First thing's first. The Black Eyed Peas are not breaking up. will.i.am, frontman and producer behind the multi-platinum group, wants to get that out of the way right from the start. "We're not going anywhere," he says, by way of introducing his new solo album, Songs About Girls. "I made the choice in high school to be with a crew and that's never going to change. It was just really important for me to try some things out on my own, with my own artistry and imagination."
Indeed. will.i.am has helped steer The Black Eyed Peas into one of the most popular groups in music. They have sold 18 million albums worldwide, have won three Grammy awards and have been nominated for 10 total. The group, though, is a partnership amongst four people. "A will.i.am solo album is a different entity. It's not a Peas record."
On his own, will.i.am has established himself as one of music's top producers. He has collaborated on tracks with Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Kelis, Nas, The Game, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Sergio Mendes, Carlos Santana, The Pussycat Dolls, Busta Rhymes and fellow Black Eyed Pea, Fergie. He has developed into a highly revered, sought-after musician, songwriter and producer. So when it came time to work on his solo material, will.i.am not only had a blank canvas on which to work, but a palette of A-list talent to team up with.