His song Smack that from his second album, Konvicted, earned Akon the nomination for this year’s Grammy in the best Rap/Sung Collaboration category This is what the rapper had to say to about the album and his career, when he visited India.
Your songs Locked Up and Belly Dancer sold like hot cakes and are still ruling the charts. How does it feel?
Every singer has a certain expectation. When I wrote the songs, I only had one thing in mind. How to make the song catchy and reach the global audience. But, if a product is good, the audience will like it and that is when the expectation starts building up.
You had tied up with rapper Eminem. How was it working with him?
When I wrote the song Smack that, I wasn’t sure whom to take. The song has a typical flavour of R&B along with rap.
|The red-hot rapper, Akon|
Eminem was the best person for it, as I knew he would do justice to the song. These types of collaborative works are always exciting and help an artiste learn a lot.
How did you feel when Smack that was nominated for the Grammys this year? There are so many good singers with so many albums and songs. But it’s always a good feeling at the end of the day when you get nominated and your name features in the top-five list for the most prestigious award in the music fraternity.
Your father Mor Thiam was a jazz musician. What made you chose R&B and rap?
Though I love R&B and soul, I have grown up listening to all genres of music. I am an avid fan of both Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan. This helped me to grow as an artiste.
I thought of mixing different genres and that is why my songs have a distinct flavour. You always have to keep in mind that there is something different that can be done, which will be liked by others.
Are you aware of the Indian music scene?
India has a long history of producing some of the greatest musicians ever. The newage Indian sound, which is the hip-hop, is really doing great in the West.
I hope that Indians like my works too, as my music is very much hip-hopish