After an eight-year hiatus, the Black Eyed Peas are back and their upcoming album is impressing fans in more ways than one! Band members Will.i.am, Apl.de.ap and Taboo found ways to be productive during quarantine by designing a new record for fans titled Translation that embodies a fresh sound, modern rhythm and, most importantly, a bit of joy to fans everywhere. In an exclusive with PopCulture.com for our series PopCulture @ Home, William Adams (Will.i.am), Jaime Luis Gomez (Taboo) and Allan Pineda Lindo (Apl.de.ap) delved into their thought process behind the Latin-inspired tracks and how they're bringing a virtual 3D performance into the homes of their fans.
"Well, Black Eyed Peas we've always been inspired by Latin rhythms since the beginning of our careers, since the time that we started, you know, producing music, creating music," Taboo explained when asked what the inspiration behind the record, featuring Latin artists like Ozuna, Becky G, Maluma and Shakira was. Noting how artists influenced them like Sérgio Mendes and Jorge Ben Jor in their earlier years, the trio claims those sounds have "always been part of our DNA."
Not only are the guys inspired by such sounds stemming from the backgrounds and communities they grew up in, but they've also worked to integrate those cultural elements early on. "I'm part Mexican party Native American," Taboo said. "Will grew up in a predominantly Mexican community, Apl came from the Philippines, so Latin music and Latin culture has always been part of our history. And now, fast forward to 2020, having people like Jay Balvin and Ozuna and Maluma, the vibrant visionaries that they are in pop culture, it was only right that we celebrated and honored them as well by collaborating, and they honored us by saying, 'Hey, we'll rock with the Black Eyed Peas.'"
While it's impressive how most of their album was completed amid quarantine, something that's also turning heads and bringing smiles to fans' faces is their partnership with Barefoot. The three talented musicians teamed up with the wine company for their "Band Together" program, which releases new music from BEP along with a 3D performance through augmented reality. "When you think of like good times, and you think of, like, celebration, you think of like birthday parties or weddings or F1 races, concerts, you know, new year's, there's music, and then there's champagne," Will.i.am explained. "Like, they go hand-in-hand."
"And we like to provide, you know, a soundtrack to these moments. And a company like Barefoot provides, you know, the pick-me-ups for those moments, the bubblies and the sauce," he continued. "The idea of augmented reality and going on tour via a bottle or a can is really awesome. So, I love the idea of empowering folks with what the phone and the technology to aim the camera at, you know, Barefoot's logo and out comes up a Black Eyed Pea performance, performing 'Vida Loca.'"
Apl.de.ap added, "During these times it's like, you need these little tools to keep you moving. And then it's just a fun experience and technologically advanced and you know, there's a lot of things to gain from it and it's just a fun marriage and a combo on how to, you know, bring joy to people." With each label scan, $1 will be donated to Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE) and the American Cancer Society, with is a charity that sits near-and-dear to Taboo's heart following his diagnosis with stage 2 testicular cancer in 2014.
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