California Dreamin' with Pop's Go-Getter; Expect the Unexpected as Will.I.Am Heads to Birmingham as Part of His First Solo UK Tour. MARION MCMULLEN Gets Ready for the Party as She Talks to the Los Angeles Superstar about Music, the Voice and Helping Kids on Both Sides of the Pond

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), November 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

California Dreamin' with Pop's Go-Getter; Expect the Unexpected as Will.I.Am Heads to Birmingham as Part of His First Solo UK Tour. MARION MCMULLEN Gets Ready for the Party as She Talks to the Los Angeles Superstar about Music, the Voice and Helping Kids on Both Sides of the Pond


Byline: MARION MCMULLEN

HE's a multi-million best performer, musician, songwriter, singer, producer, TV judge and self-confessed gadget geek and will.i.am reveals he's got a few surprises up his sleeves for Midlands audiences.

He's reluctant to give too much away about his forthcoming NEC date on December 4 and just says: "I got to keep them..," he pauses and builds up the suspense, "surprisable."

He's got no shortage of ideas though and the concert, in the words of his own hit song, is likely to go with a Bang, Bang.

"I just want to respect the songs and play them in a way that excites the audience, allow them to forget what it is they've been doing for two hours and have something that brings people together and brings them joy."

He winces: "Oh, that sounds so corny (he puts on a squeaky voice) 'I want to bring joy to people' but it's true. There's going to be lots of visuals and I'm a tech junkie so we're in the process of putting it all together now."

The creative Californian has danced on stage with two giant robots in the past and promises he is going to "come up with a show that entertains."

The hit maker, born William James Adams, first made his name as the frontman of the Black Eyed Peas and the band have gone on to sell 31 million albums and 58 million singles worldwide.

If in The seven times Grammy award-winner has also worked with some of the entertainment industry's biggest names, including Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Nicole Scherzinger and Usher and it's rare that he has not got a hit in the charts.

'He's carried the Olympic torch and become the first recording artist to send a song to Mars as part of NASA's Curiosity Mars Space Lab. While nearly 10 million people follow him on Twitter and his page declares: "I am ... I can ... I will" - which neatly sums up his attitude to life and his varied interest.

His hardware business i. am+ built a camera accessory for the iPhone last year and he says they hope to announce more exciting developments any day now.

He's also won a lot of fans in the UK as one of the coaches of BBC1 singing contest The Voice, and will be back for the next series despite the departure of fellow coaches Jessie J and The Script's Danny O'Donoghue.

What does bring a smile to his face, though, is his The Voice discovery Leah McFall. The Belfast singer with the big voice and the five octave range was runner-up in the TV contest, but will.i.am know a winner when he sees one and he whisked her away to America to record her debut album.

"It was a big shake-up last year with the result," he admits, "but Leah is cool. I've not been this excited about a project since the Black Eyed Peas when we said we were going to do a dance album and everyone said 'You're going to do what?' This was before we were on the top 40 radio."

He says Leah's album is a fusion of different styles. "It's pop-fusion. It's like wonder. It sonar-euphoric," he says enthusiastically. "Working with Leah is so exciting. I'm very proud and it's so exciting."

The 38-year-old also puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to giving back.

He donated PS500,000 to the Prince's Trust last year while projects in his old Boyle Height neighbourhood in Los Angeles are encouraging youngsters at school and his i. …

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California Dreamin' with Pop's Go-Getter; Expect the Unexpected as Will.I.Am Heads to Birmingham as Part of His First Solo UK Tour. MARION MCMULLEN Gets Ready for the Party as She Talks to the Los Angeles Superstar about Music, the Voice and Helping Kids on Both Sides of the Pond
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