Of all the acts currently on the radio, Black Eyed Peas are among the veterans, having released their first album in 1998. But the group doesn’t take for granted that more than 20 years later, they’re still scoring hits, especially in today’s competitive pop landscape.
During a 2020 interview with ABC News, will.i.am noted success in the late ’90s and early aughts was measured by record sales and appearances on shows like MTV’s TRL: “That was your entry point. Now the entry point … it’s so competitive, because it’s like Instagram. It’s Spotify, it’s TikTok, YouTube.”
“There wasn’t a measure of how many times your song was played on TRL or how long,” he explains. “Now it’s different. Now there’s, like, skip rates. Like, ‘What? Skip rate?’ ‘Yeah. If they skip the song.’ ‘If they skip the song????'”
As a result, will says BEP isn’t resting on its laurels as one of the best-selling groups of all time. They’re going hard, like all the up-and-coming artists. That definitely worked on 2020’s Translation, which produced a string of hits.
“You gotta freakin, like, humble yourself, look at it and compete,” will explains. “The ticket is not, like, ‘But I was big!’ Nah, nah, nah. Nope. Who cares? They moved on.”
He laughs, “There’s people that have more followers than Black Eyed Peas on Instagram. And what do they do? I don’t know.They’re on Instagram! And that’s humbling!”
That’s why will says the group puts so much thought into their songs.
“Every single second in the song’s duration, every moment, we made sure that we kept people’s attention,” he notes. “We don’t want skips!”
The Peas’ latest hit is “Don’t You Worry” with their pals David Guetta and Shakira. Their ninth album is coming soon.
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