Phil Collins says he was “flattered” when he heard that US rapper Akon and producer Pharrell Williams wanted to work with him. The former Genesis drummer said he would consider doing something with the pair, despite admitting that he was surprised they are fans. “I’m flattered that they’ve expressed the interest publicly, risking their careers in doing so,” Collins told Rolling Stone. “Anything is possible and I certainly would investigate doing that if I did think about doing something.” Last month, Collins said he had not plans to record another solo album in a bizarre interview with The Times newspaper.
Veteran rocker Phil Collins is surprised to be planning a future collaboration with hip-hop star Pharrell Williams because he thinks of himself as “tremendously unfashionable”. The Genesis star, who features in the latest Grand Theft Auto game, refuses to do anything he doesn’t feel comfortable with. He says, “I generally do things that are tremendously unfashionable. (But) if you start worrying about that you do things that aren’t really true to you. “Music critics tend to put people in boxes, but if you actually talk to the people involved, there’s a much more open field. “For example, Pharrell Williams and I are desperate to work together. I’m always surprised when young black kids come up to me and say, ‘Yeah man, I love (your 1989 album) but seriously.’”
Billboard Nagazine (May 17th). Robin Thicke’s soulful evolution continues on his highly anticipated third solo album, “Something Else,” as he takes a more uptempo stance. Thicke returns with a tighter (11 tracks) set that cohesively frames his potent mix of contemporary and classic R&B. Lead single “Magic” percolates with ’70s funk. On other tracks, the singer/musician shifts from Jimi Hendrix-spiked soul to Marvin Gaye mellow. He wrote and produced the entire album, forgoing cameos. That’s a departure from his 2006 platinum breakthrough, “The Evolution Of Robin Thicke,” which he co-wrote and co-produced with The Neptunes and sported guest turns from Lil’ Wayne and Pharrell.
Robin Thicke – Something Else (2008) (Due September)
- Magic (First Single)
- Sidestep (Second Single)
- Dream World
- Sweetest Love
- Mr. Loverman
From Their Blog: Our friends from Gakcity.com interviewed us before our Cutting Room show and put up the interview (with some footage from the show, including Pharrell’s infamous intro). Check it out, ladies. Bee Tee Dub, folks, Max really does begin each day with an eightball and a blow job. Don’t tell his mom, please. Seriously, guys. Don’t.
How did Pharrell keep this beat away from Madonna? It’s his best in a while—electro-dance that makes me want to put some cardboard out on the sidewalk and practice my moves. (Anybody want to school me on the source?) Common’s staid, cheesy flow even fits the retro “yes, yes, y’all” vibe. This is easily the most immediately likable track I’ve ever heard from Common, possibly because it’s the first one where the beat grabbed my attention before the lyric, without being Kanye bombast.
Recently, Parlour hit the studio to hear John Legend’s new as-yet-untitled album, slated for this fall. First reaction? The collection sounds nothing like him and Johnny is getting hornier as his catalog increases. From 808 drums to space age chords, this time the Ohio native is taking his audience closer to the urban solar system than the 1950’s renaissance he created on his last LP, Once Again. But don’t worry his first video should drop in early May so you’ll see what we mean. Nestled in New York’s Legacy Studios, Parlour sat down with the cuddly piano player to find out his top five artists, whether this album is aiming for MTV’s crowd and why his songs sound like he spent a few nights at the strip club.
P: Do you have a second single in mind after Green Light
L: It may be “It’s Over” with Kanye, written by Pharrell Williams or may be “Everybody Knows.” But we think we have at least six singles. Even with Get Lifted we released four singles, and then with “Once Again” we released six and we’ll probably do six this time.
“here we’re back to classic john, through acoustic instruments and surprisingly, The Neptunes produced it. we don’t think the duo made the Once Again credits so it’s good to see The Neptunes and John back together again.
John Legend – Untitled (Due September)
- Green Light feat. Andre 3000 (First Single)
- Satisfaction (Will.I.Am)
- Everybody Knows
- No Other Love feat. Estelle
- Cross The Line (Will.I.Am)
- This Time
- Good Morning
- Aim High (Neptunes
- It’s Over feat. Kanye West (Neptunes)
Madonna has revealed that producer Pharrell Williams reduced her to tears during the making of her recently-released “Hard Candy” album. “He made me cry. I’ve never told that to anybody!” the singer said during an interview in Cannes this week. “You know when you get angry with someone and you start spitting snot?” In an interview with ABC’s ‘Nightline’ TV show which aired last night (May 22), Madonna explained she was in a sensitive mood, and did not like the way the producer spoke to her while she was recording vocals.
