That's my actual payment, the fact that I can actually make something that I actually enjoy and put on repeat, and it's not related to anything else or anyone else's thoughts and ideas, it all came from me; I just love that aspect of it.
What I remember the most really was just running wild there. Barefooted, swimming in dirty lakes, selling fruit, picking mango trees, hoping not to get caught because they don't take kindly to thieves in Africa.
Whatever obstacle comes your way, you gotta be prepared to jump over it! And I think that's what separates the legends from the regular artists. It's all in how you manage that success, and how you deal with the controversy when it actually comes.
I don't want to know I'm getting older. Then I'll start to think about getting checkups and insurance. I don't want that.
Everything is a blessing to me.
I always feel like 'as long as I'm doin' what I love to do, the money's naturally gonna come.' When you start thinkin' business and you start thinkin' 'What's hot? What's the wave? Who is hot? Let's get at that person,' it becomes a point where you're tryin' to strategize to make money. And that's always a gamble.
The moment artists can just do what they love to do then music will go right back to where it used to be. I mean back in the '60s and '70s and '80s, that's what it was.
Melody has a certain way that it projects back to you. It triggers certain nerves in your body and certain instincts that normally wouldn't be triggered by a normal voice.
I always try to give my own albums space in between so I have time to create a new sound and give time for people to miss me. You have to come out fresh and reinvent yourself.
I always want to set myself a challenge by doing something no-one would expect me to do! But, having said that, I don't feel as a musician you can steer too far away from what you normally do.
I love to just go to the movies, watch movies, listen to the scores and all that 'cause that's, like, the next step for me.
I'm a polygamist. I can afford to have as many wives as I can afford to have. All Africans believe in it. My dad has four wives.
I just like music all the way around the board. I can't stick to one thing - I've got to move around.
In Africa... age is not important over there. They don't care.
Any album that you pick up of mine, you know it's an Akon album. The guests are very limited, and you get to really feel the experience. You get the Akon experience when you get the albums. I always want to make sure that stays the way it is. I don't want to flood the album to where you lose focus on why you bought it.
As long as you're giving up quality records and you're makin' hit records, people are always gonna want to hear a hit, and they'll always want to be attached to something that's doin' great.
I always felt like if you get to a point where you've got enough money to invest in something real, you gotta invest in anything that's related to a natural resource because that's gonna be here forever - so you might as well invest in something that's gonna be here, rather than invest in something that's gonna wear out.
While I'm here, I'm gonna milk it for all I can, so when I'm no longer hot - and I know that day is coming - I will step over here and enjoy everything I've created up to this point. The music is just opening all these doors, so I can relax.
My ideas come when I least expect it, so I've always got to have a studio nearby or close by somewhere.
It's always the music first for me. But if the music isn't selling, there isn't gonna be no business. So you gotta make sure music is always the first priority.