Returning with a renewed outlook on love, life, & career

Monarch Magazine: When making music, what is your goal?

Robin Thicke: I want to create an overwhelming, undeniable feeling, something that makes you want to dance, be closer to your partner or even God. I want to create some sort of enormous good feeling. When I first started playing the piano, I felt connected to something bigger than myself—it felt PURE.

Monarch Magazine: When creating, do you think about popularity, image, or sales?

Robin Thicke: I usually don’t think about any of those three—I just go with it. If I start thinking of those things it slows me down. The best songs are fluid; there isn’t much of a struggle for a good song.

Monarch Magazine: How would you describe your creative process?

Robin Thicke: Sometimes I like to surround myself with great musicians, and other times, I like the intimacy of me and the guitar and just digging deep. I like to surround myself with other people, because I can always sit at the piano alone; I like to have inspiration.

Monarch Magazine: From the beginning of your career, how has your music evolved?

Robin Thicke: Well, my second album was named The Evolution of Robin Thicke, so I think we are always evolving, there is always a core to who we are. I am always learning about myself, the world, recording process, and music. However, the more you know, the more you think and overanalyze.

Monarch Magazine: Who are some of your influencers?

Robin Thicke: There are so many different stages! The seven-, eight-year-old me admired Michael Jackson, Prince, Run DMC ,and Curtis Blow. Then when I was about thirteen or fourteen, I started getting into soul music. I liked Stevie Wonder, Al Green, and Marvin Gaye. I happened to meet three guys; two were Al Jarreau’s godchildren. We started a singing group together; they introduced me to various types of gospel music, which influenced my singing and song writing. Meeting them, I got into gospel groups like Take 6, Commission, John P. Kee, and The Clark Sisters. It was at this time I learned harmonies. One of the first songs I taught myself to play on the piano was “Ordinary Just Won’t Do” by Commission.

Monarch Magazine: The word “soul” is utilized so much— what is your definition? And how would you describe soul versus R&B?

Robin Thicke: To me, soul is being connected to the most meaningful parts of humanity. To be a soulful person means you care about people, the past, the future, your community, your family. You are not blind to the truths about injustices—you are willing to talk about it, you are willing to embrace change for the better. Soul is also colorless. John Lennon is soulful, Bruce Springsteen is soulful, Bono is soulful. I consider myself soulful because I care about these things. I care about people, I care about the world, and I sing about it from my heart and my gut. R&B has changed drastically. When I was growing up, Jodeci, R. Kelly, Boys II Men, Intro, KC is one of the most soulful singers. And they would all be consided R&B. So those lines are a little blurred now. R&B is the current version of soul music, but the soul is in the artist and the messages.

Monarch Magazine: What category would you place your – self in, if any?

Robin Thicke: (Laughs) I would call myself a soul singer who once in a while makes R&B.

Monarch Magazine: Who are some of your peers that you listen to?

Robin Thicke: The girls are killin’ it! Kehlani, SZA, H.E.R! I love Drake, The Weeknd, and Travis Scott, but I love what the females in soul and R&B are doing right now.

Monarch Magazine: Living your life in the public eye seems so exhausting. What do you do to bring balance into your life?

Robin Thicke: Having a healthy sense of humor, being able to laugh at yourself. There was a period where I took myself too serious, because I wanted legitimacy and I wanted people to understand me, you can’t string the world o into a box. I’ve come to a point where I’ve learned to balance myself, and do better by being myself. Rihanna is an inspiration to me—she is unapologetically herself, and she is loved for it. There is so much strength and power in that.

Monarch Magazine: With social media being a major component in today’s culture, what are the pros and cons in regards to your career?

Robin Thicke: Although I picked up on it late, it’s all pros. I’m very old school—I just wanted to make music; then I realized I was missing out on more opportunities to connect with people. The purpose for me making my music is to share and connect. Social media is the most powerful tool right now. I want to feel more connected with people, not less connected.

Monarch Magazine: How did you get involved with The Masked Singer? Is it as fun as it looks?

Robin Thicke: I’m actually on my way to set right now. We just started filming the second season. It’s so much fun— when the people take their masks off, you see the person and their feelings and they share their stories. I was familiar with The Masked Singer prior to filming. I heard about the Korean version, then I happened to see Ryan Reynolds per – form on the Korean version and it was hilarious! Ironically, I got a call a few days later. I went into FOX, met the producers and execs, and I got it right away. I didn’t have to be convinced—this was right up my alley. It was fun, not insulting, not criticizing. It’s perfect for American television.

Monarch Magazine: Would it be fair to say that you seem to be reinventing yourself, or should I say rediscovering yourself?

Robin Thicke: Definitely not reinventing; I have the same heart and soul. I’ve learned a few things about myself that needed to be learned and I’m better off. I have healthy children, I have a woman, friends, and family that love me. I wake up full of gratitude and ambition, and that’s the most import – ant thing to me.

Monarch Magazine: Your music has always seemed to reflect the space you are in at that time. Your new single “That’s What Love Can Do”—which I love by, the way—touches on so much, your new wife, daughter, and outlook on love and life. Would that be correct?

Robin Thicke: It’s not a new outlook. If you listen to the songs on the first three albums, the sentiments are the same. I am still a hippie at heart—I am still Mr. Peace and Love. I love family and music; they are the most important to me. My son influenced that song the most. My daughters weren’t born yet when I wrote it. Some of the words are being spoken to him. At this time my father had passed, and it was me and my son, and he was just looking at me like “Well, what are we going to do”? Having my son there, and the love we have for one another, made me be my best self. That song, “That’s What Love Can Do,” embodies all the people I love, including God.

Monarch Magazine: Your father, the icon Mr. Alan Thicke, rest in peace, was such a influence in your life. Did his passing push you forward or stop you? Do you believe you channel this experience into your music?

Robin Thicke: At first, it was overwhelming. I didn’t feel right until I put my feelings into my music. I wanted to find a way to pay homage with something powerful and meaningful, and it didn’t really come until I wrote “Testify” and “That’s What Love Can Do.” Once I wrote those two songs, I felt like I could move forward.

Monarch Magazine: Congratulations on your new baby girl and fiancée! How have they affected your life?

Robin Thicke: I go to bed earlier. I have to get up at 6:30 with my one-year-old, take my son to school, then go to work. You miss some of your youthful endeavors, and then your realize some of that stuff just isn’t for you anymore.

Monarch Magazine: Let’s switch gears for a moment. If you don’t mind sharing, what is your political position?

Robin Thicke: Umm, Not for Trump, that’s for sure. Barack Obama is still president as far as I am concerned. I did a song with Nas called “Deep” right before the election. Nas put it into poetic words something I couldn’t, words that I totally agree with.

Monarch Magazine: Today we are in a space where race and gender are on the forefront of most of the world’s conversa – tions. You have children. How do you feel about what seems to be the position the current president holds on race?

Robin Thicke: We can’t let the current president’s opinions be the American Opinion. The reason that gender and race are so important is because the oppressed will always need to be spoken for and righteousness will always rise to the top. When people don’t have equal rights, pay, or opportuni – ty because of their differences, there is nothing more import – ant to talk about. That is a priority.

Monarch Magazine: What is next for Robin Thicke?

Robin Thicke: I have some business endeavors. I’m filming two seasons of the Masked Singer back to back. I have the number-one single out right now, and I have a new single coming out next month. There is plenty on my plate right now!