“I was in a sensitive mood, I was singing and I didn’t understand the rhythm that he wanted me to sing in, and he was kind of giving me a hard time and I was sort of taken aback by the way he was talking to me, so I said ‘You know what? we need to talk’”, she said “So we went upstairs and I’m like ‘You can’t talk to me that way!’ and then I just burst into tears and he was like ‘Oh my god, Madonna has a heart!’, and I was like ‘What?!’ and I started crying even more, and we had it out. Now I love him and we make great music together, but I think we had to go through that.”
TheNeptunes.Org Interviews Sierra Swan
The wonderful miss Sierra Swan has taken time out to give TheNeptunes.Org an exclusive interview about herself, Chad Hugo and her upcoming album “Queen Of The Valley”, So without any further ado we introduce Sierra Swan.
Aaron: Hey Sierra, How are you?
Sierra: very good thank you
A: For those who may be unfamiliar with you, give yourself a brief introduction
S: Well my name is Sierra Swan and I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and I started my musical journey when I was 18, when I was in a band called “Dollshead” with Graham Edwards. I went solo a few years later and that is when I got signed to Atlantic and met producers such as Chad Hugo, Linda Perry, Howard Benson, Scott Cutler and Anne Previn. I did a record for Atlantic called “Queen of the Valley” which will be released under my label Swan World Records due to the fact that I was dropped but asked for my masters. Thank God they gave them to me. I did do a record on Interscope which was called “Ladyland” I guess you can say “Queen of the Valley” is my prequel to “Ladyland”.
A: Your music has been described as “beautiful, erotic, mesmerizing and captivating”, yet you have been quoted as saying that when you were younger you wanted to play basketball instead of music. What changed your mind and really got you interested in pursuing it as a career?
S: I guess I just grew up and realized that woman can’t really do that particular occupation in the caliber that men do and so I was like “fuck that” pretty much, although it’s not that much different in music I came to realize
A: What music were you listening to when creating this album (Queen of the valley)?
S: I pretty much based the vibe of the record on a vibe, which is just a fun interesting record. I have always listened to a lot of Prince, Oingo Boingo, and Depeche Mode. Things that may be a little dark but with very colorful overtones and textures. Oingo Boingo is my current obsession.
A: You’re known for your natural ability to sculpt beautiful heartfelt songs. How does working with a producer differ from creating a song alone, by yourself?
S: A good producer never takes away your vibe they simply give it more edges where it needs more edges and smooths out things that may be unnecessarily sharp. You must trust your producer or you are in for a hell of an emotionally rough musical journey. If you are frustrated more than you think you should then move on and find someone you vibe with or do it on your own.
A: On “Queen Of The Valley” you have once again worked with some great musicians. Perhaps most intriguingly is your choice to work with Chad Hugo of “The Neptunes”, who is famously known for his work in hiphop. What made you want to take a risk and work with him?
S: Well Chad Hugo is not a risk there is something about that guy that just knows what a certain artist needs to do or where they should go musically. There were of course a couple moments where we did not agree but that is not a bad thing. At the end of the day we were both happy with the outcome. Chad I think in the future is going to do a lot of other things that steps outside of hip hop. I love him…
A: The general public doesn’t get to see a lot of Chad, perhaps you can clear some things up for us. what is he like as a person? and how was he to work with?
S: Chad has a family and loves being in the studio. He is just simply more comfortable with his machines. He is extremely child like and fun in the studio. He works on complete instinct and I felt like I could have hung out with him in high school and geeked out about music while eating lunch in the cafeteria. If I get that vibe from anyone we are going to be great friends.
A: The Neptunes are recognized for pushing boundaries and taking artists in new directions. Did Chad push you or challenge you in any way?
S: Chad totally pushed me. He would like insinuate ideas that I may have not thought of or given a chance but he forced me to try a lot harder lyrically and all of the above.
A: How did he help develop your particular style into this album? and vice versa, how did you pursuade one of The Neptunes come up with some crazy rock-based music?
We both agreed to do something with great beats and a great melody. We tried to do like what Blondie would sound like now. Not sure if that’s what we succeeded to do but sounds good to me.
A: It sounds good to me too. I think you guys made a great team and the music has a really distinct feel. It’s different from anything either of you have done before. Will there be any future collaborations between the two of you?
S: Honestly I hope so, I have not spoken with him in awhile BUT life is weird that way so I would not doubt it
A: Are there any other people you’ve worked with for this album who you’d like to mention?
S: Well I have to say Anne Previn, Scott Cutler and Jeff Turzo are people that deserve a lot of credit for this record because it started with them. They began the process of this record for me so their influence is immense and they should be credited for the inspiration.
A: You have some very interesting dark, yet beautiful and melancholic songs on your latest release, “Coward – EP” (available on iTunes).What can we expect from your new album?
