Originating from two of the most musically isolated parts of Australia, Perth rapper Coin (The Stoops / Coin & Taku) and Tasmanian DJ/producer Akouo (Javs & Akouo) have been quietly building a cache of sounds that blend neo-soul, backpack rap and eclectic rhythms since early 2011.
The duo (now known better under the moniker Letters To The Sun) draw inspiration from a range of musical influences, from hip hop producers such as J Dilla, Pete Rock, Hitek, Exile and 20Syl to neo-soul figures like Amp Fiddler, Erykah Badu and Common. As a member of The Stoops, Perth based MC Coin collaborated with producer J Squared (Illy / Beathedz / Spit Syndicate) on their album Stoop Squared.
It was soon followed up by his album Home, a collaboration with future beats producer Taku (Raashan Ahmad / Miles Bonny). Coin’s work on The Stoops infectious summer anthem ‘Free‘ featuring 2010 Wam Song of the Year winner Georgi Kay was met with critical acclaim, earning the Stoops a strong run of festival shows and international support slots including Pete Rock, Kurtis Blow and Loop Troop throughout 2011.
From the other (and much colder) side of the country, Tasmanian DJ/producer Akouo builds musical soundscapes that encompass soulful melodies, boom-bap drums and jazzy bass lines. His 2008 debut album Outwit The Muscle featured as triple j Hip Hop Show ‘Album of the Week’ and it’s single Lazy Days earned strong rotation on jjj radio. His pervious works include collaborations with Australian hip-hop artists including Class A (Fitzroy), Chance Waters (‘The Catchy Song feat. 360, Smiles Again & Joyride‘, ‘Build It Up‘) and Dunn D (‘Can’t Catch Me‘). In 2010, Akouo released a collaborative EP with US MC Javs (DJ Bonez/Jase) titled Double Helix and has since performed alongside artists including DJ Premier, Masta Ace, Classified and Bliss n Eso.
Early 2012, the duo released their first collaborative effort together, a free downloadable promo EP titled Appetizers, featuring the lead track Going My Way – which received a place on the featured song playlist on triple j’s Unearthed site, and also introduced their own take on the popular track – Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People. In the lead up to their debut self titled, full length album (due out later in 2012), Letters To The Sun bring their first single Mile High Club – a bouncy, Rhodes lead banger with a generous helping of funk and a smooth Michael Jackson-esque hook sung by Perth singer/song writer Donovan de Souza to match.