EXCLUSIVE: Robin Thicke Speaks With A Socialite’s Life

February 16th, 2007 // 37 Comments

Robin Thicke may not be a name you’ve heard too much. With all the gummy, sugary, watered-down pop music out there, it’s rare to find someone who can grab music by the horns and steer it into a place it’s never been. Someone who has the passion of a soul singer, the lyrics of a hip-hop artist, and the skill of a super producer. Without any professional training, Thicke has become an amazing producer–not only producing his own albums–but also working with such music powerhouses as Mary J Blige, Usher, Christina Aguilera, and Michael Jackson on their projects.

Everything this man touches turns platinum, and you probably didn’t even know who he was! Currently, he’s smashing records with the success of the #1 hit “Lost Without U.” The album sits at #6 this week on the Top 200 Album chart and remains the #1 most played song ever at the Urban Adult Contemporary format. Robin sat down with me, and answered a few questions.

Josh: Hi Robin, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Lets get down to it. Not many people know your father was Alan Thicke of TV fame, and you have a famous mother too. Unlike the Osbournes, or Brooke Hogan, your celebrity parents haven’t been exploited to make you a celebrity. Was that intentional?

Thicke: Ever since I was 6 or 7 I loved to sing and dance. I always would find myself singing in the house and dancing. I wanted to be famous myself, and do it my way. Plus I loved MTV, so it just seemed to fit.

Josh: Your music is very different, and very special. Who would you consider to be your musical inspirations?

Thicke: Music that makes me feel, which is rare to find now a days. Music like Michael Jackson, Prince, The Beatles are people who did what they did and didn’t apologize for it. It’s music like that, that I would like to do. Hip-hop is really the only music that inspires me anymore. Everything else seems so packaged and fake. Hip-hop inspires fashion, movies, television. Hip-hop is the most original form of music, and it just makes you feel. To me, Hip-hop is the true inspiration of art.

More of Joshua Martin’s exclusive interview with Robin Thicke after the jump.

Josh: People in the media have compared you to people like Justin Timberlake, and Prince? What is your response to that?

Thicke: They’d be so far off, it’s not funny. We don’t write about the same things, we don’t have the same life experiences. If you’ve bought and listened to my album, him and I sound nothing alike. Other than being two white guys that like hip-hop, we aren’t anything alike.

Josh: You’ve produced, and people don’t realize that. You’ve gone platinum many times over with things you’ve produced. Can you drop a few names as to who you’ve done work with?

Thicke: If it’s not organic, I don’t do it. I don’t attach my name to people just to do that, it’s not me. I’ve worked with Michael Jackson, Mary J Blige, Christina Aguilera just to name a few. All of them were amazing to work with. All the albums I’ve produced on, have gone platinum, or gold.

Josh: Wow. That’s really amazing. So, with all that popularity, your first album got no critical success. Do you think that your image had anything to do with it, or where you were coming from?

Thicke: I cut my hair off, people do it all the time. I used to have super-long hair. Image should have nothing to do with my music or my sound. If people listen to me now and listen to me back then, they should realize that I’m the same guy. Just different spots in my life when I wrote my first album and my second album. I was happy during my first album.

Josh: You’ve had your new sound compared as “neo-soul”, how do you feel about that?

Thicke: That couldn’t be farther from the truth. If anything, I’ve got a real retro sound. I sound much more like someone from the 70′s than some “Neo-Soul.” That says that there is some real soul music out right now. I’m not sure that’s the case.

Josh: Your second album, “The Evolution of Robin Thicke,” is signed to Pharrell Williams’ Star Trak label. How was it with two producers in the studio?

Thicke: Pharrell didn’t want to come in the studio with me. He called me one day, after hearing some music of mine and wanted to sign me. I called him an angel, because he really swooped in and saved me from a bad spot in my life. Pharell said I’d change music, and if he touched my sound, it wouldn’t be mine. Pharrell really let me go and do my thing and gave me a chance to put my sound out there. We both just realized that, nowadays if Pharrell says I’m cool, people will buy my records. If Pharrell does a remix, people buy the album. We never intended to do those things, but when they happened they happened. I can’t thank Pharrell enough for that.

Josh: What was the inspiration for your new album “The Evolution of Robin Thicke,” and the songs on the album?

