Robin Thicke: Resurgent


Born into a creative family, Robin Thicke’s enthusiasm for singing and acting was rooted. He is a multi-talented performer best known for his musical hits like “Magic” and “Lost Without U.” Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell Williams, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Kid Cudi, and many more well-known musicians have collaborated with Thicke.

The artist has endured a great deal of blowback despite his massive popularity as a result of the scandals that made him headlines. Two examples are his highly publicized divorce from his longtime wife Paula Patton and a bitter copyright dispute with the family of the late, great Marvin Gaye.

Regardless, his song “Blurred Lines” became a worldwide hit in 2015, and his eighth album “Morning Sun” and its first single, “Back Together,” have both been made available. At that time, he spoke to Prestige Hongkong in his first significant press interview in more than a year about the current events in his life.

Robin Thicke says not all stuff on TMZ is true

Before Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines,” a collaboration with Pharrell and T.I., was released, and when he began touring at that time, he was already in the news for many reasons, such as his tumultuous divorce from Paula Patton.

Even yet, the singer is one to excuse and think that not every news, particularly on TMZ, is true, so rather than spending his time on it, he chose to take some time off to be with his son. This is despite the fact that the singer appears on several news media sites.

“Most of that stuff is never true anyway. I just took some time off, you know,” he said. “Last year – after touring for years and being on the road so much – I just decided that it was best to spend time with my son, take time to be with my family and just take it slow for a while, which I hadn’t done pretty much my whole career.”

A few months later, after taking some time off to be with his family, he began writing some new songs and collaborating with some incredible producers; by that point, his first single entitled “Back Together” was nearly complete. Additionally, he said that the album in question, which is already available, would be released at the end of June [2015].

Furthermore, the majority of the tour consisted of only spot dates because there had been so much advertising for it up to the end of 2015. They planned a tour for the following year, 2016, and simultaneously performed on various radio shows.

Robin Thicke’s “Morning Sun” album and his collaboration with various artists

The “Morning Sun” album by Robin Thicke was released back in 2015. According to him, it is about “fresh starts, new beginnings, and the heralding in of a new day.”

“It’s about the last year of my life, the time I’ve spent with my friends and family and especially my son,” he continued.

Various musicians and Robin Thicke’s parents have collaborated with him

The “Morning Sun” album marks the first time Robin Thicke has collaborated with artists like L.A. hip-hop producer DJ Mustard and Swedish music producer Max Martin. Along with Timbaland and Ricky Reed, who he later said he ended up working with on four tracks for the album and was thrilled to be working with, this offered him the chance to collaborate with Pharrell once more following their previous collaboration, “Blurred Lines.”

Not only did he work with the musicians mentioned above, but Thicke also had the opportunity to work with Flo Rida at the time on the song “I Don’t Like It. I Love It,” which is, without a doubt, climbing the charts.

“Yeah, it’s just taken off right and we’re actually shooting a video for it tomorrow. We did a concert yesterday in upstate New York for a radio station and Flo Rida was performing at the same radio show, so it was convenient [to shoot the video now] because we’re both here in New York at the same time.”

Speaking about collaborations, Thicke was raised by his actor father, Alan Thicke, and actress-singer Gloria Loring, who both work in the entertainment industry. The fact that he was born into a well-known family meant that sometimes they worked with him as well.

“My first couple songs that I wrote, my dad heard them and helped me out and then he wrote a couple with me. And I’ve performed with my mom a handful of times,” he shared.

Where did Robin Thicke get his love of music and his talent as a singer-songwriter?

The parents of Robin Thicke supported his musical aspirations. His father, Alan Thicke, didn’t even let him pay, and his vocal group for helping them write songs for his demo tape. When questioned about how he developed his passion for music and his singing ability, the singer said that six generations of his family had been accomplished musicians.

“Well, actually, on my mom’s side, there are six generations back of family musicians. We had this kind of Sound of Music traveling family band with concert pianists and violinists and church singers and jazz saxophonists,” he stated, adding that all of them are in America.

“My mom did the family tree, and she gave me this great picture – or I should say frame with about 10 different pictures – of my older relatives all holding different instruments and stuff like that.”

If you were born into a famous family in the entertainment industry, they would prevent you from going into the profession since they are aware of the difficulties you would encounter. However, this wasn’t the case with Thicke. Since they didn’t attempt to discourage him from entering the entertainment industry when he was a child, his parents undoubtedly highly supported him.

“I started making a living when I was 16, so they were skeptical because they know how hard the business is and how many people promise you the world and then don’t deliver, and then you’re broken-hearted. So they were obviously nervous for me. But once they saw – by the time I was 19, 20 – that I already had a long list of accomplishments, they started gaining confidence in it.”

