Following the early discovery of his gift and subsequent years of participating in a variety of elementary school and community talent shows, Akouo’s first-among-many professional assignments as an artist began at age 10, when he joined Bill Bryant's ‘Willie Watts & Friends’; a unique clown ensemble that incorporated elements of music, acting and dancing, and staged in major parades throughout southern California (1970–1974).
Akouo was the bassist and writer for various bands in the Los Angeles, California area; namely, the jazz/soul group, JE’MM, from 1975–1978.
Conducted by pioneer music educator, A. Hugh Graham, Akouo served, while a student from 1978–1980, as the bassist for the touring jazz ensemble of Southwestern Christian College of Terrell, Texas.
Throughout the years of 1986–1990, he sang tenor and bass as well as wrote, recorded and performed songs for the Twin Cities, Minnesota-based a cappella group, Gospelights, under the direction of its founder, Tierra Watkins, formerly of the famed group, Straight Company of Louisville, Kentucky.
He was the host of the Minneapolis/St. Paul radio program, S.E.A.R.C.H., from 1987–1990.
From 1988–1993, he independently owned and managed a Twin Cities concert promotion company.
Volunteering for MPS Early Childhood Family Education, he helped children and families by facilitating a parenting class from 1989–1992.
For 3 years, from 1991–1994, Akouo was a contracted writer for Johnnie Wilder, Jr., co-founder and lead vocalist of the international R&B/funk group, Heatwave, also the owner of Shalonda Productions of Dayton, Ohio.
In 1992, Akouo was the narrating voice for The African American Experience: A History, by Computerized Educational Resources (Distributed by Globe Publishing); later narrated by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
He was publicly acknowledged by James Scheibel, Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, on October 18, 1992, for contributing to the successful launching of the ‘Saint Paul for All’ Cultural Corridor.
For years of service as a community volunteer for the St. Paul Rondo Days Parade/Festival, he was given a Certificate of Appreciation Award on July 17, 1993.
As a Life Coping Skills instructor from 1994–1996 (Minnesota Department of Corrections), he prepared inmates for re-entry, and thereby helped to reduce the rate of recidivism.
On July 15, 1995, Akouo was presented with a Community Service Award from the Richfield/Bloomington, Minnesota Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
As a board member (1996–2000) of the culturally-specific wellness organization, Turning Point of Minneapolis, Minnesota, he advocated for the improvement of chemical and behavioral health among African Americans.
From 1997–2007, he created and cultivated an innovational music, arts and drama department for the Minneapolis Central Church of Christ, where he also served as its principal pulpitarian for 24 years (1983–2007).
In the 1999–2000 New Millennium Edition of ‘Who’s Who’ in America, he is listed as an Honored Member.
He founded Pineal Records, Books & Films in May 2000, through which he produces and distributes his and others’ artistic works and merchandise.
Akouo’s first recording, Help Is On The Way, was released in 2002, and was featured in the 2003 African American Independent Film by 828 Entertainment, Pretty Lady (IMDb).
His second, Signz ‘N’ Timez, was released in October 2010.
Akouo’s first full-length recording project, Grace Journey, was released in August 2013, featuring the following songs:
- Worst-Case Scenario
- I Can’t Figure It Out
- Heaven And Earth
- Grace Journey
- Someday I Will Fly
- Ev’rything Is Gonna Get Better
- Resurrection Song
- I’m Into You
Akouo received a formal endorsement in May 2014, from Michael Pedulla, founder of M.V. Pedulla Guitars, Inc.
He won The Akademia Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album for Grace Journey in March 2016.
In August 2016, a feature story about Akouo was officially published in the Marquix Global Network.
During the month of February 2017, his song, Ev’rything Is Gonna Get Better, hit the #1 position on the R&B/Soul Charts of the Power XR West Coast Radio Network.
In November 2017, he was the session bassist for music recorded by R&B singer, Giorge Pettus.
Throughout August 2018, Akouo’s song, I’m Into You, hit the #1 position on the R&B/Soul Charts of KMIX Radio Los Angeles.
For the duration of March 2019, I’m Into You, Akouo’s ballad on the Grace Journey album, hit and maintained the #1 position on the R&B/Soul Charts of WNYR Radio New York.
Churchman, Akouo’s multi-genre concept album, was officially released on June 5, 2019, with the co-related compositions:
- Holy Kiss
- The W-E-L-C-O-M-E Song
- Coming Soon (To A Neighborhood Near You)
- Here I Stand
- Mr. Nobody
- Eye Released (The Old Nature)
- It’s Not
- You & Me
- What Is Your Life?
You & Me, an up-tempo tune for square, zydeco, swing and line dancing, earned Akouo The Best Country Song Award for the month of January 2020 by The Akademia Music Awards.
In collaboration with author/illustrator, Chris Fulton, Akouo introduced the Churchman Children's Art & Amusement Book in December 2021. Published by Pineal Books.
On April 14, 2022, an article about Akouo was featured in VoyageMinnesota Magazine.
He was a highlighted figure in CanvasRebel Magazine on November 3, 2022.
Accentuating the forward movement of local businesses, artists and creatives, a write-up about Akouo was published in Bold Journey Magazine on August 25, 2023.
In recognition for having created a musical repertoire that is truly original, and for talent, hard work and perseverance that have been deemed worthy of the highest lifetime recognition, Akouo was inducted into the Akademia Music Awards Hall of Fame on September 1, 2023.
For live performances, check out the On-the-Move page for dates, times and locations.