Awich, short for “Asia Wish Child,” taken from her birth name “Akiko,” is a name she created to reflect her roots. A child growing up on her home island of Okinawa, Awich would stay up through the night writing poetry about varieties of things such as life, love, the universe and etc. Her first encounter with hip hop was listening to Tupac’s All Eyes on Me when she was 13. Her primary English textbook hailed from Tupac’s lyrics, interviews, movies and books. She was featured on the local hip hop compilation album Orion Beat showcasing various Okinawan artists when she was only 14 years old and in 2006, she released her debut EP Inner Research. She relocated to Atlanta to attend school that same year, during the height of the southern hip-hop boom. Moving between Tokyo and Atlanta, she released her first full album Asia Wish Child in 2007. During that time, she married a New York native and gave birth to her daughter, Toyomi Jah’mira.
In 2011, with her bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing, the family was just getting ready to move to Okinawa when her husband was murdered in an incident. She returned home with her daughter and faced seemingly endless depression and self-questioning. This intense process of introspection was cathartic and helped her reevaluate a more profound meaning of life, love, and forgiveness.