Donnie Aki is Miami, Florida-based singer, songwriter, and hip hop artist. Having gotten a creative jumpstart in his sophomore year of high school, he subsequently developed his craft through a variety of basement recordings. His focus would eventually become such for him to decline a University of Florida track scholarship and instead pursue music full-time. After accumulating a solid near-60 thousand streams through his debut single, “Held Me Down,” his latest follow-up, “Lifeline,” is a further validator for his continuing pursuit.
On “Lifeline,” Aki’s instrumentation approach seems to maintain a distinctive cloud rap-influenced identity, the dreamlike synths and straightforward vocal layering still working in his favor. The production is solid and spacious, yet also lo-fi, with Aki’s tonality colorful and direct. Even though such an approach may seem simple, I can also appreciate his complementary, nuanced thematic view about the first girl he ever had genuine feelings for. That is, someone who causes him strain and anxiety can be just as vital a form of emotional support. As the single will lead off his upcoming debut album, Mixed Emotions, I’m looking forward to how its context is further fleshed out.
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