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Afroamerican
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Afroamerican

Post Number: 114
Registered: 08-2005

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Votes: 1 (Vote!)

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 10:09 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I thought I'd share this interview of him since he's someone everyone here can relate to! He's African and yet very American too: He says some of the same things Kola does!

________________________

AKON Ė Artist Interview
By Marielle V. Turner, Virtual A&R, Slamjamz.com

Marielle: How did you choose your name?
AKON: Itís not a significant made-up name. AKON is actually a middle name of mine.
Marielle: Well whatís your whole name then?
AKON: Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam.
Marielle: Wow thatís a mouthful. Could you spell that?
AKON: Iíll write it down for you.
Marielle: Thank you.

My apologies to AKON if I didnít read it correctly. He asked me to just write down Aliaune Akon Thiam for short Ė I just had to have yíall see the whole thing.

Marielle: I went to TowerRecords.com to listen to the snippets they have of your CD. I notice you quote Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Fiveís ďThe Message.Ē Thereís also a song called ďLonely.Ē Who is the original song by?
AKON: That would be Bobby Vinton. You donít know nothiní about that huh?

AKON is completely adapted as an American as you can see from the way he speaks.

Marielle: I was just thinking, ďThis song sounds familiar.Ē This is some serious cross-over material though I know you ainít tryiní to do that.
If you look at most Black Americans, we donít know where weíre from originally. Being from Africa Ė Senegal, whatís it like to know exactly where youíre from, then to move here to grow up with Black Americans?

AKON: I was blessed to see both sides. Here, you only see one side of life, until you take the time to go back home and see where youíre from.
Marielle: Well like Eddie Griffin said, ďWe canít just show up and say, ĎTake me to Shamboogooís house.íĒ Weíre not from there.
AKON: You can actually just show up. You really can. People donít know what to expect when they get there. Itís the same distance from here to Senegal as it is from here to L.A.

I really wanted him to understand that we canít just show up and find family in Senegal or any other place in Africa. I guess I gotta have the hook up through him somehow to get the home treatment -- hint, hint. Otherwise, itís like going anywhere else to visit, Iím so sure.

Marielle: A lot of Black Americans think that Africans donít like us. Like theyíre mad at us for being allowed to grow up here. Well, we are descendants of the ones who happened to survive that long-ass boat ride. So growing up with Black Americans, what was your perspective? Tell me about your friendships, relationships with women, whatever.
AKON: I personally canít speak for other Africans. I didnít have that experience. As a kid, growiní up, I canít front, it was hard. I was just coming in from Africa. I was mad black. Dark skin wasnít in style. My accent was crazy. I was getting teased and fighting, but you know, kids are gonna be kids anyway. But they didnít give me the impression that I didnít get along with them. I ended up making crazy friends once they got to know me. I just think itís a lack of understanding. People stereotype you before they get to know you as a person. So, naturally, Black people think that Africans donít like them, and itís never been like that. If youíre American and you go to Africa, you get treated better than most Africans. I donít know why or what their motivation is. Maybe they want your money. I donít know. But theyíll treat you very well as an African-American. Once they make it to the states, thatís probably something different. They might treat you a certain way since they get treated a certain way. You never know what drives people to react and treat people the way they do. It could also have a lot to do with the fact that they donít teach African history here.
Marielle: I know. Unless you studied African history on your own, you didnít really know about how we got here from Africa until you saw Roots.
AKON: And if you use Roots as an example, thatís no good. Until you take the time to go research yourself, you wonít know anything and thereís always gonna be that gap and misunderstanding between Africans and African-Americans.
Marielle: What about your relationships with women here? Have you had any?
AKON: All of my relationships with women here have been great. Iíve had no problems. The only thing Iíve had to adjust with hereĖwomen donít listen. Women got their own mind. They do what they want and when they want to. In Africa, itís totally different. Women will listen to you and do what you say. Women compete against men here. Thatís something I had to get used to.
Marielle: How old are you?
AKON: I just donít advertise my age because in this industry you are as young as you sound. Other than that Iíd be glad to tell you how old I am. Once you let people know your age in this business, thatís when the countdown begins. Matter of fact, theyíll put your deadline on blast for you. I donít wanna be in that box so I donít advertise it, period.
Marielle: A very strong Hip-Hop influence is evident in your style. Your bio says this was the case in your life as well. You collaborated with several Hip-Hop artists on this project. Tell me more.
AKON: Yeah, Daddy T. and Picklehead, a group called Grady Bakers (sorry if I got this wrong) out of West Atlanta, and Styles P from The Lox out of Yonkers. Grady Bakers are signed to my production company. Theyíre fresh out of prison as well. I have a company called Convict Music. Weíre rehabilitating a lot of prisoners who are trying to come out and change for the better. When you come out of prison and they find out youíre a convicted felon you canít get a decent job. A lot of times people want to change but they canít cause society wonít let them do it. What they end up doing is what got them into prison in the first place in order to survive. So we started Convict Music for a lot of kids that come out. I saw a lot of talented brothers when I was in there, and thought they would be huge if they came out and got on. So weíre not dealing with knuckleheads, weíre dealing with cats who want to come out and change. As far as Styles P, when we were getting ready to put out ďLocked UpĒ it was ironic that he was locked up and just getting out of jail. This record came out of my real life experience and is personal to me. I wasnít trying to just put a big name on it so it would sell. All of the songs are written in diary form because I made them for my own personal listening. So I heard that he liked the record and wanted to be on it. I thought that it would be good to look at the situation from a Hip-Hop standpoint as well as an R&B standpoint. Had he not gotten locked up, he probably would not have been on this record.
Marielle: I hear a serious Reggae influence on your sound, and was reminded of Bob Marley a lot because your voice sounds a lot like his. Is there any Reggae influence in your opinion?
AKON: Thereís as much Reggae influence as Hip-Hop. I wanted to have the whole record sound like something I wanted to hear. So thereís different types of music on there.
Marielle: So do you consider this Street R&B?
AKON: You can call it Street R&B if you want to. Itís really all reality music. This is stuff I actually grew up dealing with. I donít like to do songs all about relationships and love. Thatís for other people to do. I pretty much like to sing about things I see. I think music has more substance when you talk about the truth

