First of all, congratulations on the release of your new single ‘transm1t’, could you just brief us on the story behind the single?
Taboo: So, ‘Transm1t’ is a record that I wrote roughly six years ago, and I felt like I needed to make a record that best described an emotion because your transm1tting love, and love being that emotion that I wanted to get across.
So like a metaphor in a way?
Taboo: Exactly a metaphor, and that’s why it’s so prevalent in the song. What relation we are, what people we are and so put up your hearts, its love that we transm1t. I’m always talking about the heart and transm1tting love. You know, I’ve been inspired by a lot of people who have written songs that are socially conscience. So when I wrote ‘Transm1t’ I felt like this is the best way to describe me as an artist. I love having a good time at the clubs, everybody does, but me as an individual artist I feel like if I don’t have a sense of validity and a sense of a uplifting theme, then I’m not doing my job as an individual artist. So, I got together with Black T who are the guys that produced the record,and I gave them the acapella. Then we started to talk about the concept of the video and what I wanted to do is pay homage to the dance community, because that’s where we come from.
What can you tell us about the singles following ‘transm1t’?
Taboo: I have a record that I am doing with Will.i.am, produced by Will.i.am, featuring Becky G and that’s something that is in the works right now. I’m very happy that Will.i.am had time to produce a record and be a part of it, as we are all busy but we found time to do it and made it work. We also got a song called ‘Sunshine’ also produced by Black T. Black T are the producers that are going to be part of my staple. They are all under my camp.
Lets talk about fashion week a little bit, have you been enjoying it and are there any shows in particular that stuck out to you?
Taboo: Well first of all it’s an honour and a privilege to be here in London during fashion week because as an artist you want to express yourself as much as possible, but to be surrounded by all the taste makers and the who’s who in the fashion world, it made me feel a warm welcome. Some of the shows that stuck out were Joshua Kane as I was actually participating, the clothing was amazing. Machine Gun Kelly was part of that and the staff, everybody, was excellent. The Coach show as I was saying to you earlier, their music and staff were also amazing and I have nothing but great things to say about them. I hope to continue coming back.
Lets talk about your philanthropy, which I know is very important to you. While you’ve been in London, how has it been going?
Taboo: Well Black Eyed Peas as a whole we’ve always been in the game of giving back. When we started in 1998, we did this thing called the ‘Pea Pod’, in which we would raise money and toys to give to the less fortunate kids of the ‘Five Acres Home’. Then it started to grow into the ‘Pea Pod Foundation’ where we would raise money for schools. It was called the ‘Pea Pod Academy’.
These foundations were targeted in Los angeles?
Taboo: Yes and one school was in Willowbrook, Watts and it was a school where you could learn graphic design, production and engineering. It related to us as a group as it was to do with mu- sic, but then I wanted to branch out as an individual. Being a father it’s important to me to visit a lot of kids, they always remind me of my own kids when I go to the children’s hospital.
So there’s this connection you make between the two?
Taboo: There’s a natural instant connection and being a father, I’m very empathetic for the families and what they’re going through. Today I was at the Evelina Children’s Hospital and we brought some smiles, hugs and well wishes, which goes a long way as they never expect anyone to come and visit them.
And of course it’s about giving a sense of hope to the children?
Taboo: Yes, exactly and it’s something that comes from someone who speaks to millions and has a voice. With a voice I think it’s really important to make a difference. We have a vast variety of resources and capabilities, you could probably help out a child, or help out a patient or a person or bring at- tention to these wonderful staff members like the doctors and nurses that are doing excellent work at these different hospitals. It’s something I will continue to do, it hits home. I also went to the Bridge Academy to speak to the kids about the importance of saving the arts and music, because in the states a lot of the art programs are being taken away, so the inner city schools don’t really have music programs anymore. For me, music and theatre at school helped me get to where I am, it gave me the confidence to be on stage in front of an audience. That was exactly what I wanted to educate to the children I visited today, along with various experiences I’ve picked up over the years.
Photography by Linda Cooper
Styling by Neesha Sharma
Grooming & hair by Danny Defreitas