Meet Akara: Founder of The Jukebox Music Club (TJMC- ‘provides you the best music you need that will follow you daily!’), music producer, traveler to beautiful exotic places and sneaker addict (Sorry-not sorry Akara, but it sure is fun to find someone who is even more a shoe freak than I am 😉 ), residing in Paris. Although the number of followers has reached far beyond 100K, he is very thankful and appreciative of all the subscribers and fortunately for me, also very approachable and an overall nice person. With his channel, he supports a lot of artists, who gain a lot of views and thus followers, since they receive all the credits themselves.
My kind of Music, with Akara.
MUSIC, SNEAKERS, Now Dance.
I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to write this Spotlight! I loved writing them all but this is basically where I found the music and the artists, that started all this. Click the pics 😉
So in spite of me writing about Funk LeBlanc being my writing muse – and to be honest, all the guys now earn the same honor – and Marc Leclercq being my first ‘guest’, without TJMC, there most likely would not have been any Spotlight at all. And I did refer to TJMC in the first couple of Spotlights. If you’re really interested, I’ve done a little recap way down below…
On YouTube, I have ‘auto-play’ turned on, so when my playlist ends random music plays, in hopes of hearing something interesting. About a year ago, I discovered that the music was improving. I started realizing this, because previously I got this really epic fails, ‘based-on-what-you’ve-listened-to before’ – yeah right 🙄. Getting that really awkward Netflix vibe…
Anyways, at one point they finally seemed to get it right and I was so happy, that I would just let the music play, hoping for more tracks to add to my playlist, which I started about 11 years ago. And of course this is when it all escalated really quickly.
The more I added to my playlist, the more YouTube came up with ‘My kind of Music’. Still I had to wake up. You see I was mostly interested in a banging playlist, not really paying mind to the artist or the channel I found it on. At least when I walked to and from work I could keep up a nice pace and enjoy it too. I had so many new tracks to listen to, having them on repeat for days…yes I still do that…
It didn’t take me long to subscribe to TJMC then. Recounting to my family about this amazing channel that seems to have all the music I love and they would most likely love too. I also subscribed to a couple of other channels – I won’t mention any names – but to be honest, they don’t score as big, not by a long shot, not for me.
The Jukebox Music Club basically took over my playlist from that point on. I couldn’t believe there was one channel that would produce so much good music – well, good for me and apparently also good for over 130K other subscribers and counting!
Anyone who read my previous articles knows, up until recently, I was not a fan of Spotify. I was the only one in our family, that never quite liked it. YouTube was working just fine for me thank you very nice. Now that has changed, but YouTube will always play a large role in my musical discoveries. Btw, TJMC is also available here ➡️ SoundCloud , which I like very much.
Soon after subscribing I found out TJMC just recently reached their first 100K subscribers and Akara celebrated it with a special mix, released 8/4/2019, made by himself after asking the followers what they would like to hear as a big thank you to all of them:
And yes, this one has also been on repeat. Not long after followed by a Christmas mix released 12/25/2019. You really don’t need to wait for Christmas to listen to it, just sayin… both of them were saved in a separate playlist.
Before I started this article, my playlist contained 213 songs, as you all can see on my homepage… What happened was: after finding the artists, I would follow them and remove the TJMC tracks from my list, because… Too.Much…
BUT, I always go through the whole playlist of the one featured in the Spotlight. This meant I went through all TJMC’s tracks, at the moment of writing 367. After a first check, I found I already had about a 100 of them in my playlist at one time…so it wasn’t too bad lol. However I don’t take this lightly, I mean, there’s already so much I don’t know about in this business, the least I can do is knowing what kind of music is offered.
I am not going to say that I like all of them. Still, when I finished listening – almost 3 days later – I added 111 songs to my playlist, which now contains 324 tracks. Not bad eh? ( I once noticed someone having several YouTube playlists, of which one contained 800 plus songs… 😭 just keep scrolling to hear that one song yo).
It’s probably not intentional, but there are even a couple of gospel remixes in there, more score for me. And yeah, the whole initial idea of keeping my playlist in check just went out the door. Then again, TJMC is now one of my Spotlights and it just won’t do to not properly represent it!
Anyways… I already followed Akara on IG. When he popped up in my IG story about a week ago – and yes I was just a little shocked…- I started thinking. And after some encouragement from certain loved ones, I just asked him if he would be interested in a little interview. I really wanted to do this article about TJMC, since it made so much sense to me after all. And much to my surprise, he not only agreed, but also mentioned he had seen the articles about Marc Leclercq, A-P Connection and SoundKid and said they were great. Of course I felt really good after that!
