Performing for the first time at the Playboy Jazz Festival can be intimidating for some musical acts. That wasn’t the case with soulful crooner Robin Thicke, who made his debut at one of the most recognizable jazz festivals in the world a memorable one. A great songwriter and composer, Thicke has burst on the national scene in recent years as a prolific singer as well with songs like Magic, Can You Believe, and the megahit Lost Without You.
Thicke didn’t disappoint the sold-crowd at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, bringing the “Wow” factor to his electric performance. Sitting with reporters after going on stage, Thicke said he just went out and tried to do the things he normally do when he’s out in front of an audience.
“With so many years, so many performances….This one I was kind of excited,” Thicke said. “I felt like some people knew I was, maybe others might not have. So I was just excited to make it a great night and not take anything too seriously and just enjoy every second of being up on this Hollywood Bowl and Playboy Jazz Festival stage.
“I just want to enjoy it because sometimes as an artist you get so worried about putting on a good show, you forget to actually enjoy it. I made sure I really remembered every second to enjoy it.”
The fact he was playing at a venue where legendary acts such as the iconic Frank Sinatra, the great Etta James and others got Thicke pumped, he said.
That’s why we did it,” Thicke said. “This historical event… you can’t find better musicians on the planet. This is a test of your metal. So when we got the offer I said, ‘Are you kidding me? The Playboy Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Bowl? This is historic. This is where Frank Sinatra performed. The very best of the best has done this. So we were extremely honored to be here and we just wanted to have a great time and give the audience a great show.’”
Thicke did more than put on a show. According to one writer, using a baseball analysis, Thicke hit it out of the bowl” with his grinding, soulful renditions of his hit songs. Thicke came out swinging the heavy lumber early as he bounced around the stage belting out “Magic” an then wooing the ladies throughout his set with the ballads that have touched more than a few hearts.
Coming from a family background where a grandfather touted music as a jazz trumpet player, a mother who sings and a father (actor Alan Thicke) who writes music, it’s easy to see that the musical bloodlines is embedded deeply in Thicke’s DNA. When asked to described how someone like him can comes across as being soulful, Thicke is quick to point out that being a soul singer has nothing to do with what he or anyone else looks like.
“Music has always been in my house,” Thicke said. “My dad would play John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. My mom would play Luther Vandross and Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder. I kind of ended up somewhere in between all of that. To me, Bob Dylan is soul. He is a soulful singer. John Lennon is a soul singer.
“You don’t have to sing a certain type of music to be soulful. It means you write what comes within your heart and in your soul. Then you sing it with passion. That’s what soul is I believe. My favorite artists and singers are the ones that sing about love and spreading love, which is Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, John Lennon. Those are the people that inspire me the most because they spread love.”