S: Well I am not sure if you are referring to “Queen of the Valley” or the actual next one being “Girl Who Cried Wolf“. If you are referring to “Queen of the Valley” I would say a lot of surprises BUT if you are talking about “Girl Who Cried Wolf” a mixture between the two. A VERY SATISFYING MIXTURE.
A: In the past you have been fortunate enough to work with some true icons, you’ve collaborated with a wide range of musicians, from Ringo Starr to Linda Perry. How was it being around such legendary artists?
S: Well Linda Perry is like family to me although there are moments when I look at her and feel like “shit I am feeling way to comfortable around a fucking genius” I feel blessed every moment I spend with that woman. Ringo Starr was the biggest trip of my life! I would have moments touring with him where we would be just chatting and out of nowhere I would catch myself saying in my head “this is a fucking Beatle!” It was like talking to a cartoon BUT honestly that man is so unaffected by his past. He is a husband and a father first and foremost and he taught me so much about humility. This is a person that is a LEGEND and treats everyone around him with the utmost respect. I admire him so much.
A: Has working with them effected your approach to the new album, “Queen Of The Valley” ?
S: Yes and no because I have simply learned through all of my experiences with these wonderful artist that if you stick to your artistic intention and let nothing get in the way the people will come. I say no because I always thought this way but I doubted it cause I would get so insecure and through my experience with these great artists I felt real evidence of that so I guess what I am trying to say to anyone who reads this is DON’T DOUBT YOURSELF…EVER!
A: What are your plans after the release of this album?
S: Well I have plans to do a documentary with a very talented artist named Carina Round. We want to do a tour together as unsigned artist throughout the U.S. in random bars and clubs. We will be traveling in my truck with two other women who will be filming the trip and their names are Kristin Burns and Rani Demuth. We want to capture what it really looks like to be on the road without a label and doing it for the love of music and that’s it.
A:. Is there anything else you would like to say to the people out there?
I guess forgive and forget and love everyone around you to the fullest of your capability.
A: thankyou for talking with us…
S:Thank you for your wonderful questions…xo Swan
If you want to show Sierra some love then check out:
N¤E¤R¤D are set to release a feature film about their journey from the recording studio to live performances. The film, scheduled for a December 2008 release, has been directed by none other than famed Hip Hop video connoisseur Hype Williams. Pharrell revealed all on whilst being interviewed by Angie Martinez on New York radio station Hot 97 “The movie is going to be like The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night… It’s a full length film. It’s for our fans.” Hype, aka Harold, has worked with almost everybody in hip-hop; from the Notorious B.I.G. to Kanye West, Jay-Z to LL Cool J and is also responsible for N¤E¤R¤D’s Rock Star video.
Check out this interview by Common where he is talking about his upcoming album “Invincible Summer” and his first single produced by The Neptunes “Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.)” (Due End Of May).
P: You’re shooting to release Invincible Summer in July, right? What have you been listening to as inspiration during this recording process?
C: Yeah, mid-July, but I’m striving for June. If I tried to talk about hip-hop, I’d be making up some names. I don’t know what’s happening in rap. But I have been listening to Radiohead’s Kid A, Voodoo by D’Angelo, I still listen to that album a lot. I’ve been listening to my music of course, and N¤E¤R¤D
P: I see you’ve only worked with Outkast producer Mr. DJ and The Neptunes on this LP, no Kanye?
C: Kanye was focusing on his “Glow In The Dark” show, so he wasn’t able to get into the studio. But Invincible worked out well, organically. Mr. DJ and The Neptunes gave me a fresh sound. Whatever producer I work with I’ll say “hey, I want to go there” and sometimes they’ll go left, sometimes they’ll go right and sometimes it’s some shit I never expected. With Pharrell and Chad, The Neptunes, they’ve been able to stretch out with me, like “Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.)” doesn’t sound like a Neptunes’ track.
“Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.)”
“choptstick drums, fast rhymes, “this is that new shit…some pop some lock, chics hypnotic…dance to melodic technotronic beats…take off they clothes to”…”you know you like it, its calling your name.” Layered, flute, rising electro keys. ehn.
“What A World” feat. Chester French
“stabbing drums, ting tings w/ can, fuzzy “EH!!!” Cheers-what a world repeated 2x on chorus, he’s rapping like Whodini ala “freaks come out at night”, bouncy guitar, electronic keys, futuristic “ehown-sounding” key on the off beat, “you ain’t make no hit song he tells himself you gotta do what you do.” Make the song stop please. Common tells us this song is “about my evolution but I wanted to do it in an uplifting way. I usually be able to break down the lyrics but this time, just “booties pop it, coochies drop it.” he laughs, we do too, but only out of politeness.
Common – Invincible Summer (June 24)
- Universal Mind Control (U.M.C.) (Neptunes)
- Make My Day feat. Cee-Lo
- Punch Love
- What A World feat. Chester French
- Party Shit
- Runaway feat. Santogold
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