We chatted a little and it never ceases to amaze me, how even via texting, you can seem to sense whether you can really connect with someone. Of course this only goes to a certain extent, but still. A mutual sense of humor does really help.
I like to be upfront (see ‘Extroverted Introvert‘) and explain my way of working. We agreed I would send the questions per email, but I would also ask some random questions here and there, since you’re all aware I do like to get to know people a little.
And there was one question really burning hahah, so I said: ‘One first, I really want to know; How much do you like shoes?’ because, while following him, I’ve seen multiple IG stories pass, where it’s about… shoes, well sneakers to be precise. So it’s not a big secret I guess. And yeah, that’s when the ‘sneaker addict’ was exposed 😉
As is becoming a small part of my preparation, I went through all his IG posts, and well, if you’re wanting for a holiday and it’s just not going to happen due to corona, I suggest you start following Akara and take a peek at his pictures, they are so awesome… maybe it will help you daydream – just don’t hold it against him.
And now…before we go to the interview I want to say: A BIG Thank You Akara! It is so nice meeting you, you’ve been really nice and so very cooperative too! I am so thrilled you want to be a part of my blog and thank you for all the great songs you choose to upload! One out of my many favs:
I think most people thoroughly underestimate how much work it is to keep TJMC alive and kicking and I wish you all the blessings and patience – to listen to aaall that awesome music coming your way and the wisdom to choose. Most of all, I hope you have a lot of fun while at it. No doubt I will keep following you/TJMC, since for every upload I receive at least two notifications haha. I will also add you to my Spotlight page, where you will stay indefinitely.
Follow Akara online;
Let’s start with the obvious: can you please introduce yourself, tell us who you are, what you do and do you yourself also produce music?
‘Hey I’m Akara, I live in Paris and I’m a French producer and musician. I have started playing music since I was a teenager on my own. I have begun by making some beats with FL Studio, a music software which has introduced me in this world.
At the beginning, my musical taste was a lot of US Hip Hop and R&B (that’s why there are a lot of remixes of this kind on TJMC). With the democratization of the Internet and new technologies, access to music has become more easier and I’ve discovered SoundCloud. With this, I found out new genres that I wasn’t into and I’ve really appreciated : Nu-disco, Funk, Electronic, Chill/Tropical House, Synth Pop…etc. That’s how I started “The Jukebox Music Club”, I need to share all of these songs and remixes to the world’.
When did you start with TJMC, what was your reasoning behind that decision?
‘I created the YouTube channel “The Jukebox Music Club” around 6 years ago. Firstly, I wanna spread the music that I liked to everyone, as a personal playlist open to the public. After that, I’ve seen that a real interest was being created about this channel, certainly because the kind of music that I provide was different from other music channels.
The style of music in this channel is really recognizable and unique, I think that’s why people subscribe to TJMC. Therefore, a lot of people who share the same taste in music have followed TJMC and now, we are getting bigger and bigger every day.
A true big community was created from just an idea : sharing good music. Actually, when you heard a funky nu-disco track, you can say “Oh! That’s from The Jukebox Music Club right?” *just kidding*’
(It’s true tho… I started to recognize TJMC songs…)
Can you share a little about the process regarding the tracks you upload to TJMC, e.g. Can artists ask you to? / how do you choose the tracks, are you looking for something specific, like genres?
‘How do I process to select the tracks that I upload on my channel? Very simple, listening. Most of the time, I search my music on SoundCloud. I follow artists, producers and SoundCloud is pretty smart to recommend similar music to what I like.
When a track caught my attention on the first impression, I put it in a folder called “Potential Uploads”. After that, when I’ve selected a lot of tracks, I listen again to all the tracks of this folder and I select the best tracks that will fit with TJMC. Again, TJMC is a kind. It’s especially about Nu-Disco and Funk but also Chill R&B Soul, Tropical House, Electronic, Pop… So the tracks need to be in this row of genres.
Also, many artists contact me to promote their music. As I explained, the music really needs to catch my attention to be part of TJMC. Some random artists with few followers and not really famous, really impressed me with their music. I’ve discovered some gold tracks! Also, I become friends with a lot of them, we share the same passion and our taste in music is pretty similar so this brings us together’.
Am I correct when I say, there are a lot of remixes uploaded, are these all independent / just starting artists? (and is this your way of giving them a chance?)
‘Yes there are a lot of remixes. I have something with them. I just think that many songs are too famous and too recognizable that they need a remix, to see another style of this song. And most of the time, people prefer the remix to the original.
