Akil Wingate

by Brian Clarey

We’re gonna go ahead and call Akil Wingate a celebrity, though it’s likely you haven’t heard of him unless you went to Dudley High School with him (Class of ’93) or you’re really into European electronica. Akil shares time between Hollywood and Paris, France. In Hollywood he makes movies – he’ll be in the upcoming titles Creepshow 3, where he plays the villain, and Monster’s Mountain, where he plays the monster. Across the pond he’s making waves as a featured vocalist on a new dance CD with French sensation Alexandre Auger – the single “Everything You Need” went to No. 8 on the French charts and the next, “You’re Not Alone,” should crack the top ten as well. “Right now in France dance music is dominated by women,” he says. “They wanted a male diva to compete with the women. The big French DJs wanted me to come in and do vocals, sort of like a Gnarls Barkley thing, and I ended up with a number eight single in France.” He’s on a break from performing with the Dreamgirls stage show (he plays Curtis, portrayed in the film by Jamie Foxx) and will be in town for another week to discover all of Greensboro’s new strip malls and bars and also to keep himself grounded. “I see how people turn into ‘E! True Hollywood Stories,'” he says.