Black Eyed Peas finding the love at RNB Fridays Live 2019

Black Eyed Peas: Taboo, Will.i.am and Apl.de.ap.
Black Eyed Peas: Taboo, Will.i.am and Apl.de.ap.

FRIENDSHIP and their shared motivation from humble beginnings have been the winning formula to keep Black Eyed Peas members Will.i.am, Apl.de.ap and Taboo together for almost 25 years.

It has been even longer for Will.i.am and Apl.de.ap, who have known each other since their school days in 1989, rapping around Los Angeles together.

“We’ve been through a lot of good times and had moments where we’ve had to overcome obstacles in our personal and professional lives,” Will.i.am said.

“But ultimately the bond we created when we were teenagers has stood the test of time.

“It was beautiful to go back to tour Europe this past summer and rock in front of 100,000 people and still have that same energy we had when we started.”

The trio, along with vocalist Jessica Reynoso, will be bringing that Boom Boom Pow to Australia in November for the fourth year of RNB Fridays Live 2019, which starts in Perth at HBF Park on November 8.

“We’re going to have a heap of energy and history,” Apl.de.ap said.

“It’s going to be like opening up a time capsule. We’ve made some special remixes and of course the crowd must participate with us because we love to participate with the crowd.”

This included speculation from Taboo that he might continue his crowd-surfing ways, which was a crowd-pleaser during their two-month European tour, “as long as the crowd, moment and temperature is right”.

The hip-hop group made a name for itself with third album Elephunk in 2003 and will never forget Australia was the first place it had success with album sales.

“We have a lot of history with Australia and we love it there,” Apl.de.ap said from LA.

“We started from the beginning at Metros to the Big Day Out.”

The RNB Fridays Live 2019 shows come after their new release of song Be Nice and last year’s political album Masters of the Sun Vol. 1, featuring pop-rap track Big Love about gun control.

“It just breaks my heart every single time there is a mass shooting,” Will.i.am said.

“What needs to happen and why can’t we follow the footsteps of the folks who have a safer society?

“Why does the only country that has the most mass shootings also have the weakest gun laws? We are so stubborn and piggish and selfish that we just can’t get it together.

“Every time something happens, someone says to us ‘We need a new Where Is The Love?’ and there is a big part of us that says ‘Yeah’, but there is another big part of us that says ‘No, we don’t need another Where Is The Love? and we should never have to write another song like Where Is The Love? or Big Love or Be Nice’.”

Reynoso will be performing vocals on all these songs and more after working with Apl.de.ap as a 2013 finalist on the first season of The Voice Philippines.

Although Reynoso did not make the finals, the fellow Pilipino made good on his word to help her career and she joined Black Eyed Peas in 2018.

“From her first note on The Voice Philippines, when she hit that note, I knew,” he said.

“Of course I turned my chair for her and when I did, I saw her image and who she is. She reminded me of us, she reminded me of me.

“Jess was abandoned as a child, left with a neighbour who discovered she could sing and they signed her up to a music competition.

“She has a drive and tenacity for hard work and she loves performing. I think that’s the most important part; she loves to be on stage.”

Black Eyed Peas will be in fine company for RNB Fridays Live 2019 with headliner Janet Jackson, 50 Cent, Jason Derulo, host Fatman Scoop and more.

“It’s an amazing line-up with the queen of RNB herself Janet Jackson, our hip-hop brother 50 Cent, Jason Derulo, Fatman Scoop, J-Kwon, Sisqo, Keri Hilson,” Will.i.am said.

“It’s cool to be able to rock out with these folks and come back to Australia.”

General public tickets to RNB Fridays Live 2019 are on sale Monday, August 19.

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