How Old Is Akon
How Old Is Akon
Akon (born Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon
Thiam) in 1981 is a Senegalese hip hop and R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer. Akon rose to fame in
2004 following the release of his single "Locked Up" from his debut album Trouble.
His second album, Konvicted, earned him a Grammy
Award nomination for the single "Smack That". He is the founder of Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. He
is well known for singing hooks and has over 130 guest appearances and 18 Billboard Hot 100 songs to his
credit. He is the only artist to ever accomplished the feat of holding both the number one and two spots
simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice.
The mere act of surviving on a day to day basis
is the foundation from which a true artist builds his craft. Multi-talented newcomer AKON is no exception to
this rule. His dynamic debut album, TROUBLE, a collection of stirring songs, creatively reflects the ups and
downs of the singer/songwriter/producer's life experiences. A crafty blend of soulful hip-hop, TROUBLE is
AKON's vibrant first time tour-de-force.
"TROUBLE evolved from the struggles I went
through and what I did and am still doing to correct those things," offers AKON, who has had his fair share of
adolescent problems with both the legal and school system, as is reflected in his redemption song "Trouble
Nobody." "I've got a habit of writing about everything I go through," he explains, "and this album gives a
glimpse of where I am now."
To understand where AKON is right now is just half the equation. The other half lies
in where he came from: this young artist possesses a unique history. A Senegalese African, AKON moved to the United
States when he was seven. His family is headed by legendary percussionist and jazz musician Mor Thiam, whose
expertise for playing the Djembe, a traditional African drum, has been touted as "unrivaled." Being brought up in
an environment that treasures the true artistic value of musicianship and revels in the mastering of instrumental
skill has had a momentous affect on AKON.
It was AKON's deep rooted love and passion for music, evolving from filial
admiration, which allowed him to turn his life around, despite his trouble as a youth residing in New Jersey.
AKON began playing several different percussion instruments and eventually embraced hip-hop music and culture,
despite his initial disdain for the genre. "When I first heard hip-hop I thought it was rubbish because I
didn't understand the concept of people talking over music," AKON recalls, "But as I started growing up,
living a little and listening to the lyrics, I realized that I was going through a lot of stuff these rappers
were talking about and I could relate."
Once hip-hop took over his life, AKON's musical development exploded and he began
channeling his energy into writing and producing his own music. Songs such as "Show Out" display how much hip-hop
has influenced him. Over the sparsely yet hard hitting groove, "Don't tempt me/'Cuz I'm close to the edge/I'm
trying not to lose my head," ring the lyrics that cleverly integrates original school lyrics. At the same time, the
song pays homage to hip-hop pioneers all while maintaining its own identity.
Meanwhile, his first single "Bananza (Belly Dance)" exhibits another side of the
artist. On this song AKON puts forth a feel-good vibe. Singing over a seductive and sensual beat, "Bananza (Belly
Dance)," is one of AKON's most irresistible tracks. The song integrates a unique up tempo dance beat with a
distinct wind instrumentation floating in the background guaranteed to improve every listener's mood. The reason
for this, AKON says, "There are a lot of negative things going on today." "We need to party and just have fun," he
continues, "'Bananza…' is a party record. You just go in the club, party and enjoy those beautiful
However, life does not solely revolve around beautiful women and leisure time and
AKON is well aware of this. On the somber, soulful "Ghetto" and the meditative, impressive "Journey," AKON gives
listeners an in-depth look into a harsher world, one that is just as gripping as it is chilling. But rather than
sensationalize his own drama, AKON transmits, to his audience, the feeling of being a part of his inner
AKON's personal appeal and ability to reach a listener is a part of his whole
package: a package that includes, most importantly, his distinctive vocals and a relaxed singing style. It is as
though he is speaking to you as he sings in a very intimate manner. "When I sing the sound comes from the mood that
I am in. These records are coming straight from the heart," AKON divulges.
Genuine and honest, AKON's music is a step in a new direction: a trajectory that will
lead us on a delightfully fulfilling path. Says AKON, "When I'm on the mic, I'm just giving the listener a part of
me." Be prepared to receive it.
How Old Is Akon