It’s been seven years since Akon’s last studio effort, “Freedom,” but the Senegalese-American singer is making up for lost time. With a twist on his initial idea, he plans to release four completely different albums, each one focusing on a different genre under the auspices of his newly founded record company, Akonik Label Group.
Akon’s idea of releasing the same album in multiple genres didn’t materialize in 2015 with “Stadium,” but the idea had stuck, and he realized it with the release of “El Negreeto” and “Akonda” in October 2019. “El Negreeto,” a 10-track Latin American-themed album, features reggaeton, cumbia, and Latin trap and includes guest appearances from Anitta, Ozuna, and Pitbull. “Akonda,” based on Afrobeats with tracks recorded in Lagos, features collaborations with Olamide, Skales, and Afro B.
In December of the same year, Akon released the third of the four albums with “Konnect,” an 11-track album that focused on Hip-hop. Despite the hype around these records, all three of them failed to chart and gain traction by the year-end. However, the music industry has changed, and artists can now target specific markets globally. The fourth and final album, the Reggae-tinged “Jamakon,” is hotly anticipated and has yet to be released.
Akon’s ambitious project to release four different albums in a short span of time did not meet commercial expectations, which might have contributed to the poor promotion or saturation of Akon’s music. However, the idea aligns with the shift happening in the music industry, where record companies and artists focus on connectivity with their audience, digital marketing, music sharing, and streaming longevity. Future projects from Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam promise to be exciting and eagerly anticipated.
From a marketing perspective, Akon must identify the unique market identified with music genres and find ways to promote the albums in specific geographical locations. The albums’ hashtags, promotion on social media, reviews, and targeting local radio stations and TV will increase the visibility of the albums to potential audiences and fans.
In conclusion, Akon’s attempt to return to the music scene with four different albums is indicative of the changing music industry. While the initial rollout may have not met commercial expectations, the music producer’s efforts to produce the albums in unique genres have resonated with fans worldwide. As the music industry continues to shift, Akon is poised for continued success with new albums soon to be released.