2019 marked a strong comeback for Akon, with six new albums released last year, including El Negreeto, a Latin album with smash hits featuring Anitta, Becky G and Ozuna, and an afrobeat only record, Akonda. These releases, among others, truly demonstrate Akon’s inspirational diversity and genuine international openness.
Akon’s exclusive keynote at Midem will celebrate his international career and stellar roster of collaborations. During his Midem debut, Akon will take us behind the scenes of his multifaceted career and some of his most iconic collaborations with the likes of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, to Gwen Stefani, Whitney Houston, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Lady Gaga and T-Pain.
In his own words, “I want to be able to open up the diversity with different artists from different cultures and parts of the world….What drives me the most is to do things people think are impossible or deem difficult. This will be my first time at Midem. I am looking forward to being in a space with individuals who are all looking to push the music and entertainment industry forward.”
Midem Director, Alexandre Deniot, says, “We’re proud to welcome an artist as iconic as Akon to speak at Midem for the first time. Akon’s participation is completely aligned with Midem’s bringing together of artists and executives from across the globe and a drive to nurture emerging talent to aspire to be the next generation of internationally successful artists.”
About Akon, Artist & Founder, Akonik Label Group (Senegal/USA)
Long before establishing himself as one of his generation’s most recognisable and influential voices, Akon envisioned a career in music as a kid. However, for as much as he could see himself on stage, he understood the importance of the business first and foremost and actually endeavored to run a label someday. That day happened in 2019 as the GRAMMY® Award-nominated multi-platinum artist, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist launched not one, but four labels, each with its own genre specialty under his Akonik Label Group—Akonda [Afro Beats], Akonik [U.S. and European Signings], Jamakon [Caribbean], and Ke Lo Ke [Latin America, Mexico, Puerto Rico]. No other artist has undertaken the formation of a consortium divided by genre in this manner with such revolutionary implications.
No stranger to making history, he holds the distinction of being “the first artist to simultaneously clinch the number one and number two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 twice,” among 35 entries on the respective chart. Piling up achievements across the board, he landed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “#1-selling artist for master ringtones in the world.” He was also named in the Top 10 of Billboard’s “Top Digital Songs Artists of the Decade,” achieved two multiplatinum albums, sold 35 million copies, and garnered five GRAMMY® Award nominations.
A visionary creative, he tried to release a Latin album as far back as 2005, but couldn’t due to label restrictions. However, he managed to achieve palpable success around the globe in markets such as India and Nigeria, to name a few. Singing in Hindi, he lit up India with “Chammak Challo”, alongside Hamsika Iver and joined forces with P-Square and May D on the Nigerian hit “Chop My Money” in 2012.
During his esteemed and diverse career, he has collaborated with everyone from Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Gwen Stefani, and Whitney Houston to Eminem, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, Lady Gaga and T-Pain.
About Midem – Home of the Global Music Community, Midem is the world’s leading music business event, which unites, connects, serves and supports the global music ecosystem to exchange, create, play, forge relationships and shape the future of the industry. With a rich 4-day programme of conferences, competitions, networking events and live performances, music makers, cutting-edge technology companies, brands and talent come together to enrich the passionate relationship between people and music, transform audience engagement and form new business connections.