We learn from the past, grow in the present, and anticipate the future. Robin Thicke reflects this cycle in hismusic. With each successive creative season, the five-time GRAMMY® Award nominee, diamond-sellingperformer, actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist surveys where he came from, pushes himself to progress, andleaps another step ahead of the curve. Presenting the same bold, bright, and boisterous Soul music that turnedhim into a household name, he ascends to new heights on his eighth full-length album and debut for EMPIRE,On Earth, and in Heaven.
“This album is for people falling in love for the first time or falling in love all over again,” says Robin. “It’s fitting forthis time in my life because I feel like I’m finally the person I set out to be—still completely fucked up, yet over myown bullshit and taking myself so seriously.” He laughs adding, “I’m able to laugh at anything, which I’verealized is the greatest superpower. I’ve fully embraced it, and nothing has been better for my soul. When Ilooked over my album notes, the phrase that kept coming to mind was ‘On Earth, and in Heaven’ and I realizedthat’s what I’m singing about: the people who aren’t here and the people who are here that I love and made mewho I am. This music is the sunshine coming out after the rain.”
He’s shining brighter than ever too…
After kicking off his career behind-the-scenes as a songwriter for the likes of Michael Jackson and Usher, heskyrocketed into the stratosphere with a string of successful solo albums. He logged four consecutive Top 10 debutson the Billboard Top 200, picked up platinum plaques, and sold out shows around the globe. However, he shook the world with 2013’s Blurred Lines, which bowed at #1 on the Top 200 and ignited the RIAA Diamond-certified titlesingle “Blurred Lines” [feat. T.I. & Pharrell]. Making history, it spent 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and cemented him with the first record to take the top spot on five radio charts simultaneously – Top 40, Rhythm, Urban, Hot AC and Urban AC. As a sought-after collaborator, he also teamed up with Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, NickiMinaj, Nas, Joe Perry, Pitbull, and more. Expanding his presence, he joined the panel of the FOX hit The MaskedSinger, heading into a fifth season for 2021.
Along the way, life changed considerably. Robin lost his dad in 2016, his home to the Woolsey fires in 2018 and lost yet another patriarch, Andre Harrell of Uptown Records fame in 2020. Andre mentored Robin since the 2003 debut of A Beautiful World and played in an integral role in every release to follow, including On Earth, and inHeaven.
“I could sing and write songs, but I had no idea what it took to be a selfless and culturally significant artist until I met him,” he explains. “Andre taught me how to dress and how to move. He’s been my creative partner and mentorevery step of the way. He was there to collaborate on every album, every song, every cover, every video, and everyconcept. After taking a couple of weeks to get through his passing, I became truly inspired by everything he gave me—all of the knowledge and inspiration. He believed in me more than I believed in myself. He saw a better versionof me than I ever saw. So, I devoted myself to finish this in honor of what he gave me.”
He makes good on this pledge. Channeling a throwback spirit with fresh fire, Robin returned with “That’s What LoveCan Do,” the first release from the new album which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs Chart. Next came the breezy ballad, “Forever Mine” which garnered critical acclaim right out of the gate. Vibe wrote, “The smoothsounds of R&B never get old. When it comes to the soothing tunes of Robin Thicke, they’re no exception.” Meanwhile, his voice takes flight on the cinematic single “Look Easy.” Slinking into a pocket between nineties R&Band a guitar-laden Latin-style shuffle, it builds towards a heartfelt and hypnotic hook uplifted by sweeping strings andocean samples.
Driven by rowdy horns – a nod to Thicke’s family line of renowned jazz trumpet players – funky claps, and his flutteringhigh register, “Take Me Higher” represents the next link in a longstanding and fruitful creative chain with Pharrell. The flute-spun “Beautiful” speaks to an overarching theme of “tearing it down and creating something new andbeautiful.” Then, there’s “Lucky Star.” Pairing breezy acoustic guitar and finger-snaps with tender vocals, it soothesand soars all at once.
“Everybody knows who his or her lucky star is,” Robin goes on. “It’s about when you’re down and out and you’velost your way. In that moment, you connect to this hidden force and energy that guides you, makes you strongwhen you’re weak, shows you the path, and keeps moving you forward.”
In the end, Robin’s moving forward with a smile, a laugh, and the best music of his career On Earth, and in Heaven.
“For the first time in a long time, I’m excited about tomorrow,” he leaves off. “I’ve learned we have to take whatGod, the world, and nature bring us and put it back into the soul, nurturing new things to grow. Each day, I havea lot to do. That moves my friendships forward, my family forward, and my art forward.”