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OriginWest London, England
Years active2015–present
Louis Rei
Akelle Charles

WSTRN (a disemvoweling of the word Western, which is also pronounced) are a British hip hop collective from West London consisting of Akelle Charles, Haile (born Ras Haile Alexander), and Louis Rei (born Louis-Rae Beadle). Their debut single, "In2", was released on 20 July 2015,[1] and peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. Louis Rei was formerly known as LB, Akelle was formerly known as A-Star and is Haile's cousin. Haile has featured on several tracks as a solo artist, including "Can't Blame Me" by Nines.


WSTRN consists of Akelle Charles, Haile and Louis Rei.[2] The name bears no relevance to westerns; according to the band, the name represents positive vibrations[3] and to them means that it is "West London's turn to shut down the scene".[4] Akelle and Haile are cousins who know Louis, a former footballer who last played for Staines Town F.C., through their inhabitance of West London, while Akelle is the brother of singer Angel[2] and was part of a band with him and his three other siblings called the Charles Family, co-managed by the late reggae singer Smiley Culture and Akelle's father, Tendai Charles, who was in the same reggae group as Haile's father. Rei's father is Gary Beadle. The group failed to achieve mainstream success despite being the subject of a BBC documentary One Life. Akelle Charles had two main followers, which were his nephews, who encouraged him to keep producing songs as well as the will to be signed.[5]


2015–present: Formation and "In2"[edit]

Their debut single, "In2", was released on 20 July 2015,[6] through Link Up TV[7] and came together as a result of a jam session, instrumental first; Akelle and Haile had written a track and had asked Louis to feature on it.[4] It was recorded in one of the group's first sessions[8] and has appeared on the Radio 1Xtra and Kiss FM playlists.[9] Two music videos were produced for the song – the first was pulled after the band signed to Atlantic Records, while the second was produced by Sally Sibbet and sees the group loitering across West London.[10] Prior to the release of the latter video, Atlantic Records pulled down 43 unofficial YouTube and SoundCloud links before its submission.[3]

On 30 October, "In2" debuted at number 85 in the top 100 of the UK Singles Chart, and climbed to number 60 on 6 November, the day of its digital download release. For these two weeks, it charted on streams alone. Upon its digital release, it peaked at number 4 on 13 November 2015, earning the group its first top 40 and general chart entry.[11]

On 2 December 2015, the trio released the song "Got Love",[12] produced by Parallel (a collective made up of Akelle's brother, Angel, and PRGRSHN).[13] The song was available to download for free when subscribing to their mailing list,[14] and was also released via digital retailers on 4 December. The group expressed via Twitter that the song was not a single.[15] According to Clash Music, the song is about "appreciating the simple things in life".[16]

In July 2017 it was reported that Akelle had been incarcerated for four and a half years for violent disorder.[17]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Mixtape details Peak chart positions
  • Released: 12 October 2018
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Formats: Streaming, digital download


Title Mixtape details Peak chart positions
WSTRN Season
  • Released: 6 July 2016
  • Format: Free digital download
WSTRN Season, Vol. 2
  • Released: 30 August 2019
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Formats: Streaming, digital download
WSTRN Season 3
  • Released: 8 September 2022
  • Label: Empire
  • Formats: Streaming, digital download


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"In2" 2015 4 1 10 Non-album singles
"Come Down" 2016 89
"A-List" 74
"Trap Love"
(featuring Fekky)
"On the Go" 2017
(featuring MoStack)
(featuring Alkaline)
"Ben' Ova" DOU3LE 3AK
"Love Struck"
(featuring Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi)[23]
"Round Here"
(featuring Skrapz)
(featuring Unknown T)
2019 WSTRN Season, Vol. 2
"Maggie & Stardawg"

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Bridge over Troubled Water"
(as part of Artists for Grenfell)
2017 1 26 25 [A] 28 Non-album singles
"Vice Versa"
(One Acen featuring WSTRN)

Promotional singles[edit]

Title Year Album
"Best Friend (Remix)"
(featuring Youngs Teflon)
2015 Non-album singles
"Got Love"


Title Year Artist
"Coming Home"
(Parallel Remix featuring WSTRN)
2015 Sigma and Rita Ora
"Fine Wine"
(Remix featuring WSTRN)
2017 Yxng Bane
"Fine Line"
(Remix with WSTRN)
2018 Mabel


  1. ^ "Bridge over Troubled Water" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number four on the NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart.[24]


  1. ^ WSTRN - IN2 (Original Video) | Link Up TV, retrieved 22 January 2020
  2. ^ a b "This Week's Fresh Music Top 20". 22 October 2015. 4Music. {{cite episode}}: Missing or empty |series= (help)
  3. ^ a b "Is WSTRN'S "In2" The Underground Smash Hit of The Year".
  4. ^ a b "Introducing WSTRN: 'Playing live is the best feeling'". The Official Charts Company.
  5. ^ Simpson, Eva (24 March 2013). "Meet Angel, the new R&B star who turned his fortunes around after jail". The Guardian.
  6. ^ "WSTRN Drop Brand New Video For 'In2'". MTV.
  7. ^ WSTRN - IN2 (Original Video) | Link Up TV, retrieved 22 January 2020
  8. ^ "Introducing the biggest and smallest act in the UK right now, WSTRN". Gigwise.
  9. ^ "Listen to WSTRN's new track 'In2'". The 405.
  10. ^ "WSTRN Unveil Official Video For New Song 'In2'". Capital Xtra.
  11. ^ "WSTRN | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  12. ^ "The 5 Biggest New Songs To Drop this Week (4th December 2015)". Capital Xtra. 4 December 2015.
  13. ^ "WSTRN release brand new video 'Got Love'". GRM Daily. 3 December 2015.
  14. ^ Brydon, Grant (3 December 2015). "WSTRN show that they've 'Got Love' for the fans with free download". RWD Magazine.
  15. ^ Gboyega, Adenike (3 December 2015). "WSTRN return with new track 'Got Love'". MOBO Awards.
  16. ^ Murray, Robin (3 December 2015). "Listen: WSTRN Share 'Got Love'". Clash.
  17. ^ "WSTRN's Akelle is jailed for four years for violent disorder". BBC News. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  18. ^ a b c Peaks in the United Kingdom:
  19. ^ Peak positions for singles on the UK R&B Chart:
  20. ^ " – Discography WSTRN". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  21. ^ "British single certifications – WSTRN – In2". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  22. ^ Ryan, Gavin (20 February 2016). "ARIA Singles: Lukas Graham '7 Years' Is No 1". Noise11. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Love Struck (feat. Tiwa Savage & Mr Eazi) / WSTRN TIDAL". Tidal. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  24. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.

External links[edit]