Los Angeles, CA: Robin Thicke has been in show business his whole life—but nothing could prepare someone for the high-octane success he has experienced this summer. Thicke, born to actor Alan Thicke on March 10th, 1977, has come a long, long way. His first album, “Cherry Blue Skies,” explored a more soulful world, getting most of its airplay on urban radio. It was a modest success. He wrote hits for the likes of Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson and Usher. He toured for his romantic-mad fans, bringing his R&B, soul and hip hop-infused tunes all over the world. He released four more albums, toured some more, wrote more hits for others, but international mega-stardom eluded him. “Blurred Lines” changed that. Like a runaway rocket, the single has propelled Thicke to pop deity status. Gone was the R&B, the yearning, starry-eyed lyrics, replaced with pure, unadulterated fun—and lots of pop. It was now all about having pleasure, dancing, sucking the marrow from life. And then there’s the video. Pulling inspiration from TREATS! and featuring Issue 3 cover girl Emily Ratajkowski, two versions of “Blurred Lines” were made: One has models prancing around topless (in skin-colored G-strings) and in the other, they are a bit more covered. The uncensored video, featuring models Jessi M’Bengue and Elle Evans along with Emily, quickly went viral before it was removed by YouTube (it was later put back up but flagged as “inappropriate”), and it nearly crashed the Vevo site. It’s flirty, sexy, “fun” and controversial. Some have branded it “misogynistic,” but none of it bothers the easy-going Thicke. “All three guys in the video are married and have children,” he says. “It was all tongue-in-cheek.”
The world seems to agree. “Blurred Lines” reached #1 in an astonishing 102 countries and stayed at #1 in the US for a dizzying 10+ consecutive weeks. Both Queens of the Stone Age and Vampire Weekend have covered the song. The song/video has been parodied everywhere from The Jimmy Kimmel Show (in which Kimmel and his co-host Guillermo try to join Thicke and the models in a mock video but are shunned) and Funny or Die to the Jordan Vineyard & Winery doing a cover called “Blurred Vines.”
And, surely, it’s all just getting started.
Hello, Robin. Congrats, you are the first man to grace the cover of TREATS!
That’s great! Very excited.
How would you describe your TREATS! cover shoot?
Ha! Well, I’ve done some topless photo shoots before but never completely nude. It was very sexy and I like that. But at the end of the day, I was in and out and it’s work. Back in the car and onto the next thing. But a very fun day and everyone was very professional.
I don’t know if you know this, but you were one of the first TREATS! subscribers. What initially drew you to the magazine?
My makeup artist, Jo Baker, gave me a copy of TREATS! a few years ago and I was like, Wow! It was so fresh, edgy, downtown, tasteful, cool, artistic…had it all. Great magazine. My wife, Paula [Patton], loves it, too. We have all the TREATS! issues at home.
You said on Howard Stern that TREATS! was an inspiration for “Blurred Lines.”
Oh, yes. When I was talking to my wife and her friends about the video they said, “Do something like TREATS! because you love it so much.” And her friends were like, ‘Yes!’ We showed TREATS! issue 3 with Emily Ratajkowski on the cover to the director (Diane Martel) and she said, “That’s our girl!” And she was cast. I wanted to give homage where homage was due. We wanted to pay it all forward about our inspiration from TREATS! for the “Blurred Lines” video.
Did you have any reservations about doing the TREATS! shoot with completely nude girls?
At first I thought, ‘Okay, let’s just do topless’…but, again, my wife and her friends were like, ‘No way…go all the way.’ I think we definitely pushed the envelope.
All roads lead back to your wife.
It’s such a crazy time for you right now, being #1 in over 102 countries. What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you open your eyes in the morning?
Am I late for something? What time is the car getting here. What city am I in? Where am I? Is my voice ready?
When you were making the album did you have any inkling that it was going to be this huge?
No. I knew it made people happy. I knew it made them dance. But I had no idea at all that it would go this big. No way. You just can’t predict these things. This is what I wanted at 24 and now, 5 albums later, here it is.
Probably better that you are now a little older.
Yes. I’m not sure I could have handled this 10 years ago. But now that I have been through so many ups and downs, failures, and different experiences and, of course, have a child, I’m really in the right headspace for it all.
Whose idea was it to put animals in the video?
We wanted to put everything in that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, etc. In fact, after the video was banned on YouTube my wife tweeted, “Violence is ugly. Nudity is beautiful. And the ‘Blurred Lines’ video makes me wanna…” We wanted it to be as silly and fun as possible.
What did your dad think of the “Blurred Lines” video?
He said something like, “I think there are blurred lines within ‘Blurred Lines.’”
He also said to a British newspaper, “For some reason, most of the other videos for years have been about booty…. For some reason when they switched from booty to boobie, everyone went nuts.”
Speaking about your dad, do you have a favorite episode of Growing Pains?
Yes, the one I was on! I played a guy in a band that Jeremy signs to manage and we get a record deal. It was fun dancing and doing all that. Then I think we dumped Jeremy as the manager.
How would you describe your clothing style?
Classic. Rock ‘n’ roll. Rat Pack. James Bond. All fused together.
If you could give your 21-year-old self any advice now, what would it be?
Never give up. Never stop believing. You have to keep pushing forward through all the obstacles.
Who get asked more for autographs these days: you or your wife?
Who would you love to collaborate with right now?
Dr. Dre or Kanye West.
Finally, Robin Thicke is…