KNBA began the Alaska Native Artist Spotlight to reach out to musicians, bands and artists in the effort to bring more Native voices to the airwaves. We wanted to shine a brighter light by choosing a specific artist to showcase. So we asked for music… and the response was fantastic!
Annually we’ll be selecting an artist or band, from submitted entries, to be spotlighted on 90.3 FM. We'll record an artist/band profile; we'll share the artists/bands music as part of the On-Air playlist and we'll invite the artist/band for a Live In-Studio session on the radio.
Our 2015 music submissions included the genres of Rock, Rap, Yup’ik a cappella, Blues, Country and more! Thanks to all the artists who sent in their music. Our selection crew had a tough decision considering the quality of the entries, but we came to an agreement that this year’s Spotlight should go to…
Samuel Johns, also known as, AK Rebel!
We were impressed by the creative use of music and message to deliver his passion for positive social change in our Alaska communities. We also took notice of his commitment to delivering that message, his self-promotion through numerous performances, and the professional quality of his recordings. Thank You for the Music!
Keep it tuned to 90.3 fm KNBA to hear AK Rebel on the Radio and remember to support local music in Alaska because Music Matters!
AK Rebel Bio
A little about my life.
I live in Anchorage, Alaska and God truly blessed me with an amazing family & a beautiful wife. I grew up in Copper Center, Alaska. It’s a beautiful community off of the Richardson Highway, full of beautiful people. It's the place where my dad raised my sisters and I. We were blessed to have a dad that lived a sober lifestyle. He showed us love on a daily basis. My grandfather was the traditional chief of the Ahtna region & the Pastor of our church.
His name was Harry Johns Sr. While growing up, he was a major influence to my cousins & I.
He was a man that was well known across Alaska. I highly respected my grandpa Harry. I remember all of the plaques on the wall with his name on them. I remember when they dedicated a building to him here in Anchorage. His face is still there by the front door of that building.
As I got older, after my grandpa passed away, I realized that no one can ever fill his shoes, so I made up my mind, when I got older, I wanted to create my own legacy.
Today, I'm a little different, I’m not focused on creating a legacy, I just want to inspire people to make the right choices in life.
Why did I choose to rap?
I grew up listening to rap music, some of it stuck, some of it was forgotten. But one thing I noticed was it was very influential. I respected how my favorite rappers were original with their lyrics. After reading a few poems written by Tupac, it inspired me to get into poetry. After getting into poetry, I started finding ways to rap the words that I wrote in my poems.
It took some time, but I'm finally getting some rhythm.
Who are my major influences, when it comes to music?
I really liked how Tupac rapped about stuff that mattered. I think that's what makes his music timeless. He brings up real topics that moved people in a powerful way. Eminem really inspired me to use my personal experiences in life to relate to the people that would take the time to listen to whatever I create. I really respect that about Eminem. He used his own life to get where he was today. He did so in an inappropriate way, but I respect the fact that he stayed true to himself.
When you listen to most rappers, they give you a fantasy of what they want and what they want their listeners to believe they have. It's not necessarily staying true to themselves or there listeners.
So when I make music, I like to speak on real issues in a powerful way, while at the same time, staying true to myself.