Akon Brings Dance Party to ‘Stadium,’ Readies Free Album
Following the success of his international hit 'Sexy Bitch' with French super producer David Guetta, Akon is ready to bring his Euro-dance sound Stateside. The Senegalese-American entertainer, who has rocked the charts in years past with urban hits like 'Smack That' and 'Locked Up,' is hitting the dance floor on his upcoming fourth album 'Stadium,' due November 23.
Unlike prior releases, the hit maker is swapping out the thwacking hip-hop beats for thumping electronic jams, a premeditated move that dates back to early 2010.
"There's a lot of instrumentals that we stamped personally during the World Cup that facilitated all the parties and all the FIFA events and so forth, so it kind of gave me that platform to kind of break that whole dance feel for me," Akon tells The BoomBox, referring to his 2010 FIFA World Cup theme song 'Oh Africa.' "And in the midst of while that was happening, I was getting the gist of what my audience would like to hear from me on the dance level, and it kind of opened it up."
After testing the waters with 2009's 'Sexy Bitch,' Akon was ready to experiment with house music on his own, as evidenced on the album's pumping lead single 'Angel.' But he wasn't ready to turn his back entirely on his roots either, reaching out to rappers for verses from Ludacris on 'Drop Down Low' and Rick Ross on 'Give It to 'Em.'
"I've been trying to do something like this for so long, but it was a matter of waiting for the right avenue in setting it up to a way to where I could do it and it would be accepted," he explains. "Especially coming from the hip-hop and R&B genre, moving up to a different sound, different genre altogether but still finding a way to incorporate it just a little bit, in a little way."
Akon plans to cater more to his hip-hop audience with the release of a free deluxe version of the album, the title for which he is currently deciding between 'Koncrete' or 'Fusion.' The full-length freebie, strictly "for the streets" and described as "straight street urban," will be available on Akon.com in conjunction with the retail release of 'Stadium.'
Additionally, Akon is using his travel time to work with local musicians in India, Africa, Asia, Europe and more to record songs that will be released an international collabo album or a series of mini-EPs. So far, Akon has worked with Bollywood legends Shahrukh Khan and Aadesh Shrivastava on a half-dozen new songs, with plans to record more tunes and make the best of his globetrotting.
But in the meantime, he's focusing on the release of 'Stadium,' confident that the timing couldn't be better. "It's been in the process," he says. "It's been a year and a half, almost two years to put this whole sound together."