Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am isn't looking to sign any new acts to his joint-venture label with Interscope, he told Billboard.biz on Thursday night (Feb. 7) ahead of the 4th Annual Peapod Foundation Benefit Concert in L.A.
"I'm not going to sign anybody anymore," said the prolific producer, performer and songwriter, who has released albums by Fergie, Macy Gray, Sergio Mendes and himself as a solo artist on his Will.i.am Music Group.
"We're still going to make records on Interscope. I've got the Peas and Fergie and stuff, but I don't know if I want to sign new people," he said. "If I do, they've got to want it. I'm not going to force it down anybody. I'm just going to continue to make records with the people I already have signed. I just want to focus on what I have and not do too much."
Will.i.am said another priority is adding content to his Web site, Dipdive.com, which he referred to as "my blog." He recently gathered celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Common for "Yes We Can," a song and video in support of presidential candidate Barack Obama that he posted to the site.
"I want to inspire people to put music out and put it on the 'net right after they do that," he said. Will.i.am's other high-profile projects include the 25th anniversary edition of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and producing a new album by Jackson.
At the Peapod Foundation benefit, the Black Eyed Peas and actor Laurence Fishburne paid warm tribute to their agent, Paradigm chairman Sam Gores, who along with his agency has been a strong supporter of the group's charity. The Peapod Foundation, which is administered by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, recently opened the first-ever Peapod Music and Arts Academy at the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club.
The facility serves at-risk youth with music education, a recording studio, and audio- and video-editing software.
"Somehow I was always lured by the long-term benefits of doing the right thing," said Gores, an Israeli immigrant who started his career working for free at a talent agency while moonlighting as a shoe salesman.
Will.i.am followed the Gores tribute with a performance of "Heartbreaker" from his "Songs About Girls" solo album. Despite a cast on his left leg, the artist danced up a storm, and quipped "I'm a footbreaker". Joining will.i.am on stage was Lil Jon on "Get Low."
The evening's performances included BEP on "Don't Phunk With My Heart" and "My Humps," Fergie with John Legend on piano for "Finally," and Legend performing his "Save Room." Randy Jackson accompanied Ne-Yo on bass for "Because of You," and Boyz II Men were a blast from the past with "Motownphilly."