AKON Ė Artist Interview
By Marielle V. Turner, Virtual A&R, Slamjamz.com

Marielle: How did you choose your name?
AKON: Itís not a significant made-up name. AKON is actually a middle name of mine.
Marielle: Well whatís your whole name then?
AKON: Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam.
Marielle: Wow thatís a mouthful. Could you spell that?
AKON: Iíll write it down for you.
Marielle: Thank you.

My apologies to AKON if I didnít read it correctly. He asked me to just write down Aliaune Akon Thiam for short Ė I just had to have yíall see the whole thing.

Marielle: I went to TowerRecords.com to listen to the snippets they have of your CD. I notice you quote Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Fiveís ďThe Message.Ē Thereís also a song called ďLonely.Ē Who is the original song by?
AKON: That would be Bobby Vinton. You donít know nothiní about that huh?

AKON is completely adapted as an American as you can see from the way he speaks.

Marielle: I was just thinking, ďThis song sounds familiar.Ē This is some serious cross-over material though I know you ainít tryiní to do that.
If you look at most Black Americans, we donít know where weíre from originally. Being from Africa Ė Senegal, whatís it like to know exactly where youíre from, then to move here to grow up with Black Americans?

AKON: I was blessed to see both sides. Here, you only see one side of life, until you take the time to go back home and see where youíre from.
Marielle: Well like Eddie Griffin said, ďWe canít just show up and say, ĎTake me to Shamboogooís house.íĒ Weíre not from there.
AKON: You can actually just show up. You really can. People donít know what to expect when they get there. Itís the same distance from here to Senegal as it is from here to L.A.

I really wanted him to understand that we canít just show up and find family in Senegal or any other place in Africa. I guess I gotta have the hook up through him somehow to get the home treatment -- hint, hint. Otherwise, itís like going anywhere else to visit, Iím so sure.