Thicke: The last two years of my life have been two of the worst years I’ve had. It’s been rough, waking up every day and feeling like your not good enough, not sexy enough, not smart enough. It can ruin a man, and most of the music on my album talks about that and how hard the struggle was. So my new song “Lost Without U” was about that. Feeling like you aren’t good enough for anything, and turning to your woman and exposing yourself, and telling her that without her you may not have anything left.

Josh: Is there anyone that you’d work with on your next album, or want to work with? Dream collaboration? What about Lil Wayne remixing Shooter?

Thicke: No one. I don’t want to work with anyone. I feel like I’ve got so much music trying to rip its way out of me, I don’t need someone else to get that out with me. I have done it myself for this long, I feel like I have many more albums to do on my own. Now if someone comes along and it’s organic, and it is hot music. I won’t turn it down, but I won’t go out of my way for it. Unfortunately though, all the musicians I do want to work with are dead. Ha. Lil Wayne though, called me said he heard Shooter off my first album, loved it and wanted to rap on it. I heard the track, it was amazing. So we both put it on our albums. Lil Wayne, is one of the most talented in the game right now. People need to pay more attention to him.

Josh: With all that strife, did you ever consider selling out like other celebrities have? Giving yourself up, and letting someone else produce you for a little bit?

Thicke: Many times. I thought about many times selling out, because then maybe I could change the game and someone would get to hear my music. If I had to put on that hat, at one point I considered it. I weathered the storm, and now I have my music out there, and I’m proud I’ve done it my way.

Josh: If you have any advice for people who want to do it there way, and not be the next American Idol, what would you say?

Thicke: Go to law school! This business sucks, and it’s not for the weak of heart. I can’t tell you how many nights in the last 4 years I found myself drunk on my living room floor not wanting to get up. The only thing I had to keep me going, to keep me warm was my music and it pushed me through. If you don’t feel like that, then don’t get in. This industry will crush you.

Honestly, I didn’t expect to be lucky enough to get that kind of candid interview with Robin Thicke. You never expect someone to really open up about their craft. He was refreshing in the way he talked, and the brutal honesty he displayed. It may come across as harsh–which was my first reaction–but the truth is that he’s honestly just that passionate about his music.

Robin displays the same kind of candor in his work as he did in the interview, and it’s refreshing to listen to listen to his music after hearing him speak so openly about the love he has for his craft and the hard work he’s put into it. Do yourself the favor, and to go iTunes, or the nearest store and listen to one of his songs. You won’t be disappointed. iTunes just released a deluxe edition of his cd, and trust me, it’s worth every penny!

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  1. Anne Marie

    Roin Thicke is the bomb! I love that catchy older track “When I Get You Alone”. #1 most played song on my iPod.

  2. Sighhhh.....

    Robin is so freakin’ hot yet adorable at the same time.

  3. Soinnnluv

    I am so glad you did an interview with my my husband! He’s awesome can’t get enough!

  4. Jorge

    Oddly, I had no clue who he was until I read the interview and went to his site. I’ve heard his music before, most notably in Rules of Attraction. I guess I know which CD I’m going to buy next.

  5. Joyce

    Hiya Robin! Its Joyce. Still have that picture of the two of us on my desktop. Thank you for being part of my life.

  6. Is this the same Robin Thicke that had really long hair a few years ago? If it is – he looks amazing with short hair! I remember hearing a song he had then and really liked him – glad he’s getting more recognition now as well!

  7. Robin Fan

    He is awesome! Keep up the good work.

  8. vikingwench

    He looks like his Dad!!!

  9. Michelle

    I met Robin a couple of days ago. He’s so sweet and seems really appreciative for the success tha the has. The store wanted to stop us from taking pics with him, but he insisted that we would all get a pic with him.. He’s a sweetheart and a REAL artist.

  10. celia

    I LURVE this guy. he is both hot and talented. thanks for recognizing him.

  11. Brunette

    ooh cute! thanks for introducing us to a new face!

  12. Walsta

    I heard lost without you on 102 Jams in Florida and I just had to have that song. I tuned in late and only heard the chorus. Thankfully it showed up on the AOL listening party and since I loved every song I went out and bought it.

    I think it’s a great idea when artist make their music available to listen to. I find that artist who don’t do that usually have crappy albums.

