The American hip-hop band will headline on the second day of the Usadba Jazz Festival, which will be held on 22-23 June in Kolomenskoye. On the eve of the Moscow concert, the band members’ will.i.am (William Adams), apl.de.ap (Allen Pineda Lindo) and Taboo (Jaime Luis Gomez) told Sputnik correspondent Valeria Vysokosova why they love Moscow, how hip-hop has changed over the years of their creativity and why they are ready to listen to the song “Where Is The Love” over and over.
Sputnik: So, let’s start. Here in Moscow, you will be the headliners of the festival called the House of Jazz (Usadba Jazz Festival – ed. note Sputnik). So I would like to ask you, what do you expect from this festival, maybe some new meetings, maybe a great audience?
The Black Eyed Peas members: Definitely, we all have a lot of love for Moscow fans, you know, the Peabodiesin Moscow. When we went to do the show a couple of years ago at the Kremlin, it was an amazing show, amazing experience. You know, they love music out there, so we appreciate always going back to Moscow and having the Black Eyed Peas experience commit to the crowd.
When we saw our schedule for the tour: then when Moscow comes up, everyone gets excited. You know, cool like: “Oh, yeah! We are going there!” And we always have a good time there. They – people – they know how to party. They know how to rock out. So we are expecting nothing less at the show, you know. We want to have a fun time with everybody.
Sputnik: It is so nice to hear (that) from you. I would like to ask you about your new album. I listened to it and I liked it very much. Can you tell me, how did you decide to make a record like Masters of the Sun? Was it easy for you, eight years since the last album?
The Black Eyed Peas members: Yeah, Masters of the Sun was hard to make but fun to make and easy to make all at the same time. Easy because (it is) something like natural for us because it resembles our first album that we put out back in 1998.
It was hard to make because, you know, paying attention to the details, making sure every lyric, everything was, you know, perfect to the highest.
We weren't trying to make songs for the radio, we were trying to make songs for our spirit. And it was wonderful to make because, you know, let the music pull the spirit, you know. So we're really proud of that album, and the new release that that we have coming out is expected; we will have a Masters of the Sun Part 2, by the end of the year, [or at the] top of 2020.
And yeah, and also for Masters of the Sun Volume 1 it was cool to have collaborations with Nas, with Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, Posdnuos from De La Soul, Slick Rick.
You know, it was cool to have those figures and those legends that we looked up to, that we collaborate with them. We also on this album got to introduce a new family member, her name is J Reysoul (Jessica Reynoso). And that apl.de.ap discovered her in the Philippines while he was doing The Voice Philippines. So that was kind of cool to present a new family member as well.
Sputnik: Can you tell me, is this a new start for you, or more like back to the roots, this album? Is it a new start for you, this album, like a reload or something more like back to your roots, this kind of stuff?
The Black Eyed Peas members: Are you talking about the Masters of the Sun?
Sputnik: Yes. Is it something new or something classic?
The Black Eyed Peas members: It is definitely our 20th anniversary, our celebration of Behind the Front, our first album. And it is reminiscent of, you know, how we got started within the music business and what kind of music we were inspired by. And that is the style that inspired this album, Masters of the Sun.
Sputnik: I see. And as far as I know, you always try to say something important with your music or something bigger in your tracks. And what is the main problem of the modern world now, in your opinion? What is it? What do you want to say with your new songs?
The Black Eyed Peas members: Be nice!
The Black Eyed Peas members (chorus): Be nice! Be nice! Be nice! (laughs) Be nice!
Sputnik: So, it is the main point, maybe something else? What do you think about the modern world, in general? Maybe you can share (your thoughts)?
The Black Eyed Peas members: We really appreciate the art kind of music and bringing people together. And we want to spread that love.
Sputnik: You know, hip-hop music is really on top now, especially in Russia. A lot of people say that hip-hop is like new rock – you know, it was very popular in the 80s, 90s and so on – and now hip-hop is as important as rock music was then. And now you are back with a hip-hop album. How in general has this music changed through the years? What do you think has it changed at all?
The Black Eyed Peas member: Yeah, everything evolves. And hip-hop has evolved in a beautiful way: some of it is really good, some of it is not, but there is stuff that's really good. It just shows the evolution of the culture, and the art form, and it is just amazing to see that it has become international. That's awesome.
Sputnik: And it has been 20 years since your first album as we have said before, can you tell me one of the best memories from all these years of your work together, of the tours, of the albums, of the records? What can you remember now?
The Black Eyed Peas member: One of the best memories was going to Russia and playing at Red Square. That was an amazing memory.
Sputnik: Do you know any Russian musicians, maybe you listened to some here in Russia, two years ago? Do you know any Russian singers? Maybe you like someone?
The Black Eyed Peas member: Um, yes. Um…Pussy Riot??
Sputnik: Yeah. Have you seen their last video?
The Black Eyed Peas member: No, I haven’t seen their last video.
Sputnik: And my last question. Which one of your own songs you can call as your favourite one? Is it possible to name just one?
The Black Eyed Peas member (apl.de.ap): Ooh, I would say “Where Is The Love” for me because I never get tired of this song. It is always this sentimental feeling, this nostalgia. And you know, it is a song that always needs to be asked = that question, because of what is going on in our society and in the world. And unfortunately, we have got to keep asking that question. And yes, it is one of my favourites.
The Black Eyed Peas member (Taboo): Since apl.de.ap already used “Where Is The Love”, then I'm going to say, if we are talking about Master of the Sun, I am going to say “Constant”.
I really like that sequence of tapping into that Tribe Called Quest, earlier Black Eyed Peas vibe, and I love how it transitions from a certain BPM and it goes up to this Chicago House vibe. I love that it introduces J Raysoul at the end of the song. The arrangement is awesome. And I love our verses, you know her verses, is my favourite on that.
Sputnik: Okay, thank you very much, guys.
The Black Eyed Peas member (will.i.am): We’ve got 100 songs! I'm kidding (laughs). I will tell you each piece of each song. Now if you [are to] pick one son, it is impossible…Okay, “Where Is The Love.”
Sputnik: Okay, I love this song too.