Diddy working with Will.i.am of Black Eyes Peas

The Black Eyed Peas front man Will.I.Am isn’t wasting any time in 2006 with a label deal for his Will.I.Am Music Group via A&M/Interscope and a forthcoming solo album.

The label will officially launch on Valentine’s Day (February 14) with the release of Brazilian jazz legend Sergio Mendes’ album, Timeless. Other artists signed to the roster include Macy Gray and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie.

“My ultimate goal is bigger than me putting [a record] out on my label,” said Will.I.Am via a statement. “I want to make sure the product is marketed correctly. For records to succeed and impact lifestyle it takes more than just a producer’s mind, it takes a person who understands the marketplace and the consumer and a person who is participating in the lifestyle.”

Will’s eccentric style will apparently extend to his business practices as well. “To say I’m just going to make records is limiting the realms of people’s imaginations,” he said. “I can record in an airplane, I can record backstage in a show, at an airport lobby, in the bullet train going from Yokohama to Tokyo. The model of what my label is has to complement the radical freedom of how the records are made.”

In addition to launching his own label, the Los Angeles-based MC will be hitting the studio in June to record his first major-label solo album which will be released in 2007.

“I’m not far at all on it, but here’s three songs that didn’t make the Black Eyed Peas record [Monkey Business] that I want to put on it,” he said. “There’s one song called ‘This Ain’t Living.’ The pre-chorus goes, ‘Waking up to go to work / go to work to get paid / get paid to pay bills / pay bills to live well / house and a car lease / pay it ‘til you’re deceased / tell me what it is you gain / man, that sh*t don’t mean a thing / This ain’t living.”

As if that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Will.I.Am will spend the next several weeks in the studio with Fergie, Snoop Dogg, Diddy and Nas, working on material for each artist’s next album.

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