    At any rate I’ll be playing this one out. I love the whole album. I hope he’ll make an appearance at the Grammy’s I’m so sick of the same faces.

  13. RONDA

    AWESOME TALENT. HAVEN’T HEARD A VOICE THIS SMOOTH IN YEARS, AND THE LYRICS ARE SO HEARTFELT. KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK AND MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOUR GIFT. AMAZING.

  14. Theresa

    Hey, Eyes—Cleveland’s show is sold out on March 4, –please add another show!!!!

  15. rose

    I went to the tv when I heard this voice on the Leno show. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I am in my 40′s and agree with Robin in the interview. I immediately thought of the 70′s soul voices but modern in some way. I bought the cd the next day. My children (21 & 15) listen to it, too. Thanks for a great sound. Good luck!

  16. gidero

    I love this man. Ive known about him for a while. When he sings, I get goose bumps. I really FEEL his music. I love his vibe.

    AND HES SO DAMN SEXY. Im glad thats hes finally getting some props. :) :)

  17. Aziza

    wonderfully surprising -reminds me of Marvin Gaye on Lost Without You – stirs the heart of this Baby Boomer! Be blessed, young man, Aziza

  18. PhillyGirl

    Robin- Please schedule another show in Philly. The 3/1 date was sold out before I even knew about it. You’re awesome!

  19. GLENDA

    I LOVE YA MEN YOUR GREAT SINGER KEEP IT GOING
    HOLD YA HEAD UP HIGH

    THANKS SOOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR THE MUSIC

  20. Marie

    Robin Thicke WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL OF OUR LIVES? I can’t get enough of your CD !!!

  21. monquie

    I love robin thicke i have all cd cherry blue skies, The Evolution of Robin Thicke and a A Beautiful World i love his new song lost without you also he`s fined.

  22. I love you,Robin!Your voice is beyond your years and you deserve everything you have gained.Move over Justin!

  23. Anjellika

    Hi Robin, I just read a bio on your career and it mentioned that you were suicidal,and I just wanted to let you know that you have no reason to ever doubt how talented, sexy or good-looking you are, because you are ALL THAT AND MORE!!!! You are so amazing and I LOVE YOU MADLY!!! Please add more shows in the Phila or NJ area, March 1, so I can have the ultimate pleasure of seeing you IN PERSON, you are the ultimate performer and I love each and every track on your cd, I Need Love,Can U Believe, Lost Without U, and Angels are my favorites and I play your cd every day!!!!! Never go away again, the music world would be LOST WITHOUT U!!!!! much love, Anjellika

  24. Consuella

    I really love the new album, it has a Marvin Gaye feel. I’m into lyrics and you have some of the best. Your music will have longevity like that of artists in the past. Even though the songs aren’t about me, I feel special when listening to them. Never doubt yourself, it’s your time and you are right where you are suppose to be. How old are you? Also, please make plans to come to Houston.

  25. oh my gosh man, people should have paid attention to your first album ‘cherry blue skies’ or ‘a beautiful world’. All of your music is bananas, i absolutley love it. I’m really glad you came out with a new album too it’s crazy tight. Keep doing what you doing cause i’m defintely gonna be buying all your albums!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Tiffany

    This was a great interview. I heard of Robin from my sisters fiance he’s really into music. I really like his music. If you have not seen him live shame shame shame. I went to a John Legend concert at the electric factory I was sold on the idea mostly b/c i wanted to hear Robin open.
    I keep tryin to see his own concert but things keep getting in the way. Even tryin to win on the radio but i come up short. I can’t wait till the opprotunity presents itself. His band is the greatest. During his performance I found myself kind of hearing him in the background but the music was in the forefront. I really appreciate how the band seems so whole and even though they’ve had to play these songs a million times htey still enjoy it. The music just peirces through you.

  27. Maria

    Not sure if Robin will read this… but hopefully you do~ I have loved your voice and music since “when I get you alone”… Your an awesome and inspiring musician. Your voice melts me. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come to California!!!!!!! You have to bring your talents to the West Coast. Preferably to Northern California~ I LOVE your recent album. I listen to it All the time! Keep up the excellent work~

  28. SmoFine

    Hi Robin, you album is absolutely “FABULOUS”. I’m listening to it right now (Teach U a Lesson)…and everyday. My husband brought it for me on valentine’s day, absolutely luv it. As previous stated, it reminds you “old school” Marvin Gaye.

