Robin Thicke is on the mend, personally and musically. His last album, the emotionally driven Paula, dedicated to helping win his ex-wife Paula Patton back, fell well short of being accepted critically and commercially, and it left a bad taste is the mouths of many fans. Now, Robin is admitting that it wasn’t the best move in either portion of his life.
In an interview with the New York Times, the soulful crooner says the initial idea was to be romantic, but after a talk with his best friend after his performance of “Forever Love” at the 2014 BET Awards, he realized it was more embarrassing than anything.
“My best friend of 20 years, Craig Crawford, said, ‘I saw your BET performance.’ And I said: ‘Oh yeah! What did you think?’ You know — excited. And he goes: ‘I gotta be honest with you, buddy. You’re kind of playing yourself. You look like a sucker.’ And it hit me that I’d lost my perspective. What I thought was romantic was just embarrassing. And he said, ‘You should just go away for a while.’ So I shut everything down. I took some time off to be with my son, and to be with my family and close friends. And the more time I took off, the more everything became clear.”
He doesn’t necessarily think it was an entirely bad idea though: instead of selling the album, in hindsight, he wishes he would have just given it away for free. “My songwriting has always been autobiographical, and always will be. The “Paula” album was no different. I was struggling through my toughest time, and I decided to share it. And I remember my team and my record company didn’t want me to put it out, but they stuck by me. In hindsight, the only thing I would have done differently was, I wouldn’t have promoted it or sold it. I would have given it away. That would have kept the purity of the message intact.”
Regarding the controversial verdict in the case against his hit single “Blurred Lines,” Thicke has laid low ever since a jury ruled that he and Pharrell Williams must pay the family of the late Marvin Gaye over $7 million in damages and back royalties for copyright infringement. It’s since been revealed that he and Pharrell will appeal the court’s decision, and Thicke explained why: “I was going through personal hell at the time, and I was careless in the deposition. Obviously, I didn’t give my all to the trial. It simply wasn’t as important to me as what was going on in my personal life. I was lost at the time. I had lost my way.”
If the appeal is turned down, Robin thinks the verdict will affect the music industry for the worst. “If the verdict holds up, I believe that it will have a ripple effect on the arts and the industry in general. I mean, if you made the first superhero movie, do you own the concept of the superhero? You can’t help but be inspired by all of the greatness that came before you.”
The split from Patton and spending more time with his son have given Thicke the new perspective he needs in his life, and upcoming music. “The moment when I put my son first in all my movements and decisions is when everything changed for me. I’d been in love with my high school sweetheart for 20 years, and I knew nothing else — and when that fell apart, I lost hope and faith in the good things. And then with some time off to just put my son first, I realized how special my life is, just with him. Everything got better from that moment on. So that’s what my new album is about.”
Read the rest of the interview here.
Hear Robin’s new single “Morning Sun” here.