The Ultrabook Project: will.i.am’s Musical Homecoming
When the idea for the Ultrabook Project first took shape, there were a lot of conversations about where to take it. Everyone on the team had their favorite cities; some because they had been to a particular city before, and others because they were dying to go to a country they’d never seen. The team went back and forth nominating and rejecting this city or that country, but for will.i.am there was one country that was a must: Australia.
Australia holds a special place for will.i.am and his music. Back in 2003, the Black Eyed Peas’ first hit was a single from the album Elephunk called, “Where is the Love?” (Featuring former ‘N Sync band member and Hollywood mega-star Justin Timberlake). In the US, the song peaked out at #8 on the Hot 100 list. However, in Australia, the song rocketed to #1 and stayed there for 6 straight weeks; it was the first major taste of success. Elephunk won worldwide acclaim, went Gold and Platinum in the US and will.i.am and the Black Eyed Peas were on their way to becoming music legends.
Years later, while filming his movie debut role as John Wraith, a cowboy hat-wearing Texan with the power of teleportation in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Australia again proved to be will.i.am’s muse. Musically bored and looking for inspiration, will.i.am asked his friend, and now Ultrabook Project Creative Consultant Hugo, to take him out to some happening hip hop clubs.
He was plainly told, “Hip hop is dead, Mate, electro is in!”
After just a few electro mixes, will.i.am was hooked. He spent the next few months hitting the scene and learning everything he could about the world of electro beat music. He met with the leading artists in electro, like: Van She, Crooker and Crystal Method, while attending as many music events as possible, like Australia’s Future Music Festival. Re-energized and in love with the new sound, will.i.am incorporated electro into his own unique musical brand, a sound that has thrilled millions of fans worldwide.