R+B singer Akon found working with Gwen Stefani on her new album THE SWEET ESCAPE "a challenge", because he had to completely change his trademark sound. Akon - who this week (27NOV06) topped the European singles chart with his Eminem collaboration SMACK THAT - went into the studio with the No Doubt singer to record the project's title track, and was amazed by the instant musical chemistry they enjoyed. He says, "She was definitely one of the ones that surprised me, because I didn't even think she was listening to my type of music. "Sweet Escape was definitely one of those tracks that was a challenge. I had to switch my whole style up and make a record that would cater to her. The chemistry was incredible in the studio."