Touching down in Australia, Will.i.am's first port of call was to meet TheFIX's Amy Nelmes to talk about his new album "#willpower", enrolling in MIT University this September to study computer science (erm, woah) and how the new Miley Cyrus album is going to blow our minds.
Let's talk about your new album," #willpower". What was your inspiration?
"My inspiration was the excitement and the pressure of putting out a record after the success with the Black Eyed Peas. The thirst of wanting to fuse computer beats with big orchestral ensembles."
Was the new release daunting after the success of the Black Eyed Peas?
It was a hurdle, of course you want success but when you are writing songs like Scream &Shout before it's successful, you don't know how big it's going to be. When you are using all your experience and now you're crafting the audio and crafting the vocal and writing the melody. I write in mumbles and then translate the mumbles to words.
You worked with Miley Cyrus on your new album, how was that?
With Miley, it was a bit of a merger. I heard this wonderfulness bleeding through the doors and a friend of mine, Dr Luke said to come and listen. And I was like, who is that? He just said, "keep listening" and then he said, "guess who it is?" I was like, Bjork. Nope. Is it Portishead coming back?... It was Miley Cyrus. Then Miley walks in the room and I was like, this sh*t is fresh, we have to collaborate. Then she got on and added her vocals for Fall Down.
So, we're going to be shocked by her new album?
Maybe I'm over hyping it. I hope I'm not. But from what I heard, it was freaking bananas. Banana peels, you're slipping on.
This is exciting. You're a big fan of collaborations, joining forces with not only Miley but Justin Bieber and Britney Spears on the new album. Who has been your favourite collaboration over the years?
Michael Jackson and James Brown are my two favourites. I'm just proud that I was able to work with those people.
And in the future. Who do you have your sights set on?
My dream would be Prince. We've become good friends but that's a collaboration that I would love to make a reality. I haven't really approached him but we have talked about what it would be like.
To change the subject completely. Your bandmate Fergie is about to become a mum, are you gearing up to step into the uncle role?
If she invites me to be an uncle. Anything she wants me to, I'll be there. I don't want to invite myself but I'll be there and over deliver.
Has it made you think about having children?
What me? I'm going to school, to learn computer science. So, it's 2013, in 2016, the world is going to be totally different. 2020, is going to be totally different again. And it's all going to be down to geek and IT wizards… I want to be a part of that creative movement. And to be a part of it I need to educate myself and learn computer science. Because I've been so enthusiastic about it, I've been invited to MIT. I'll start in September and I'll have a tutor travelling with me, who keeps me on my toes.
Will.i.am will perform #thatPOWER on The Voice tonight, including a DJ set at Sydney's The Ivy. The album #willpower is out now through Interscope/Universal.
Check out #thatpower below.