Several tracks on Freedom took their cues from European dance music, a move several other American R&B singers made in 2008. Akon explained to BBC News why he decided to expand his "Konvict" sound. Said the Senegal-born singer: "It all starts with the artist that actually travels. Me, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Rihanna - we all spend a lot of time in places like the UK, France, Italy and Germany. Places where they actually play this type of music. And we see the effect that it gives to people in the club. So naturally, you want your fans to be able to experience that."