Earlier than his loss of life on June 25, 2009, on the age of 51, Michael Jackson had plans to open universities specializing in music all through Africa, in accordance with singer Akon, who was working with the king of pop to develop the training establishments.
Jackson had initially mentioned the thought with the singer as a approach to discover undiscovered expertise throughout the continent by offering the wanted amenities and sources to assist enhance artists’ abilities, in accordance with Akon.
“It began off as an idea, me and Michael have been talking about creating music universities throughout Africa, giving them instruments and information of the enterprise, to assist them polish up their abilities,” mentioned Akon. “Africa’s bought a lot expertise. One of many primary motivations for going to Nigeria again then, younger artists for Afrobeat and issues like this, I used to be conscious of opening the door to create that chance.”
Akon, who launched his fifth album, Akonda, in 2019, mentioned he would nonetheless wish to make good on their authentic plans someday.
“The faculties haven’t occurred but,” mentioned Akon. “It’s a dialog we had nevertheless it’s one thing I do need to comply with up on. Me personally, if folks knew who he was and the tales behind every little thing, that will be a legacy query—like, have you learnt what Mike did for tradition? It shouldn’t even be a query however finally, the powers that be in America work a little bit completely different in terms of black and brown folks.”
In 2010, “Maintain My Hand,” a duet with Jackson and Akon (written by Kelly Claude and Akon), was launched on the posthumous album, Michael Jackson Acapella Archive.
“Me as a good friend, my job is to make sure folks perceive the reality of who he was as an actual individual,” added Akon, “and no matter I can do to make a distinction in folks’s ideas, that’s what I can do.”
Photograph: Francis Sylvain/AFP by way of Getty Pictures