(8-2-2009) On January 22, 2009, singer Akon was guest on the late night show of host Tavis Smiley on US tv channel PBS.
Of course the two talked about Akon's collaboration with Michael:
Tavis Smiley: So, so, tell the story, you and Michael had done....tell the story.
Akon: Well, what happened was, me and Mike did this increadible record called "Hold My Hand", and, I mean, the record is amazing...phenomenal..
T: We've all heard it. (Laughing)
A: I know.
T: Even though you didn't plan it that way...but I'll let you tell the story.
A: Yeah. And the concept was that, you know, this would be Mike's first release off of his new album; and then I, you know, I would stripe it on my album, on my following release. That way we could have the outlets open for everyone to be able to see the record. You know, Mike came up with this just brilliant marketing launch for this record. You know, he's the best at launching a record.
T: No doubt.
A: He'd have the whole world paying attention in two minutes. By eight o'clock, check this station....he was set up like! And before we could get to that point, the record got leaked over the internet. And we got over 15 million downloads on the song for free. So, it's like...
T: (Laughing) Why put this out?
A: We couldn't...I mean, you can't at that point. Everybody already has the record so...yeah, we...But in a way, you gotta look at it like, that's just a give to the fans.
T: So, how angry were you when that happened though?
A: I was more...I was more upset for Mike than for me.
A: 'Cause, you gotta think, like, he's a legened, and he's been...he kinda paved the way for a lot of us. And even changed the whole surface of just, videos and all of that, so...him on this perfect...like this was my first huge....like my dream collaboration, and his like, I think, make or break, re-release, like...like this is the last time. If it don't work for Michael on this one, it's gonna be...like, it's not gonna be good, but...I felt like this was the perfect moment for him. He did too and, it just, it didn't come off the way we expected it to so. But one thing I can tell you is he's probably the most patient person I know in my life.
T: Why you say that?
A: Because he.. he's... not only is he a perfectionist but he's...he just waits for the right moment; you know what I mean? Sometime we don't know what the right moment is until... like me, I just go and pray that it's the right moment.
T: (Laughing) Yeah! No patience here, huh?
A: Cause I don't know when the moment is! Especially with music, you know. But he has that intuition. He just feels like, when that moment is right, that's when I'm gonna drop this record.
To watch a video of the interview, please click here.
Source: MJFC / http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/