Lots of remixes are independent. Official or unofficial, from famous artists or starting ones. I can upload anything from anyone, if it’s good’.
I have found all the artists I’ve interviewed through TJMC, when I mentioned I was hoping to find a couple of girls, you answered there aren’t a lot of female artists in this kind of music. Do you have any idea why that is? And if you know any at all, we need to have a little talk about it 😉
‘I’m glad you discovered all the artists with my channel. See how music is great! I don’t really know why there are not so many female producers (in TJMC style), but there are a lot of female singers! I can list a lot of female artists that I really appreciate their music : Kehlani, Alina Barraz, RALPH, Sabrina CLaudio, Chloé Martini, Ella Mai. Basically, this is not really nu-disco and funk but I’ve posted a lot of remixes of their songs and they are dope!’
How about the competition on YouTube: there are many channels uploading music, how do you think TJMC is different from the rest, how do you keep distinguishing yourself to standout?
‘On my side, there’s no competition for me. As I said, there are a lot of music channels in YouTube but TJMC’s style is really recognizable and feels unique and that’s why this channel is getting bigger and bigger every day and I thank everyone for this. It’s a great accomplishment for me’.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently? Do you feel like you achieved what you hoped for so far?
‘I wasn’t ready that this channel would be at this stage, I’ve never imagined to have more than 100k followers on YT. It’s incredible! Now, I have new objectives and I think this channel has a good potential and still isn’t fully exploited. I have to think about options to improve this channel’.
Any new goals for the near future? Anything else you’d wish to share with your subscribers/fans?
‘I’m thinking about mixing as a DJ everywhere in the world. I think it can be a good idea because people who listen to this channel may want to chill in some places where they’re playing the music they like. In every city, if there’s a demand and if it’s well organized, I can be there and mixing some TJMC style music. It could be really fun and I think I will enjoy it’.
Now by the time I read all Akara’s answers, it started to dawn on me I forgot to ask 2 questions, of which the first one was so totally needed for the ‘bigger picture’ of the Spotlight section and the other simply because I was very curious. So the next morning, first thing I did was DM him. He was so very nice to immediately answer both of them 🙂
Good Morning hehe, well first: How did the collab with Marc Leclercq come to pass?
‘We exchanged a lot with Marc about music and everything and we talked about a collab together because we use the same music software. Therefore, we worked together remotely. Each of us has added something on the Drake remix. I’ve done the main melody, Marc did the beat…etc. Do you like the result?’
(Yess! It went straight to my playlist!)
second: The amazing pics you use for the songs on TJMC, I recognized at least one from your IG, but are they all yours or is this something YouTube provides?
‘Most of the pictures are from the Internet but I always try to fit the song with the picture. When you listen to a song, you feel something. When you see a picture, it’s the same. So why not put all these together?’
And Akara is right of course. Music is all about the feeling you get when listening. Again, Thank You so much Akara! It has been a pleasure working on this article and I really hope it will attract even more attention to TJMC. I’ve said it before, but I highly recommend this channel to anybody who is looking for groovy, funky, happy and dance-able music! For now, let’s just say, this session is over, you’re all
So if you’re still here, I guess you are interested in the recap, here goes:
Afterwards, it’s hard to say who was ‘first’, Funk LeBlanc, Marc Leclercq, A-P Connection, Jason Gallo-Gaffner and La Felix, I kind of discovered at the same time. And the same happened later with EDES and the others after his Spotlight. Their collabs were the link of course, but TJMC was the Source, where I found their tracks in the first place. It just took me some time to be aware that the same names kept popping up and then it just snowballed from there which was a real fun experience.
Found Funk Leblanc through his remix of ‘P.Y.T’ – after ‘Listen For My Love’, started to follow him.
Found Marc Leclercq through his remix of ‘Knockout’ – after ‘Rock Your World’, started to follow him, found Akara through their One Dance remix. Before I had no idea Akara was the founder of TJMC.
Found A-P Connection through ‘Weak’ – after ‘Find Me On The Dancefloor’, started to follow them.
Found Jason Gallo-Gaffner through A-P Connection’s ‘Just the Way it Goes’, after ‘Believing In Yesterday’, started to follow him, found Limón Limón and La Felix.
Found La Felix through his remix of ‘Believing In Yesterday’, started following him and found EDES.
Found EDES through ‘Shut U Up’, after La Felix’s remix of ‘Got My Own’, started to follow him and got connected with SoundKid, who was already in my playlist with his remix of ‘Loop’. Also found Tollef and got connected to Wern Records through EDES’ article.