Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A moral quandary over the Will.i.am single

Right, here's the thing. Do I like the new will.i.am single because it's a good song, or do I like the new will.i.am single because I've warmed to him on The Voice? And when I haven't liked previous will.i.am singles, was I wrong? Because when I interviewed him about those singles, he was surly and not a little bit rude. But when I interviewed him on the red carpet at the Brits this year, he was charming and funny, like he is on The Voice.

So what's changed? Have I changed? Has will.i.am changed? Has will.i.am's music changed? Is it all three? Has will.i.am's music improved because he no longer has to give a shit about apl and Taboo? If so, why was his last solo album so uniquely terrible? Has someone upgraded the core will.i.am operating system? Has he found Jesus? Has he found inner peace? Is he having crazed sex with a pony? (Lawyer's note: will.i.am is not having crazed sex with a pony).

And when it comes down to it, is will.i.am even that talented? Or does he just seem talented because he sits beside Jessie J all the time? Would this song sound even better if it was played after a Jessie J song? Could any song fail to sound better if it was played after a Jessie J song?

Well, there's one surefire way to find out the answer to that question, which is to take will.i.am's new single to Capital Radio, where every other track is a Jessie J record. And that's exactly what Will did on Monday morning. He burned the record, called This Is Love, onto a CD and just turned up at the reception like a genie or a tramp. He explained why to breakfast show hosts Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon.

"I remember when I first got into wanting to do music. We used to go to a radio station in Los Angeles and we used to sit in the lobby trying to get on air and it just made me feel alive like I was trying to do something."

Then Will said something extraordinary... He had brought this CD along without getting permission from his record label. "Well, what are the other options?" he said. "We give it to the label and the label does it traditional? Or we break tradition and realise that it's 2012 and we have laptops and tablets."

I think I've made up my mind: Will.i.am is a genius.

Here's the record. Unless it's been taken down. In which case, here's a broken link.

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