SMODÈ MAGAZINE

Juno Award-Nominated Music Producer Discusses Breaking into the Industry

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US Gold-Certified and Juno Award-nominated music producer, audio engineer, and musical prodigy Akeel Henry is making a name for himself in the industry, working along with such illustrious artists as Grammy-nominated Desiigner, Shawn Mendes, Ty Dolla $ign, Jeremiah, Trey Songz, Toni Braxton, Swae Lee, and Daniel Caesar. Toronto-native and Los Angeles-based Henry trained under Noah ’40’ Shebib of OVO Sound, the record label co-owned by Drake, and is currently signed to R&B singer Babyface’s record label Laface.

Henry got his musical start in the church where he played the drums, keys, and later bass at age 5. He attended the prestigious Metalworks Institute, during which he interned at Phase One Studios and gained the opportunity to work with Drake’s producer Noah ‘40’ from OVO Sound. Akeel also worked frequently with Toronto producer DZL on a number of tracks, including Too Lit by Kid Ink, Got Me by Roy Woods (whose album reached the number two slot on the iTunes R&B charts), One of Them by Eric Bellinger (whose album climbed to number fourteen on the Billboard R&B Albums chart), and Wild Ting by 11:11. During this time, he also supplied his piano skills for Universal Music recording artist, Shawn Mendes at his Pickering, Ontario ‘Leadership Benefit’ concert. 

More recently, Akeel received a production placement on the US Gold Certified track Don’t Get Much Better featuring Jeremih, Ty Dolla Sign and Sage the Gemini, which is highlighted on the soundtrack of the latest instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise, The Fate of the Furious. This year, Henry has been nominated for two 2021 Juno Awards, “Jack Richardson Producer of the Year” for his work producing Trey Songz’ “Rain (feat. Swae Lee)” (co-producer Mike ‘DZL’ Holmes), Trey Songz’ “BACK HOME”, and Toni Braxton’s “Spell My Name” (co-producer Antonio Dixon), and he is credited as a composer on Savannah Ré’s album Solid which is nominated for “Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year”. Henry’s instinctive passion for music doesn’t stop at his own, having opened his own recording studio in Toronto where he is currently developing new artists including LOONY. In his free time, Henry enjoys playing basketball and supporting the Toronto Raptors.