Marielle: A lot of Black Americans think that Africans donít like us. Like theyíre mad at us for being allowed to grow up here. Well, we are descendants of the ones who happened to survive that long-ass boat ride. So growing up with Black Americans, what was your perspective? Tell me about your friendships, relationships with women, whatever.
AKON: I personally canít speak for other Africans. I didnít have that experience. As a kid, growiní up, I canít front, it was hard. I was just coming in from Africa. I was mad black. Dark skin wasnít in style. My accent was crazy. I was getting teased and fighting, but you know, kids are gonna be kids anyway. But they didnít give me the impression that I didnít get along with them. I ended up making crazy friends once they got to know me. I just think itís a lack of understanding. People stereotype you before they get to know you as a person. So, naturally, Black people think that Africans donít like them, and itís never been like that. If youíre American and you go to Africa, you get treated better than most Africans. I donít know why or what their motivation is. Maybe they want your money. I donít know. But theyíll treat you very well as an African-American. Once they make it to the states, thatís probably something different. They might treat you a certain way since they get treated a certain way. You never know what drives people to react and treat people the way they do. It could also have a lot to do with the fact that they donít teach African history here.
Marielle: I know. Unless you studied African history on your own, you didnít really know about how we got here from Africa until you saw Roots.
AKON: And if you use Roots as an example, thatís no good. Until you take the time to go research yourself, you wonít know anything and thereís always gonna be that gap and misunderstanding between Africans and African-Americans.
Marielle: What about your relationships with women here? Have you had any?
AKON: All of my relationships with women here have been great. Iíve had no problems. The only thing Iíve had to adjust with hereĖwomen donít listen. Women got their own mind. They do what they want and when they want to. In Africa, itís totally different. Women will listen to you and do what you say. Women compete against men here. Thatís something I had to get used to.
Marielle: How old are you?
AKON: I just donít advertise my age because in this industry you are as young as you sound. Other than that Iíd be glad to tell you how old I am. Once you let people know your age in this business, thatís when the countdown begins. Matter of fact, theyíll put your deadline on blast for you. I donít wanna be in that box so I donít advertise it, period.
Marielle: A very strong Hip-Hop influence is evident in your style. Your bio says this was the case in your life as well. You collaborated with several Hip-Hop artists on this project. Tell me more.
AKON: Yeah, Daddy T. and Picklehead, a group called Grady Bakers (sorry if I got this wrong) out of West Atlanta, and Styles P from The Lox out of Yonkers. Grady Bakers are signed to my production company. Theyíre fresh out of prison as well. I have a company called Convict Music. Weíre rehabilitating a lot of prisoners who are trying to come out and change for the better. When you come out of prison and they find out youíre a convicted felon you canít get a decent job. A lot of times people want to change but they canít cause society wonít let them do it. What they end up doing is what got them into prison in the first place in order to survive. So we started Convict Music for a lot of kids that come out. I saw a lot of talented brothers when I was in there, and thought they would be huge if they came out and got on. So weíre not dealing with knuckleheads, weíre dealing with cats who want to come out and change. As far as Styles P, when we were getting ready to put out ďLocked UpĒ it was ironic that he was locked up and just getting out of jail. This record came out of my real life experience and is personal to me. I wasnít trying to just put a big name on it so it would sell. All of the songs are written in diary form because I made them for my own personal listening. So I heard that he liked the record and wanted to be on it. I thought that it would be good to look at the situation from a Hip-Hop standpoint as well as an R&B standpoint. Had he not gotten locked up, he probably would not have been on this record.
Marielle: I hear a serious Reggae influence on your sound, and was reminded of Bob Marley a lot because your voice sounds a lot like his. Is there any Reggae influence in your opinion?
AKON: Thereís as much Reggae influence as Hip-Hop. I wanted to have the whole record sound like something I wanted to hear. So thereís different types of music on there.
Marielle: So do you consider this Street R&B?
AKON: You can call it Street R&B if you want to. Itís really all reality music. This is stuff I actually grew up dealing with. I donít like to do songs all about relationships and love. Thatís for other people to do. I pretty much like to sing about things I see. I think music has more substance when you talk about the truth

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Afroamerican
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Afroamerican

Post Number: 115
Registered: 08-2005

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 10:10 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

opps!

I pasted the interview twice! Sorry!
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Afroamerican
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Afroamerican

Post Number: 116
Registered: 08-2005

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 10:19 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's some pictures of him for anyone who's unfimilar with his music!

http://www.mtv.com/shared/media/images/artist/a/akon/az_official/376x180.jpg
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Libralind2
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Libralind2

Post Number: 283
Registered: 09-2004

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 11:00 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

AKON: All of my relationships with women here have been great. Iíve had no problems. The only thing Iíve had to adjust with hereĖwomen donít listen. Women got their own mind. They do what they want and when they want to. In Africa, itís totally different. Women will listen to you and do what you say. Women compete against men here. Thatís something I had to get used to.

LiLi....not listening to what Akon says
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Kola
Moderator
Username: Kola

Post Number: 2337
Registered: 02-2005

Rating: 
Votes: 2 (Vote!)

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 11:10 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Boy, he's sexy. :-)

Thanks for posting this, AfroAmerican.


I enjoyed reading him.


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