Akon Joins Tech Company Royole as Chief Creative Officer

Anthony Mandler


“The future should be your only focus.”

Akon has entered into a partnership with the budding technology company Royole -- “a global pioneer and innovator of flexible displays, flexible sensors, and smart device technologies,” according to the press release. Akon will serve as the Chief Creative Officer. 

On Thursday (Sept. 15), the company unveiled it’s latest product called Moon. The Moon is a foldable, portable, and compact 3D virtual mobile theater complete with noise-cancelling headphones. 

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Bill Liu -- CEO of the company -- said he has always believed science and art should be living together, a sentiment Akon agreed with as he nodded and said “absolutely” from his seat in the audience. Liu said an artist like Akon -- “a global R&B icon, entrepreneur, and philanthropist” -- made for the perfect partner.

Liu and Akon first met in a hotel lobby at 4 a.m., a chance encounter that marked the moment “destiny came together,” Akon said when he later took the stage. Following the presentation, Akon told Billboard the best part so far has been unveiling it. He said meeting Bill -- “he had all the technology that was necessary and the all the resources to build something like [the Moon]” -- was a dream come true for him, as he didn’t want to do something that has already been done, and has wanted to be involved with an innovative company like Royole for a long time.

“Now, other ideas that [I have] are just unthinkable until you tangibly see it,” Akon said. “[Royole] has everything we need to make those things happen, so I’m really looking forward to the future.”

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The future is a headspace Akon feels most comfortable with, which is why he resonates with Royole’s motto: “We do not predict the future, we create it.” Even outside of the tech realm, Akon remains focused on what’s ahead. The video for his most recent release -- the collaborative track with DJ Hardwerk “Tell Me We’re Ok,” which reached No. 3 on the Dance Club Songs chart --  has ties to Shell’s #MakeTheFuture initiative, which further illustrates Akon’s desire to be an active participant in conversations about the future.

“The future should be your only focus,” he said. “The now is here and gone tomorrow, so if you’re not thinking about the future man, you’re gonna go away along with the day. So I always want to be forward thinking and be a part of what’s to come. Yeah, it’s a lot more risk, of course, but that risk always pays out – the greater the risk the greater the reward is the way I see it.” 

As for the future fusion of the Moon with music, Akon said he envisions the device allowing for an entirely new way to consume an album -- imagine navigating through an entire album via a 3D virtual theater.

“Presentation is everything,” he said. “You want to give the audience the best experience that they can ever encounter.”


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