'Made In Manchester' is a new series in partnership with adidas Football and Manchester United, celebrating the creative spirit and proud diversity of Mancunian music culture. In each entry, we'll link up with an artist or group that's creating a new sound for the city and find out how their love of United has helped them do it. First up, we hear from Akemi Fox, a creative polymath who represents the best of her community with every move she makes.
Being from Manchester means you are born a dreamer. You want to do big things and achieve greatness. Growing up in Chorlton, I spent a lot of time around Old Trafford and the Theatre of Dreams has always given me inspiration. As a performer myself, I know there’s no better venue in the world.
I still recall the days where my dad would shout at the radio when listening to games because of his excitement and how passionate he was. Even though he wasn’t walking out of the tunnel or playing in front of The Sir Alex Feguson Stand, he behaved like he was. That’s much he cared.
He had true passion – and that’s one thing I’ve always loved about this football club, it brings out so much passion inside of us. The club represents us in so many ways. Despite going through tough times, the desire to be the best always remains.
It’s a value I carry with me in my own work. As a singer and songwriter, I always want to make the very best music I can. I want my work to be an extension of myself, my story and where I come from – with every piece of work I create, I know I want to represent Manchester to the best of my ability.
This city is filled with so many creative and like-minded individuals who behave like a team on the field of play. We all support each other to achieve our targets. It’s what has made Manchester a real historical place when it comes to music. We’re all driven by a desire to be great and to see our community succeed, and I really think some of those values come from this football club.
Look no further than Marcus Rashford. A real son of the soil. Someone who I am not only inspired by, but I want to be like. Words can’t describe how impactful his work off the pitch has been to so many people.
Football may be his creative outlet but he leverages it to give back to people around him. That is the Mancunian way. That is what I want to do, use my talents to help others.
United have always set an example by striving to be the best and uplifting everyone around them in the process. My music is just an extension of this mantra. The ballers may use their feet and I may use my voice – but we’re all trying to use our platforms to push our community forward.
– Akemi Fox
Akemi Fox is wearing the 2021/22 Manchester United collection from adidas Football, available now via adidas.com.
Photography by Jake Millers.