By Alicia Powell, Reuters
The Black Eyed Peas, whose music spans hip hop to soul to pop-rap, is topping the charts with the former quartet’s first album in two years, featuring Latin pop artists such as Shakira.
“Translation” also has tracks created with other Latin stars like J. Balvin and Maluma in a genre whose growth has outpaced the overall U.S. music market.
“I personally was inspired by this Latin movement,” said Will.i.am, a member of the current trio. “It’s the most streamed genre on Spotify. And to that, it is the definition of international pop.”
The album is the group’s second since Fergie left about three years ago.
“We have three No. 1’s without, you know, the traditional lineup that you thought was responsible for the pop success. This record shows that it’s the songs that contributed to (our success),” said Will.i.am.
One track, “Girl Like Me,” was recorded in 2008 by Shakira and Will.i.am but only released this week. The music video was shot with her in Colombia and the trio in California. Such distanced shoots could become the new norm, said Will.i.am.
“We sent her our footage so the director could match the set, the lighting, so we could all feel like we’re in the same universe even though we were apart,” he said.
The Black Eyed Peas, formed as a rap group in 1995, has sold over 50 million albums worldwide in genres that include pop, soul and electronic music.