Tomorrow, Akon‘s third studio album, Freedom, will hit stores. SOHH caught up with the Konvict Muzik star to talk about his new European sound and the mini-documentary on his life that he’s packaging with the album.
Senegalese hip-hop artist/producer Akon is ready to follow up his previous albums, Trouble and Konvicted with a new release called Freedom which demonstrates his new European club sound.
“This record is more European than the norm and that’s only because when I made this record I was actually touring in Europe,” Kon told SOHH. “This whole album was made while I was on the tour bus. I just can’t help but write about my surroundings and what I’m going through at that particular time. It just so happened that around the time that I was making this album I happened to be in a European environment.”
In addition to releasing the new album in a traditional compact disc format, Akon will also make his album available digitally and on a small microSD card. The multi-platinum artist, partnered with a company called slotMusic to produce the slotMusic Freedom card which will allow consumers to listen to the album on their moble phones, mp3 players and computers.
“This thing is so simple but yet so perfect,” he said. “You can grab the album on an SD card. The whole album is on it. The videos is on it and I have a small documentary of the man behind the music also that’s exclusively for slotMusic.”
In the exclusive 30 minute mini-documentary, Akon takes fans to his old neighborhoods in New Jersey and explains how his past shaped him into the artist that he is today. “I kinda take you back a little bit before the music. Take you to certain areas, territories [and] explain the significance those territories had in my life.”
“I think its important because people that’s listening always want to know more about the person that they’re supporting,” he continued. “The music alone is cool but its good to know other things outside of the music to kinda get a better understanding for the music as well.”
Akon kicked off the album with the T-Pain and Young Jeezy assisted first single, “I’m So Paid.” Freedom also features guest appearances by Wyclef Jean, Ray Lavender, Colby O’Donis, Kardinal Offishall, Sweet Rush and Pain. According to Akon, the reception of the music has been so good that the’s having a difficult time picking his next single.
“Everybody has their favorite,” he said. “Radio has already started grabbing ‘Beautiful’ as the single. You got some radio stations calling ‘Troublemaker’ a hit and of course the record with me and T-Pain, ‘Holla, Holla,’ is definitely something that they always wanted to drop on the urban side. We’ll let the album come out and we’ll let the crowd and the audience judge what they think the next single should be.”
In related news, Akon is due to appear in a Fishkill, NY courtroom on December 17th to face charges of endangering the welfare of a minor and second-degree harassment. The charges stem from a June 3, 2007 incident where he allegedly threw a 15 year old concertgoer from the stage during his performance.
Freedom hits stores tomorrow, Tuesday, December 2nd.