Thicke is a singer / songwriter / producer who's credits including working with Marc Anthony and Brian McKnight amongst other. Thicke recently released his debut solo album "A Beautiful World" on Interscope Records.
MVRemix: Tell me about how you got into the industry.
Thicke: I guess living in a city like LA or New York where the industry is "there." I was thirteen, I used to write songs and make demo's...I had a little group, we saved up a couple hundred bucks and recorded some songs. Those songs were heard by somebody else who then played it for a guy named Brian McKnight. That was my first break. Brian took me into the studio and we recorded some songs.
There were some producers I worked with before him but when people heard I was a sixteen-year-old kid singing and writing for Brian, that opened up some more doors for me. I kept writing and started producing for other people and everything kind of took its course.
MVRemix: How did you end up meeting with Andre Harrell?
Thicke: Well, I had a studio up at my house and Andre had a new label called "NuAmerica." He was looking for some songs and producers from out here in Los Angeles, being that he was a New York guy like he was. A friend of his brought him out to meet me, he thought I was one of the talented guys in LA.
Andre came out to my house while I was in the midst of recording my own album. He heard some songs that I was selling that I had left over for some other artists and he heard me singing them for him. He stated, "Wait a minute, I like the way you sing! Do you have any songs of your own?" So I said, "Yeah, I've got my own album's stuff." A different album that I'd made for myself, and so I played him my album and he preferred that. He asked me if I had a deal...if I wanted one and we just started from there.
MVRemix: I was reading a little about NuAmerica and from what I've heard, the premise of it is that there's no longer as much of a demand for "Rock" as there is for "Ghetto-fabulousness" in the mainstream. Things are now upon a different level. What's the basis for this?
Thicke: Andre has his cultural reasons for why it's important for him. I think that has a lot to do with where Hip Hop music has grown, how it has taken over a lot of music culture and has changed a lot of the world's culture. I think after all of that "fabulousness" and people coming from nothing to making it on their own and bragging about it. I think what he felt is necessary after that is more of an internal association, more of a personal thing and more about people sharing and connecting. Partying together instead of showing off that they're at a level that you're not.
He has his a more specific definition. I think that this is who I am. I'm just a guy who has always gotten on with different kinds of people. Growing up in LA I have friends of all-different races and cultures. That's why my music reflects my style and life and friends. The way I live. I think that that just made sense for what he was looking for also.
MVRemix: I read about the track you wrote in response to "911" and how you'd reached this epiphany which many people reach in tragedy or death which is to "Live your life to the fullest while you still have it." Have you actually managed to "fulfill" that or did you just achieve what we all do which is the two day distraction.
Thicke: Well yeah, of course it pops into your head. For me, I try to live my life that way. My theory when I was young would be "How come we act this way only around Christmas? How come we can't be like that all year?" I was one of those people that wondered why good times weren't consistent and why people didn't always have smiling faces and nice things to say.
I'm not blind to the fact that the glass is definitely half empty. I'm not denying that. I know what's fucked up, and how many things are wrong in the world, in America, in my own city and in relationships. But I think it's about waking up each day and trying to do something to fulfill the better end of them.
MVRemix: What's the most important thing in your life right now?
Thicke: Right now, it's making new music. I had spent a couple years making the album I'd made and pretty much took last year off to party. I've got a pretty good family base; I've got a good relationship with my mother and father and brother. Plus I've got good friends, I've got a really great group of people that I get to make music with that I actually enjoy being around. We're not arguing to make music. We actually enjoy having good times together.
I think right now, what's best for me is to just do what I do and not worry about how much success it has or where it places on the charts...I don't know how to do that anyway. That's not my job. I'm not a businessman. I'm a songwriter. I think what's best and most important for me right now is just to write more songs.
MVRemix: Does the music you make come from inspiration from those around you or is it mostly created due to self-motivation?
Thicke: I definitely don't have enough discipline, in that capacity. When it feels right, you do it. Even when you're making it, when things feel right - that's what you go with. I'm really mostly a "feel" guy. All the theories and all that stuff, that's great. But when I close my eyes, it doesn't matter. That's my take on music most of the time.
MVRemix: Why the change from the original title of the album ("Cherry Blue Skies") to "A Beautiful World"?
Thicke: Well it had been obviously ["Cherry Blue Skies" was written about September 11th] been over a year since I'd written the song. Of course, "Cherry Blue Skies" was not just a song about my feelings then but it's about my feelings about ongoing turmoil and pain and struggle. We should always been striving to not fight violence with violence but to actually try to figure out a way to make things better.
"A Beautiful World" is similar though. There's no doubt that there are times when it's definitely not a beautiful world. More than ever, right now things are going on that prove that it's a "difficult" time and a lot of people would say, "The world is not beautiful. The world is messed up right now." But to me, you have a chance every day to make a conscious decision of how you see yourself, the people around you and the world you live in.
I just try to remind myself how many beautiful things there are. I just want the album to stand for that although it seems things are all fucked up, as long as we understand how beautiful it is - maybe we can flourish in that way.
MVRemix: Now you said you don't think people should "Fight violence with violence." What are your thoughts on what's going on Iraq and do you believe "We've" actually "Won the war" or have we just been killing people?
Thicke: I don't think that it was ever a war. I think that it was America - the guys that were in charge believed that it was the time to protect Americans and it was the time to attack Iraq. I never really felt that they stood a chance though, you know.
Obviously it shows that they really didn't. All that we can all hope for now is that the people in Iraq will be better and happier and healthier because of what America has done. That's what we're hoping for now. Nobody really wanted the war to happen. But once it starts, you can't say, "I can't stop the war. My little ass in LA. I can't make a phone call and stop this war." So all I can hope for now is that the least amount of lives are lost and that the people in Iraq actually have improved lives.
MVRemix: Aside from music, do you have any other aspirations with regards to writing or whatnot?
Thicke: I like writing. Writing is what I'm good at. I would consider writing a book, or writing a script. I don't really like acting, it doesn't come naturally and it doesn't feel natural to me. I don't want to become a puppeteer or whatnot, a "Being John Malkovich." I don't know if there's some other artistic desire that I have that hasn't come yet. I suck at painting. I can't paint and I can't draw. So I don't think that's gonna happen.
MVRemix: Could you die today saying you'd lived?
Thicke: Yeah, I could definitely do that. I'd feel like I'd missed out on a couple of parties but I definitely have lived. And, more importantly, I've loved, shared love and I've been loved. I think that's more important than living.
MVRemix: Aside from the singles which you've released from the album, is there one track which maybe doesn't have the commercial appeal which a single should, that you'd like people to listen to from the album. A track to summarize it and entice them to check it out...
Thicke: I don't know if I can answer all of those and pick one song, but I feel like when I perform "Cherry Blue Skies." That gives people a lot of who I am and what I stand for and what "it" is all about to me. If I had one song that I'd like people to hear it would be "Cherry Blue Skies" and/or "The Stupid Things" as a ballad.
MVRemix: Are there any last comments you'd like to put to your fans/potential fans that are going to read this?
Thicke: My theory is "Peace, love and sexy." If it's any of those, it's okay with me.
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