Will.i.am doesn’t need your opinions. He just needs his superpower, his femininity.
The super producer and Black Eyed Peas frontman was on The Diary of a CEO podcast to dish on mental health, creativity, and his storied career. Aside from scoring top hits and awards with the Black Eyed Peas, he’s given millennials some of their most transformative hits with artists like Nicki Minaj, Kesha, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and Britney Spears.
To say will.i.am, whose real name is William James Adams Jr., has been successful has been an understatement, and he just scored another Billboard number 1 hit with “Mind Your Business”, his latest collaboration with Spears. Those three words that make up his song title take on a newfound emphasis when he talks about his femininity and those who diss his form of personal expression.
You’re now rocking with will.i.am and Britney, b*tch, as the duo returns with a new single.
On the podcast, will.i.am talked about being raised by a single mother and her mannerisms influenced him and how he has no shame in tapping into his femininity.
“Coming of age, I didn’t have a man in my life — a father in my life to guide me through that,” will.i.am said. “My mom did that, which probably made me ultra feminine. I have no shame in being super feminine.”
Expressing your femininity is in no way an indicator of sexuality, but in growing up in the ‘90s, will.i.am discussed how he navigated speculation around his sexuality due to him comfortably expressing his femininity. While he identifies as straight, he didn’t let any criticism prevent him from being himself.
“I remember in the ’90s, we don’t have the support in the LGBT community now that we did then. So growing up in the ’90s, we were like, ‘Are you gay?’ A lot of people questioned [me] because I was feminine. I’m still feminine. I sit the way I sit, I act the way I act, my mannerisms are my mom’s.”
Being who authentically yourself has always been at the core of will.i.am and the Black Eyed Peas’ music. The frontman and his crew kept true to this sentiment when they performed at a televised New Year’s celebration in Poland. Donning rainbow armbands in protest of the Polish government’s anti-LGBTQ+ stance and to show solidarity with LGBTQ+ Polish citizens, will.i.am spoke out in support of various groups onstage, including naming the LGBTQ+ community.
Authenticity, unity, and calling out intolerance stays at the forefront of his music. You can give a listen to the Black Eyed Peas first major hit, “Where Is the Love?” to figure that out. It’s probably why plenty of queer icons, like Spears, continue to work with him. We love an ally who stands up for what they believe in and for others to be themselves unapologetically too.
“I’m strong with my femininity. I think it’s a superpower. When you know who you are, when you love who you are, how you are, how you vibe, that’s what it’s about.”
Check out the podcast episode below. Don’t worry, it’s already set to get to the good part.