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article imageInterview: AKON talks OG Boo Dirty, music career, Michael Jackson Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jul 21, 2016 in Music
New York - Global music star AKON chatted with Digital Journal about his musical career, proud moments, and working with OG Boo Dirty.
AKON collaborated with rapper OG Boo Dirty on his latest studio effort. "It's an honor to be working with somebody that understands the business, and somebody you can debate with, and respectfully disagree at times," he said. "He is pretty seasoned as far as the idea of what the business can give, and what comes from it."
His plans for the future are to continue to help other artists develop their careers. "I want to build the companies and help artists build their companies. I want to create a footprint for myself as a legend, not just for music, but to help create other careers as well," he said.
Over the last two decades, he has seen growth as a person and as an artist. "I can see my growth in life, relationships, business and friendship. All these things play a huge factor in how I move in the future," he said.
Each day, AKON is motivated by his family, and his love for the entertainment side of things. "This is something I would have done even if I didn't get paid for it. It is clearly a passion of mine," he said.
One of his proudest professional moments included working with the "King of Pop" Michael Jackson. "He was at the top of my life, and I aimed for the stars, and hoped I would get close. It worked out within the five years of my career, and I worked with him before he passed on," he said. "I was the last person that ever recorded a finished hit with him. It was a good thing to do."
He continued, "I helped create artists like Lady Gaga, who became a legend in the business, who helped me add to the profile of what I've been doing."
Throughout his respected career in the music industry, AKON has earned five Grammy nominations in such categories as "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration," "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals," "Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group" and "Best Contemporary R&B Album."
His advice for aspiring artists is to "be original." "It's a big business with a lot of people with the same access that you have. Everybody has an opportunity to do something, and they need to be separated from everybody else. You need to have a lot of patience leading into it," he said.
The key to longevity in the music industry is "helping others." "This business only lasts 15 minutes, so if you are building other careers, the more relevant you are," he said. "Those careers can preserve your life, as long as they are successful, and then you are attached to success."
AKON's dream female collaboration choice is Rihanna. "We've never been on a record together," he said. "She's the female version of who I am."
For more information on AKON, check out his official Facebook page and his website.
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