Ashley Akabah of the garage duo Architechs has died at the age of 49.
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The producer, who was one half of Architechs alongside his brother Tre Lowe, passed away Sunday, February 2 in Notting Hill, West London, according to a report shared by Music Week. The cause of death has not yet been revealed.
“He died as he lived, excited about music. Forever a musician. Forever loved,” a statement read.
Featuring vocals from Nay Nay, the MOBO-nominated single peaked at Number Three on the UK charts and went on to sell over 380,000 copies. It currently has almost 13 million streams on Spotify.
Paying tribute to his brother, Tre Lowe said: “My beautiful brother Ashley. You brought joy to so many lives with your love for crafting music and putting pen to paper to create magic.”
Recalling the creation of their ‘The Boy Is Mine’ remix, he continued: “I remember us making the Boy Is Mine with Kevin in his studio. Together we transformed my little beat into a track that helped alter the history of urban UK music. That was your gift to the world. The ability to bring light with your creative genius.
“To millions you will forever be the voice on the eternal classic Body Groove. To me, you will always be my big brother, my hero and a truly beautiful soul. I long for the day when we make music together again. Love you bro.”
‘Body Groove’ singer Nay Nay added: “I’m so shocked and saddened by Ashley’s sudden departure and am thinking of his family during this difficult time. He was passionate about music and creating Body Groove was such a positive time we had together in the studio.
“This record took us around the world and has now become an integral part of UK music; we made a classic! I’m proud to have created and been part of such an iconic moment. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. His music will live on. Rest In Peace.”
Other tributes included one from garage icon DJ Spoony, who thanked Akabah for what he “gave us and what you’ve left us.”
“As the Dreem Teem we had the pleasure of playing ‘BodyGroove’ first on national radio,” Spoony’s tribute began. “We knew it was a hit the moment heard it and subsequently played it loads. We can all only hope that once we have passed that we have left some legacy and I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the Dreem Teem to say thank you Ashley for what you gave us and what you’ve left us. RIP Brother.”
Rich Dawes, who handled Architects’ PR during the release of ‘Body Groove’, added that Akabah was “an incredible talent that has had his time cut short far too soon.”
“I met Ashley when I first started working in the music industry as a junior PR,” Dawes remembered. “Body Groove was the first UK hit record I ever worked on. I spent time with both Ashley (City) and Paul (Tre) on the promo trail for several months in the lead up to, and the weeks following, the song breaking. Great times.
“Ashley always had great energy and I was impressed by his laser focus on what he wanted, whether it be from the music, the photos or the interviews. An incredible talent that has had his time cut short far too soon. His spirit will live on in the music. Rest In Peace.”