Ask Akon, And Answers Arrive!
A while ago we asked you to send in your questions for Akon, the squeaky rap/singist with the over-bulging address book. And you did not disappoint...even though I had to make some up as well...
So, here, for your eternal delight, is the man himself, talking about such varied topics as chef's hats, punching Usher, and working on song ideas while a lady waves her intimate areas in your face. Classy!
Sophie Russell: Hi, my name is Sophie and I'm 14yrs old and I live in Coventry...how's your day been, and how is life at the moment?
Akon: Oh man it's been very, very busy. And life is like, you're trying to get to a point where you're actually trying to FIND it! [laughs] Cos you've got so much going on you're just trying to find your own life. So it gets so busy where you've just got to focus, and tunnel-vision on your career, and make the best out of it while you can.
ChartBlog: What would you do to relax?
Akon: Probably go to sleep! Believe me, if you get time available you want to get all you can. A lot of the days, you get the same routine and it don't stop.
Leonnie: What sort of impression of yourself do you try to create with your songs?
Akon: Whatever I'm feeling at that particular moment at that particular time, I normally express it on the record. So a lot of times it depends on the day you hear the record or the day I record it. It depends definitely on what I'm going through.
ChartBlog: How do you go from being an aspiring singer to guest-appearances from Eminem and Snoop? Good networking?
Akon: No, it's just me collaborating with people...that always opens up doors to meet other people. And being around the business a long time, and just making great music, a lot of people will call you. Like, in my position a lot of people call me for those collaborations. I just continue to make hit records, and they reach out to me, and want to collaborate with me, you know?
ChartBlog: How did you get on with Snoop?
Akon: With Snoop, we used to bump into each other all the time, but never really had the time or a chance to work with each other. Our schedules were always conflicting with each other. But the timing couldn't have been no better cos we were both working on our albums. So it just so happened that I had a record I had just completed, which was 'I Wanna Love You', and wanted someone to feature on it. So we got Snoop, and met him at the studio...
ChartBlog: In between vocal takes, what do you chat to Snoop Dogg about? Girls or football?
Akon: [laughing] Girls!
Damien: How many girls have you been out with?
Akon: Wow...I don't even count, man. I just have fun.
Hammad: Hey Akon, you've worked with Gwen Stefani, Obie Trice, Eminem and many more brilliant artists, but can we expect any more brilliant pieces of work with any other artists, in the upcoming future?
Akon: Y'know, my mind is wide open, my ears are always open, I'm open to anybody that can pretty much take me to the next level, but y'know...I'm definitely working on some projects that might just shock everybody in the future.
ChartBlog: Really? Any hints?
Akon: That would take away the shock effect! That's what I love about it. I kind of like to come to where they're not expecting me to come, and that just makes me laugh so much longer.
ChartBlog: It's Slipknot, isn't it? You can tell me...
Akon: [Laughs] No.
Dan Gould: I know you collaborated with big names like Snoop Dogg and Eminem, bur I wanna know would you ever collaborate with Dr. Dre or 50 Cent?
Akon: Actually, that's coming soon. I'm doing something with Dr Dre AND 50 Cent. Dr Dre for his 'Detox' album and 50 Cent for his new album.
ChartBlog: If a TV company were to offer you a $1,000,000 donation to a charity of your choice to get in a boxing ring with another singer, would you do it?
Akon: Yeah, I would do it.
ChartBlog: Who would you fight?
Akon: Another boxer or another singer?
ChartBlog: Another singer, so it's a fair fight. Unless you're an amazing boxer...are you an amazing boxer?
Akon: Man, you could put me in a ring with anybody! I'd probably box Mike Tyson. [laughs] I'd just want to see how many rounds I could go! Just to see how far I get...
ChartBlog: Do they do fractions of a round? Like 0.2 of a round?
Akon: I'd probably run for 15 rounds! Then he'd get tired and I'd start whaling out on him. [machine-gun boxing noise] BRRRRRRRRRRRD!
ChartBlog: Who wouldn't you fight?
Akon: Yeah, Mike Tyson! [collapses with laughter] Yeah, but if I had to pick a singer...I'd probably box 50 Cent. I wanna see just how thorough he is in the ring.
ChartBlog: Who would win in a fight between you and Usher?
Akon: Oh come on, what kind of question is that? Is that a trick question?
ChartBlog: Nope, there's no trick, no follow-up...mind you, would you admit to being beaten up by Usher if you were beaten up by Usher?
Akon: I would murder that kid! [laughs]
ChartBlog: A lot of stars get involved in cosmetics franchises or clothing. Is there a product you would never lend your name to?
Akon: I would say probably maxipads.
ChartBlog:How about a range of cooking products, called Akon Bakin'?
Akon: I would try that though. I'm a great chef.
ChartBlog: ...Including a special SmackHat, to be worn by chefs?
Akon: [laughs] That's hilarious!
Samantha Marsh: All of the songs you have done are really cool and I love them all especially 'I Wanna Love You'. What inspired you to write it?
Akon: That song was inspired when I was at a strip club...
Akon: A lot of my party records are inspired by strip clubs.
ChartBlog: So it's a reaction to...the kind of things you might see inside a strip club...
ChartBlog: And then you take the words you've put in it, and then take a lot of those words out and replace them with words that you can play on the radio, yes?
Mark Kerr: I really like your music but what made you to sing?
Akon: Actually, I have no idea! Cos I was trying to decide whether to rap or sing...singing probably just felt more comfortable for me.
Nick: Do you think promoting sexual promiscuity and violence is good for a generation already being brought up in very tough times?
Akon: Actually I don't think it makes a difference, because the way the world is moving around now, that stuff is always there. Like in Hollywood, in music, in movies...you can't really run from it. All you've got to do is hope that the parents take the time to explain to these kids what's going on as they're growing up. Otherwise there's really no running from it, it's inevitable.
Osman Qureshi: Yo Akon! I totally love the new album by the way. I heard that you were a Muslim, if this is true how much of a part does Islam play in your life?
Akon: It definitely is the guidance to how I move today...how I act, how I travel, how I treat other people...All that plays a role. It definitely made me a lot better person. That helped clean me up in a lot of different ways.
Your ChartBlog interviewer of the day was: Fraser M