How did Robin Thicke’s first demo come out?

Alan Thicke may have assisted his son Robin Thicke in writing songs for his demo tape. Still, Al Jarreau additionally participated in the process of making his demo tape available, which even made it to Brian McKnight.

“I was in a group with a couple friends of mine, and one of the members knew a producer, and for $1,000 we would be able to go in and sing three songs. I asked my dad for the $1,000, and I was like 14, and he said, ‘No, no, no! We’re not starting that. Way too soon!’” he remembered.

“One of the other guys in my singing group, his uncle is Al Jarreau. So Al Jarreau ended up footing the $1,000 bill to get my demo made. And that demo was heard by Brian McKnight, who got me in the studio and got me a record deal and taught me so much.”

“Being in the studio with a singer-songwriter-producer of that talent, I learned so much at the age of 14, 15. Watching his process and learning about engineering and production. It was like a crash course at the age of 15, which was amazing,” the singer gushed.

When did Robin Thicke first become interested in singing and songwriting, and who are his musical inspirations?

Robin Thicke, who was born into a family of musicians, first showed an interest in music at the age of six and later developed a passion for singing and songwriting.

“I was a big Billy Idol fan. I was five when MTV started, and so all of a sudden there was television and songs and video,” he detailed. “John Cougar Mellencamp and Billy Idol and then Michael Jackson and Prince showed up, and that was everything to me. I was like: I wanna be like those guys.”

He added: “I’ve always liked gospel singers and soul singers. I’ve always liked soulful music. Even my favorite rock songs were by the Rolling Stones or Jimi Hendrix or The Beatles – you know, soulful rock.”

“My other musical influences all seem to come from gospel music like Commissioned or John P Kee or The Clark Sisters because I love the way they sing. Take 6 was an early influence for me. And so I was listening to a lot of Al Green and Stevie Wonder.”

“Then, a couple of years later, I got into The Beatles, and that blew my mind. I already knew “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “She Was Just Seventeen,” but then I got into Sgt Pepper’s and the White Album, and those two just blew my mind. My first album, I was basically trying to make my own version of Sgt Pepper’s.”

At age 11, the singer even taught himself to play the piano and took lessons. He recalled: “I had like two lessons and didn’t care for it and wanted to learn how to play these songs that were on the radio that I really liked. I think the first song I ever taught myself to play was Richard Marx’s ‘Right Here Waiting.’ I had a crush on a girl, and that became our song, and I wanted to be able to play it for her.”

However, despite being able to sing, write a song, and play instruments, Thicke admitted that he doesn’t read music. He later acknowledged the beauty of being able to write a song so much and so well by ears.

“That’s the beauty. Anyone can pick up a paintbrush and dip it in paint. There’s no law against it.”

Writing songs for several singers allowed Robin Thicke to start achieving success as a songwriter at a very young age

Robin Thicke moved out of their house at the age of 17, and he was still in high school at that time. For him, education is standing in the way of his aspirations to succeed in the music business.

“I was making a good living and had a record deal, and school was just getting in the way of me being able to be in the studio and make all my newfound commitments as a recording artist,” he remarked.

Despite concentrating considerably more on music, his efforts appeared to have paid off because he was already included on multiple musicians’ records.

“I was lucky that by the time I was 20 the albums that I worked on were successes. Christina Aguilera’s first album, Pink’s first album, Marc Anthony’s first English album. And Brandy’s first album – that was the first song I ever had placed, when I was 16. A lot of them sold 10 million plus worldwide. Somehow I was lucky enough to be on everyone’s most successful album.”

When asked how he was able to write for Christina Aguilera, he responded that words about him got out.

“The word got out about this “soulful white kid” [laughs] that sings and writes his own songs. So I started taking meetings with people like Ron Fair, a very talented A&R (artists and repertoire) executive, and music producer. He hooked me up with Christina. We were blown away by her voice very early on, and it was just a lucky project to get on.”

Where did Robin Thicke obtain the courage to walk on stage and perform?

Although it takes courage to accomplish things like performing, singing, and writing songs, Robin Thicke makes it appear simple. He did, however, have his own support system or mentors who assisted him in developing confidence, just like any other artist.

“The album I recorded when I was a teenager, it just wasn’t very good. Jimmy Iovine – who has guided my whole career and been my mentor in just about every way – he thought the album wasn’t that great and we should just wait and go back to the drawing board,” he stated.

“So I took a few years off and continued writing and producing for other people. When I was about 22, I thought it was time for me to focus on just my music. When I started recording, I met Andre Harrell, who was CEO of Uptown Records and then Motown Records when Berry Gordy stepped down.”

