She is one of Hamburg’s most important exports in pop: Jennifer Yaa Akoto Kieck, a.k.a. Y’akoto. The 28-year old African German showed with her two albums, numerous live shows on multiple festivals and extensive tours that touching soul can be made in Germany as well. Now, Y’akoto is named together with big artists like Joy Denalane and even Erykah Badu by some critics. Her music draws upon soul, jazz, pop and African rhythms. Her lyrics deal with personal stories but also with current political issues.

Africa is always with her. She did her A-Levels and studied dance in Hamburg, but she’s often drawn back to the continent, where she spent a lot of time with her parents. “Here, I get a lot of inspiration for my lyrics and my music”, she says. Many songs of her second album “Moody Blues” are influenced by the typical African high-tuned guitars and polyphonic rhythms. Her probably most important song is the refugee tragedy “Off The Boat”. It took her six years to write. The speech song is only instrumented by the rhythms of a cooking spoon – a song that deeply touches.