Akala is a BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur, as well as the co-founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company. With an extensive global touring history, Akala has appeared at numerous festivals both in the UK and internationally, and has led innovative projects in the arts, education and music across South East Asia, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. Akala has also appeared on Channel 4, ITV, MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his music and poetry,and speaking on wide-ranging subjects from music, race, youth engagement, British/African-Caribbean culture and the arts, with numerous online lectures and performances that have millions of views on YouTube. More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism – he has written for the Guardian, Huffington Post and the Independent and spoken for the Oxford Union and TEDx. NATIVES his recently published memoir is already a Sunday Times best-seller. Having been awarded an honorary Doctorate by Oxford Brookes University, Akala has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and articulate talents in the UK.

Casto (definition = “pure.”)

Brandon “Casto” Rivera was born on May 27, 1992 in New York, NY. His mother is a teacher for the Trenton School District in New Jersey and his father is a Computer Administrator for a law firm in New York City. He is the youngest of three children. From a very young age, Casto was always fascinated by music.

He grew up in a Puerto Rican household in Brooklyn, NY. His father would often DJ for their own house parties, which would consist of many types of music - from Hip Hop to Salsa and Merengue to Reggae. When Brandon was young, the family left New York City and relocated to the Poconos in Pennsylvania. This was a radical switch for the family, who was used to the city life. They lived there for several years, however it was not long before crime, gangs, and drugs began to infest the area. This forced the family to uproot once again. They moved to an area just north of Philadelphia in 2004. Despite the drastic shifts in his environment, one thing remained constant for Casto – his love for music.

At the age of 13, Casto began producing and performing his own songs. Throughout the years, he has developed his own unique style, not only as an artist, but also as a producer. This led him to pursue music in college. In 2015, he graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, where he majored in Media Studies & Production, with a focus on Music Production and Radio. He was even able to study abroad in London for four months during his junior year.

Since then, Casto has released numerous mixtapes and singles highlighting his abilities as an artist and producer. His mixtapes include: “Angels & Demons,” “The Comeback Story,” Angels & Demons 2,” “Divine Lorraine, and “Castoway.”

LTC is an Emcee/Producer/Songwriter hailing from Levittown, PA repping Philadelphia. Constantly reworking his sound, growing as a lyricist, and cutting his teeth since 2003, LTC embodies a style set apart from any other. The soft-spoken artist is currently working on a proper album release that will comprise of honest, in-depth personal trials, tribulations, and observations woven into a tapestry of original production and compositions. Don't be fooled by the reserved, and at times, bashful facade of this young man. LTC is a unique performer that stays in continuous motion provoked by vigorous and aggressive passion. LTC has shared stages with such renown artists as the late and great Eyedea & Ablilites, Sage Francis, Questlove of the Legendary Roots Crew, Gary Clark Jr., Kool Keith, R.A. the Rugged Man, P.O.S. and Dessa of Rhymesayers and Doomtree fame, Mac Lethal, Astronautalis, Cage Kennylz, Yak Ballz, Reef the lost Cauze, Peedi Crakk, Lyrics Born, Kristoff Krane, Educated Consumers, Abstract Rude, and Busdriver as well as many of Philly's finest underground rising talents.

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