Robin Thicke is enjoying a pop culture moment with the upbeat single Blurred Lines.
But the song of summer 2013 (a collaboration with T.I. and Pharrell Williams) hasn’t had an easy road. Thicke took a pre-emptive strike last week in a Los Angeles court: His lawyers filed requesting dismissal of future claims that the chart topper copies any previous songs — including Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up. (Critics charge BL also borrows from Funkadelic’s Sexy Ways.)
The 36-year-old Sex Therapy crooner also took some heat for the video — the unrated version with nude models prowling was banned from YouTube.
The title track from Thicke’s fifth album will surely be front and center when he and Pharrell take the stage Sunday at the Fontainebleau BleauLive concert series.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Thicke talked about the song’s success, switching up his style and what’s up next.
Did “Blurred Lines” sound like a hit to you?
It did to me, and then I went into the record label and I played it for the heads of the label, head of pop radio … and everybody just went, ‘Nice. Nice.’ Got no response; was kind of surprised by that. A few months later went back in, played it again like, ‘I think we have enough records here. I think we’ve got four or five really strong singles’ — or at least four or five options for singles.
How does it feel now that the song is a smash around the world?
[Puts up middle finger and laughs.] Nah, I’m just kidding.
Did you finish recording the album before “Blurred Lines” took off?
I always write about 40 or 50 songs per album. I had some stuff that I normally write — some slower, soulful, more depressing in some ways, introspective-type stuff. Blurred Lines started to take off … so I went in the studio and I recorded three new songs that were uptempo and funk.
Why do you think the song is connecting with so many people?
Rarely do you have a song playing on all pop stations and all black stations, all of the urban stations. And because I have an urban fan base and urban audience, I wonder if it was a brand-new artist, would they play [ Blurred Lines] on black radio? I don’t think so.
How do you think the naked video helped the song?
I had just enough fans to get some people into it at the beginning, and then the naked video was just so good, it was kind of the thing people immediately say, ‘Have you seen this?’ which is kind of what director Diane Martel wanted to do. She’s been loving my music for 10 years, she’s like, ‘I can’t believe you’re not a bigger star.’ … She said, ‘I think if … we do a funny, silly video with topless girls, everybody’s going to have to know who Robin Thicke is.’
After all of the success, do you feel different?
Absolutely. I went into the album with all kinds things in my head like, ‘Why didn’t my last album sell? How come?’ I guess I need to freshen it up. I need to take some chances. I need to do something new. … So I did want to push the boundaries and work with some hit makers to see if they could help me and luckily it all worked out. But the good thing is I didn’t have to change who I am and what I like. And I almost did. I sang a couple songs I would not have been proud of if I released them.
What are your thoughts on all the controversy?
For all the controversy and all this other stuff that people try to make it seem like that’s more important, what’s really important about music and entertainment is to entertain and make people feel good.
I want to get right in the studio. I want to make a country album, a Christmas album, a gospel album. I’m like, finally! I’m ready to make four albums right now.
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