R’n’B artist Robin Thicke recently made his way to Kuala Lumpur to enchant fans with his soulful performance at the MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia 2013. Donned in a tight suit, infectious smile and electrifying charm, we asked the Blurred Lines-singer about the controversy that follows around him, his marriage and how sexuality is really not the musical identity he aims to carry around for the rest of his life.
“Blurred Lines” is not only a really great song , but it was dubbed as highly controversial since it advocated rape culture, and it’s not really on the side of female empowerment. How are you dealing with the backlash and criticism?
I truly feel bad that the song didn’t connect with their sensibilities. But I’m an entertainer, and I can’t please everybody. I have to please myself as an artist first, and I have to make sure that my friends and family like it and support me.
How important is it to have sex appeal in the music industry. Clearly you have it, but we want to know what you do to get it.
First of all, you have to want to be sexy, and I want to be sexy. I personally think being sexy means being kind, funny, and brushing your teeth *laughs* and putting on cologne. Sexy is always confidence and kindness, and that’s two of the things I try to maintain as often as possible.
So the video of your latest single “Give It 2 U” has a few similarities with the video for “Blurred Lines” – sexy girls and flashing words. Is this part of your musical identity now?
My music and identity has always been about love. Love and equality is something I’ve always written about. But when I do a video with half naked girls in it, I’m suddenly a sexist. Our video director Diane Martel is a visionary. She wants people to remember the videos she makes. I initially wanted a funny video about Blurred Lines, but she suggested that the girls take their clothes off, and now – everyone knows who Robin Thicke is, for the most part. Now I have a chance to make great music and hopefully get noticed.
Being a family man, how did your wife Paula react to “Blurred Lines” and “Give It 2 U”?
My wife made me cool! She is my inspiration, and she’s always told me what women don’t want to see or hear, and how a woman wants to be treated. I’ve technically been in the Navy Seals training of being sexy thanks to my wife! Like I said, when you’re kind and you make people feel good, that’s sexy.
Are you happiest recording in the studio, or happiest when you’re performing music?
I’m happiest when I’m with my son. Nothing makes me happier than being with my little boy. But if I had to choose, I love being the thrill being on stage. You see your fans screaming, dancing and you get to be apart of this collective energy of everyone around you. But I think that being a songwriter is at the forefront of my expression.
What were your first impressions of Malaysians when you got here?
I was greeted by 12 people when I touched down to Kuala Lumpur, and everybody had the greatest spirits and biggest smiles on their faces. There seems to be a collective kindness and joy in the people I’ve met here.
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