May 17, 2006 01:35 PM
by Christina Fuoco
Robin Thicke is truly his parents' son. He has the musical talent of his mother, soap-opera star/singer Gloria Loring, and the smooth nature of his father, actor Alan Thicke.
Taking a break from working in his Los Angeles studio to talk to a reporter, he's gracious when told that his debut album was a stellar effort, and he peppers his conversation with "sweetie."
"My mom was the singer and my dad was the schmoozer," Thicke said with a laugh. "He's the king of the schmooze."
Thicke is preparing for the release of his sophomore effort, "The Evolution of Robin Thicke," featuring the single "Wanna Love U Girl," a collaboration with Pharrell Williams. To push the CD, which hits stores July 18, the video is streaming on his website.
Besides his own albums, Thicke is a Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter. At 16, with no formal training, he began professionally writing and producing music for recording artists like Brandy and Brian McKnight. Over the years, he has amassed dozens of gold and platinum records with artists including Usher, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera
Thicke spoke to LiveDaily about his songwriting process, working with Williams and kick-starting his music career at a young age.
LiveDaily: I really enjoyed your 2003 debut, "A Beautiful World." What is the direction of this album?
Robin Thicke: I'm just trying to make something pure, that's all.
Just to make sure that every song has a real pure intention. Whatever I'm trying to say and how I'm trying to sing it that it really means something to me especially.
Does that mean it's a little more personal?
It's very personal, but it's also very universal, because it's about the human spirit and the human experience.
Is it difficult to sing personal songs?
No, they're the easiest ones.
It seems like it would be hard to spill your guts in front of a large group of people or on record.
No, spilling my guys is what I've gotten good at. There's nothing like the truth. That's one of my lyrics to one of my songs.
You worked with Pharrell Williams on this record. What was it like to work with him?
It was awesome. He's amazing and kind and fun and, uh, very motivated.
What do you think he brought to your music?
I think he brought just fun and extra sexiness to it. [Laughs]
How did you hook up with him?
We had met in the studio years ago when I was working on my first album. When he got a new record deal at Interscope Records, he asked about me, and [Interscope exec] Jimmy Iovine hooked us up together. I'm proud to be working with such a guy. He's a cool cat.
Who else did you work with on the album? Advances of the album aren't available yet.
I like everyone to kind of experience it at the same time on their own, because it's an experience all together. I worked with Faith Evans, because that was incredible. I worked with Lil Wayne. I worked with some other people on some things that haven't exactly panned out.
How was it to work with Faith Evans?
She's a sweetheart and a phenomenal singer and a joy to be around.
Tell me about your writing process.
I write in the studio in my house. I have a patio with the sun out and the birds chirping right where my studio is. So I just kind of sit there and write. I have a piano in my house in front of a fireplace, so that's where I do all my writing.
That sounds like a great atmosphere for writing.
It really is.
How long have you been playing music?
Since I was about 14. I started playing piano when I was 12. And I started writing professionally when I was 15.
Have your parents been supportive of your career?
Yeah. They were skeptical because they know it's a difficult business, but they supported me all the way through.
Your parents are in the entertainment field, so they know the ups and downs you could go through.
Do they come to your shows?
My dad comes to every show, if he can. He tries not to miss any. I'm always trying to tell them they're at a different place. "Yeah dad, it's in Orange County." [Laughs]
Are you going to tour in support of your album when it's released?
Yeah. I was on tour with Keyshia Cole for a little while, and I'll be rejoining her and doing the Hennessey tour in July leading up to the release of the album. I'll be doing some Virgin Mega Store dates in Europe and out here and on the East Coast.
Do you have a big following in Europe?
I have a cult following. I don't know about a big following. I have very loving and supportive fans.