Senegalese-American singer, Akon has warned music stars such as Davido to avoid buying or owning private jets.
The ‘Blame It On Me’ crooner gave the warning while featuring as a guest in the latest episode of Impulsive Podcast.
He said celebrities should steer clear of private jets if they want to stay rich.
“If you want to stay rich, stay stingy. I’m the stingiest man on the planet”, Akon said.
“Whatever you do, do not own a private jet. Bro, owning a jet is spending at least 2-3 million dollars a year just for upkeep. You spend more on the maintenance than the actual jet cost. This is the advice I give everybody. The money that you have now has to last you a lifetime. When you reason it that way, you are going to be very prudent”.Akon
Some Nigerian singers are owners of private jets. The first to acquire one was Davido in 2018. Wizkid is also said to have his own jet too, but many of them hire jets when they want to travel for their shows.
Akon, whose full name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam, clocked 50 years in April. Outside of music, he is involved with the Akon Lighting Africa project, which began in 2014. It aims to provide electricity to 15 countries in Africa.
He also launched his own charity for underprivileged children in Africa called the Konfidence Foundation. The most ambitious of Akon’s projects is his plan to build Akon City, from scratch in Senegal.
Akon to make music for himself
RnB star Akon said he is finally prepared to start making music for himself since he has been in the music business for almost 20 years.
He learned to play several Western and African instruments, but when he started to pursue a musical career in the early 2000s, he said producers were only interested in one side of his heritage.
“One of the biggest things that I had to actually distance myself from at the time when I did come out, was the fact that I was African. That wasn’t really something that they could market or promote in that kind of arena that I was actually playing in”, Akon said.
Commercially, Akon was a massive success, finding huge popularity with pop and R&B songs such as ‘Lonely’ and ‘Locked Up’.
“Music is not my first revenue stream now, it has dropped down to maybe the tenth. I can enjoy doing it without dealing with politics, and the music business that comes with it”, he said.
Akon’s new EP draws heavily from Afrobeats – a genre that’s become a global phenomenon thanks to artists like Davido, Wizkid, and Burna Boy. He said he’s been trying to boost the style of music, which mixes African and Western influences, for years, and even signed Wizkid to his own label in 2008.
But Akon recalled a time when Afrobeats was to be dismissed by US industry bosses.
“I remember back in the early 2000s when I was trying to market and get Afrobeats in America signed, they thought it was Reggae music. It was one of the things that were so frustrating, trying to get them to understand the African population was so big, and this music will be the future. Unfortunately, I got a lot of pushback”.Akon
It would be another 10 years before Afrobeats fully broke through, with huge artists like Drake and Beyonce collaborating with some of its biggest stars. And when Wizkid took home a Grammy Award in 2021, Akon said it was “one of those ‘I told you’ so moments”.
He puts the rise of Afrobeats down to the younger generation being more inquisitive about the new music surrounding them.
“And I think social media had a huge role to play in expanding the sound of different genres because we didn’t really have any platforms”, he said.
Akon said he thinks Afrobeat is going to be around for long.
“The role that I really played was just kind of helping to expose it, putting it out there, and using every opportunity that I had, and every relationship that I had, every resource that I had, to introduce it and hope that people will gravitate. It’s shined the light globally, and will now open up the door for people to learn a lot about Africa, through the music of Afrobeats”.Akon