a crazy rollout coming. Idek if I wanna talk about it really but everything from the past five years has culminated up to this point.