Akon’s Impact as an African Diaspora Artist

Aliaume Dalama Badara, better known as Akon, is a Senegalese – American artist born in St. Louis, Missouri. Akon started making music in 2004 and his journey as an artist and individual is deeply rooted in Africa and his experience in the Diaspora. He credits much of his success to Africa and, therefore, often acknowledges Africa in his music. The song, “Shine Your Light” with Master KG & David Guetta, is one of his most recent songs that use afro-centric beats and African visuals to represent both Africa and the diaspora. 

“Shine Your Light” Song

The lyrics were meant to uplift listeners across the world during warring and adverse times. The video’s visuals of African flags, as well as non- African flags, emphasize the message of peace and harmony. The video, although made in the Dominican Republic, promotes Akon’s current ideals of uplifting Africa. Master KG, a South African artist, also teamed up with Akon to make this afro-centric and optimistic song. 

The song was released during Akon’s efforts to aid African nations and make them futuristic. He is currently developing “Akon City” in Senegal, a 2,000 acre planned development of a futuristic city along the Atlantic coast. He is also currently bringing cryptocurrency to Africa. Akon credits much of his inspiration to build in Africa from his experience in the diaspora. He explains that he wants to make Africa a land of opportunity because he has seen firsthand how Black Americans are treated in America and wants to provide a lang od refuge for Black Americans. He also wants these cities to be a place to help people connect with their African roots. His accomplishments for Africa outside of his music exemplify his efforts as an artist of the diaspora. 

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