“He’s been a mentor to me, to Mary J Blige, Puff Daddy – a lot of us. Andre really changed my scope of music. He was a huge influence on me as a recording artist.”

When did Pharrell first enter the scene to make music or collaborate?

Robin Thicke and Pharrell had already worked on numerous projects before, including his eighth album. So when asked when the latter came into the picture in his music career, he said that it was on his first album released.

“Pharrell came in after the first album was released. Jimmy Iovine is always into associations to help new artists get a break – like putting Eminem with Dr Dre or 50 Cent with Eminem or myself with Pharrell,” he shared.

“He knows it’s smart sometimes when an accomplished artist puts their arm around you and introduces you to the market, even if it’s a reintroduction. That association was very helpful to me, for Pharrell to say, ‘Wait, this guy has got some talent, you should check him out.’”

When questioned about the artist’s effect on his style, he also says there is no one like Pharrell and denies that the musician has been one of his fashion influences.

“There’s nobody like Pharrell. He’s really into colorful and spans all different cultures. I’m a little more meat-and-potatoes kind of guy.”

How did Robin Thicke spend time with his son after taking some time off from music and touring?

2015 was arguably one of Robin Thicke’s most challenging years in the music industry, but before he started working on his eighth album, he took a break from recording and performing to spend time with his son and family.

“Honestly, I just stayed at home in L.A. and spent every day that I could with my son, splitting custody,” he answered when asked where he had been. “I was just there for him.”

“He’d just changed from three to four, and that’s a difficult age. They start understanding more. We just had the most amazing connection as father/son this year, and it’s all been worth it. Sometimes things happen for the best. If that last album [Paula] had been a big success, it would have taken me away from him for another year. And the year I got to spend with him was magical.”

The father and son like doing nearly everything together, so Thicke made the most of their time together by taking him to several locations and engaging him in a variety of activities.

“We do everything. We go to theme parks or museums or ball games or just go to the park on Saturday and sit around and walk for a few hours. Kick a ball and all that stuff that dads and kids do.”

Robin Thicke could clearly hear his son’s musical potential at a very young age

Some musicians wished for their children to follow in their footsteps and become a musician as well. For Robin Thicke, he can already attest to his son’s incredible voice at such an early age.

“Oh god, the guy can sing already. The other day he was singing “What A Wonderful World” in his end-of-school-year play. He just loves to sing and stand in front of everybody and hold the microphone and sing loud. He has a great voice,” he claimed.

The early years of Robin Thicke’s life were spent in Canada

Although Robin Thicke was born in Los Angeles, California, he spent part of his formative years in Canada since his father’s family lives there, and they would travel to see them in the summer.

“We were there at least twice a year as I grew up,” the songwriter disclosed. “We would go there in the winter to visit my father’s family, and we would go there in the summer. My grandpa had a boat, and he would take us out boating. Some of my most vivid memories with my family are those boat trips.”

When interviewed about which part of him feels Canadian, he replied by saying that even though he was not born in Canada, he felt a connection to some of his family members that they were, in some way, Canadian.

“Because I wasn’t born in Canada, what feels Canadian is my family. I feel a connection to my aunts, uncles, and grandfather. They are all so pro-Canada. And my dad is so funny. Any time a Canadian accomplishes anything or just pops up on the T.V., he’s like, “Steve Nash MVP – a Canadian!”

Robin Thicke grew up as an ice hockey fan

Ice hockey is one of Canada’s recognized national sports, and as Robin Thicke considers himself and his family to be Canadians, he developed an enthusiasm for the sport. When questioned if he grew up being an ice hockey fan, he answered positively without hesitation.

“I did … in connection with my father. He was friends with [Canadian hockey legend] Wayne Gretzky. Wayne stayed at our house for the summer before he moved to the L.A. Kings.”

“In fact, my one great sports story was that I answered the phone when Wayne Gretzky was traded [from Edmonton to Los Angeles]. He was staying at our house, my dad was out of town, the phone rang, and I answered it. It was Bruce McNall, owner of the Kings.”

“He said, “I need to speak with Wayne.” And I said, “He’s sleeping; can you call back later.” And he said, “It’s very important. You need you wake him up.” So I knock on the door and say [whispers] “Wayne, phone for you.” I go to camp and come back, and Wayne is on T.V., on a podium in Edmonton, having been traded. So that’s my one good sports connection.”

He even made light of the fact that Canadian fans adore him for that, claiming, “Yeah, it was all because of me. [Laughs.] If I had just hung that phone up, Wayne Gretzky would have never left Canada.”

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