Akon’s third trip to the Halifax area will be a whirlwind one, but he plans to enjoy every moment of it when he hits the Alderney Landing stage as one of a dozen acts that will heat up Summer Rush this Saturday.
“One of the loudest crowds in Canada is in Halifax,” the radio-friendly American R&B artist said from the road Thursday afternoon.
“I just love the hype crowds, man.”
Perhaps that’s why he’s spending so much time performing these days.
After entertaining an expected crowd of about 8,000 on the Dartmouth waterfront this weekend, he’ll “jump on a jet” to Seattle and after that he’s off to Toronto, with three shows scheduled in two days.
“You just do it – you can’t think about it,” he said of his busy schedule. “The moment you think about it, it breaks you down.”
Part of Akon’s motivation may be promoting his latest album Freedom (Dec. 2008), which includes huge hits such as Right Now (Na Na Na) and Beautiful. But he said his biggest push is turning the negative connotations associated with his past into a positive message of hope for his many young fans.
“I was in a situation where the living conditions just weren’t what I wanted; I knew that life had (more) in store for me,” he explained “When you’re desperate, you make desperate decisions; you make dumb decisions.”
He hopes his Dartmouth all-ages audience members learn to follow their dreams before going down the wrong path.
“We all have that talent, you’ve just got to focus on it and put all your energy into it,” he said.
Dan Barton, program director for concert presenter Z103.5, called the radio station’s third annual Summer Rush “the only concert of its kind in the Maritimes,” featuring an array of musical flavours, from dance to rap.
Other acts include Girlicious, Karl Wolf, Massari and dance troupe Supercrew from television’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Go to www.summerrush.com for ticket information.