Ryan is a poet, article writer, screen writer, sportswriter, copywriter, and song writer.
A Muslim family in Missouri gave birth to a son named Aliaune Damala Badara. His mother is a dancer. His father is a percussionist. So, he was often around music as a child. He and his family spent a few years here in the United States but their roots could never be forgotten. They relocated to his hometown in Senagal, West Africa. He spent most of his life there.
When he was 7, his family relocated back to the states. They were living in New Jersey. There, he and his family settled down. In addition, they had difficulties getting along with other children. In high school, his family left him on his own. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia. The difficulties became monumental In Atlanta.He became a criminal.
In 1998, he was arrested for possession for a stolen BMW. He was placed in jail. During his time behind bars, he fell into what he grew up around. He started to love music. When he was released from Jail he took that same passion along. He started to pursue it. A president of upfront management noticed his gift and mentored him. That same mentor signed him to his production company. He was groomed to be more professional. This time, a major label was watching. The Universal Music Group loved what they saw. Assumingly, they knew that he'd be universal.
He became known as Akon. The singer/rapper became an immediate success. Despite the success, his lyrics were symbolic. His albums were as well. They all displayed what he was often dealing with. His first album featured some of the industries biggest artists. It was a mixture of his style and the east coast style.He was doing some features himself. When he was featured on albums things did not really change. In 2006 he released an album and became apart of his first tour. In addition, he was planning one to promote his promote his second. The rapper stayed busy.
- Trouble (2004)
- Konvicted (2006)
By now, what he could bring was greatly appreciated. He started touring with other big names. In 2007 he won Artist of the Year, the worlds best selling internet artist, best African artist and best R&B artist. The time and effort he put in his music was not ignored. His catchy style took the industry and the listeners by storm. Despite the success he had in his music, it came with a cost. A cost that that he had the money to pay but his soul didn't. Since his success seemed to make him look institutionalized, he made changes. His next album described what he really is right now.
Akon had a vision to use what he has obtained through his music. He wanted to help his country. He made more albums that solidified the changes. It was obvious that he wanted to be seen in a new light. The rapper/singer wanted to quit music but used it to make things better for his home town.Three more albums he recorded.
- Freedom ( 2008)
- El Negreeto (2019)
- Akonda (2019)
Freedom he said will be his last. The album had mixed reviews. They were mixed because the album did not sound like his previous two. His hooks were still catchy. The beats were still nice. The clubs still played it and he was still in demand. The album debuted at number seven on the billboard 200. Over 100, 000 copies were sold the first week.
The singles to the album were hits. On this album you noticed he was more mature. He was free. He perfected his music but was focused on making life better for his country. Secretly, he was funding a huge vision he had for his country. The vision will not only help his own country. It will help the countries around it too. The change did not go unnoticed.
Akon is a multi-platinum artist. An artist that made sure to not be entangled with the pain of the industry. He made mistakes, but he cleaned it up. Afterwards, he made sure to not repeat them. He makes sure that people understand that he offers more than music. He owns a clothing line in NYC.
He owns a diamond mine in Africa. He’s shown the world that he is a businessman. He was when he walked into the industry. Along with that diamond mine in Africa, he also owns an AFRICAN SOLAR LIGHTING COMPANY. That was his vision all along. He wanted to give back to his country. With his company he did so. He lit up Africa. He started doing it in 2014 with a few business partners. The project is aimed to provide solar energy in the country. He remembers how he grew up when he was young. He spent much of his childhood in Senegal. They had no electricity. Along with that country, there were numerous others without it. Akon had that vision all along. The success of the project launched schools that will teach students to do the same. He launches the gift that will continue giving.
Despite the pain that he suffered before and in the industry he rose above it. Akon found singer Lady Gaga and sold her for a hefty investment amount. Instead of just spending his money to live a lavish lifestyle he invested it. The monies multiplied and now he’s investing in his homeland. Bravo Akon, he turned misery into triump.
© 2022 Ryan Jarvis Cornelius