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Known for his sonic activism and dynamic lyrical abilities, DyspOra’s music will inspire you


In this week’s episode, Josh is talking to Gabriel Akon, known as DyspOra who was a Semi-Finalist in the 2019 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards, South Australia.

Gabriel ‘DyspOra’ Akon is an award-winning Hip-Hop recording Artist, Sonic Activist, Poet & founder of the playback 808 Kingdom. The nomadic troubadour was born in South Sudan and raised across various locations in East Africa until his family migrated to the South Australian city of Adelaide.

After spending his formative years in a Refugee camp in Kenya, DyspOra saw music as a key tool in breaking down cultural, lingual and racial barriers which led him to begin writing poetry at the age of 12 & had graduated to writing rhymes by the time he was in high school. He began releasing weekly freestyle videos on YouTube in early 2010 and it was during these sporadic sessions with local producers Luke iLL and Meta Beats where he was inspired to create the playback 808 imprint and began recruiting team members and future label mates.

The Playback 808 founder is the current ambassador for the Timpir Foundation which provides education to more than 1400 Children in South Sudan. He has performed at major events including Clipsal 500, Listen Out Festival, Root Down Festival, Miss Africa, Groovin The Moo, Scouted festival & Sanaa festival. These performances have allowed him to share the stage with Skepta, Skrillex, Paul Kelly, Hilltop Hoods, Amine, HorrorShow, Seth Sentry, Thundamentals, Funkoars, Kerser, Masego and Man Made Mountain. DyspOra released his long awaited ‘AUSTRALIEN’ project in April 2019.


In this episode:

  • We hear how Gabriel “DyspOra” Akon uses his lived experience to be, through music and activism to be an arrow of God and a vessel of humanity.
  • How did his stage name, DyspOra originate? It makes for an interesting listen.
  • And you really get to understand Gabriel’s favourite quote after listening to his story; “You can’t blame the room for being dark, blame the people who turned the light off.”
  • How do you practise your Ted talk? In front of a random Uber driver of course!!


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Listen to DyspOra’s TedEx talk

You can listen to DyspOra’s music on YouTube, Google, Spotify or Apple Music


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Transcript (available in one week)