Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

Social Star Awards: CeeLo Green works on Girl Power

Published on May 18, 2013 8:22 AM

Soul-pop singer CeeLo Green loves the ladies and makes no secret about it. In fact, his upcoming album will be titled Girl Power.

"Women are our greatest muse," the five-time Grammy winner tells Life! in a telephone interview from Florida.

"They are an enchanted intangibility that encourages all art, you know. And so Girl Power is a homage to women and their power of influence, an appreciation."

He could preview the new album, due out in October, when he comes here for the Social Star Awards at Marina Bay Sands on Thursday. The 38-year-old will also stage a full concert on the first of the two night post-awards gigs at Gardens by the Bay on Friday.

He is best known for his own catchy single Forget You from 2010, the uncensored version of which is called F*** You and made him an Internet star - the mainstream traditional media would play only the version without expletive.

But that kind of social media success means his fanbase has expanded to include many who do not know the extent of his work.

"A lot of people don't know that my career dates back 18 years prior," he says referring to his early years with Atlanta rap group Goodie Mob, whom he was active with from 1991 to 1999.

Goodie Mob is back together and set to release a new album this year.

Green says: "We reunited after a 10-year hiatus and we are almost finished with a new album entitled Age Against The Machine."

He sure is prolific. Besides the upcoming Girl Power, which will be his fifth solo effort, he has also released two commercially successful albums as one-half of soul-pop act Gnarls Barkley, his collaboration with eclectic producer Danger Mouse.

His various music projects, which include collaborations with veteran guitarist Santana, have won him multiple accolades including Grammy, Brit, Billboard Music and Soul Train Music awards.

Green is also familiar to television viewers as a judge/mentor for the first three seasons of popular reality television singing show The Voice in the US.

He took a break from the show's current season to work on his own projects but is expected to return to the series next season.

The Voice, he explains, is different from all the other reality singing programmes on television because it is "a show with its priority in the right order". Green and the other judges on the show, which include music stars such as country singer Blake Shelton, choose whom to mentor based on their voice alone.

"When you hear someone's voice being used purposefully, you want to partner with him, you want to push him forward, because it can really be something promising to share with all mankind," he says.

"I mean, music can affect mankind in the largest way possible, so to aid and abet that is gratifying, it's very rewarding."

Viewers of The Voice know that the show becomes The Spectacle for Green, who regularly wears outlandish wigs, loud-coloured clothes and gaudy Liberace-worthy spectacles to perform on it.

As outrageously flamboyant as he is, he insists that he does not "overproduce" his style.

"Sometimes it's just what I have available. I don't have these large stores of so many wild and wonderful things.

"I'm inspired by what's been done and also what hasn't been done and of course my aspiration has always been to be original and it's just like, I'm not shy."

His performance at the Singapore Social Concerts will be "entertainment extraordinare", he promises.

"A lot of people have complimented me on sounding almost exact to the actual recording. So you'll see what I'm famous for and that's a flair for fashion, high energy and excitement.

"It's nice to know that the music I've done has reached far across the world and I'm just coming to do the best and hope everyone will enjoy it, and be as pleased with me as I'll be pleased to be there."

Personally, he is also in synch with the theme of the Social Star Awards. The Atlanta-born artist is a champion of social media and uses tools like Twitter to reach out to his fanbase.

"It's definitely a way to mass promote and have an intimate relationship with the audience and have personalised accounts of your thoughts and activities. It's a way to show your consistency, your commitment."

And instead of checking out what other celebrities have to say on their accounts, the singer, who has a 13-year-old son from a former marriage, prefers to tune in to what people are saying on the ground.

"I just think that everyday people sometimes have the most profound, pointed things to say, when artists like myself and people in my position have to be politically correct all the time. So to hear real people speak and talk in the raw, unfiltered opinion, it's very inspiring to me."

Eddino Abdul Hadi

Background story

"It's nice to know that the music I've done has reached far across the world and I'm just coming to do the best and hope everyone will enjoy it."

CeeLo Green on performing in Singapore