    Keep up the good work and you have a continual fan and i will buy your records.

  29. Dee Clark

    I ABSOLUTELY ADORE YOU! YOU COME THRU SO STRONG IN YOUR MUSIC THAT I CAN FEEL YOU NEXT TO ME! YOUR SOUND MOVES ME AND POSSESSES AN AURA THAT CANNOT BE DESCRIBED WITH WORDS! PLEASE FEEL GOOD ABOUT THAT … KEEPING SPEAKING LIFE, KEEP PRODUCING, KEEP PERFORMING, DON’T STALL YOUR GIFT AT ALL … YOU ARE AWESOME! AND “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” ;>

  30. Belinda

    I’m just so in love with your music. Thank god that you shared your music and your feelings with us. I just can not get enough of it, I have been playing your cd this whole week and it’s just so deep that it brings me to tears at some moments. I think that your song ” I need love” is a very very deep emotional song that it makes me cry when listening to it. It also made me have a Deja Vu with Sade???

    Very very pure music, thank you so much, please stay and I hope to be able to visit your concert one of these days!!

    I’m lucky to got your cd, I am going to send my friends in the Netherlands your cd too, I do not know if they have heard about you yet but its time that they do….what a gifted talent you got!!

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ROBIN!!!!!!

  31. Karen

    I was one of the first people to ever touch Robin. I was a delivery room nurse where both he and his brother were born and I was there for both births.Usually you never know what happens to the babies you welcome into the world. So glad I found your music. I love it and wish you only the very best.Never give up and never give in.

  32. Marcella

    I was lucky enough to see Robin in Cleveland with John Legend. Had no idea who he was until then. He truly “wowed” the fickle Cleveland crowd with his vocal talent and had all the ladies swooning . Face it, he’s gorgeous. Thank you Robin for the incredible performance! Thank your parents for the good looks!!

  33. suzanne

    Robin Thicke is amazing and your interview shines a light on the fact that he is a true talent with the ability to not only sing but produce and the chops to go it along. If i was to compare Robin Thicke’s music/sound to other artists it would have to Marvin Gaye, Sam Cook,Maxwell. I am not saying he imitates these artist at all I saying he sound and music moves me like these artist do. Robin Thicke your sound make me want to dance. And my Husband knows if I playing your music in combination with the other artist I’ve mention,he is in for a wonderful night.
    THANK YOU!!
    suzanne

  34. Tclass

    Robin, Robin, Robin…

    I play your CD everyday! My man turned me on to you in January. I have not missed a day of playing your music. It touches me. It is obvious that you are writing, singing and producing from your heart. You music defines what a man should be…strong, loving, caring and feeling. You go boy!

  35. Tonl

    I haven’t been this impressed with a new artist in a long time. I looove “lost without u.” Can’t stop playing it. It is a very beautiful and sexy song. So is Robin and his wife. I agree that he has that old school sound which is what I love and grew up with. He reminds me of a combination of Marvin Gaye, the Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind and Fire. Robin, now that you have found your niche, stay with it. No harm intended, but leave the rap for others. You don’t need that. Do what you do best, speak of love and other matters of the heart. You seem to do that very well. You are definitely cool enough and sexy enough. Keep up the great work. I’m so happy for you and your new-found success. I’m wishing you much love and longevity in your career.

  36. suzanne

    I just saw Robin and the guys at Borgata in Atlantic City NJ. He put on such a great show.He has such an soulful sound to his voice and boy can he perform. He just eludes sexiness and you are just drawn in. I can’t wait for him to come back to NJ. He does a duet with Faith Evans called “Got to Be Down” he sounds like Marvin Gaye in this song. Robin we love you and we are so happy for you!!!!!

  37. linda hall

    i have a great big collection of photos
    of you as robin thicke. you are awesome. i agree with dee clark! i feel like your pictures are alive to me and also close to me you are nice and kind. i rate you above justin timberlake. you have beautiful baby blue eyes like i do! only i have red hair and you have black hair. thanks very much! sincerely yours,

    linda l. hall dated: 06-27-08-p.m.

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