Musician, artist and entrepreneur will.I.am (The Black Eyed Peas) joined me in the Samsung SMART Studio on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center for CES 2013 to chat about about designing his ultimate camera and fashion accessory, the i.am+, going to school for computer science, and how he wants to inspire youth through tech.
Aside from will's insanely amazing shoes, most notable about his appearance is the smartphone case hanging from his neck, which, he tells us, is his own design. He's bringing fashion to the world of tech with his new i.am+ photo social camera and accessory, now available online and in London stores.
You can also check out the snazzy case's debut in his "Scream and Shout" music video with Britney Spears!
This first product release is just the start of his grand scheme to mix music and marketing and "to create a brand around purpose and speed and fashion. That doesn't exist right now."
For will, it's all about the DIY trend, especially as an artist. "You're going to see more of that in the future," he says. "Not artists that endorse products, but artists that release products." He feels a responsibility to provide perspective and tech to his audience, along with bringing them entertainment.
"I decided to become an entrepreneur so it could help out my philanthropic work in the communities that I'm trying to bring up to speed," he reveals. "Communities that look like mine, where it's riddled with no education."
He hopes to inspire inner city youth to embrace the importance of learning science, engineering, and mathematics. And he's passionate about the idea that consumer electronics can play a major role in solving a lot of inner city problems.
"I've always loved gadgets," he says, "But I didn't know how gadgets could also be solutions for the ghetto I come from."
In the future, he hopes to remain a living example of how artists can be successful in music, branding, and advertising. He's even going to school for computer science so that he can code his own products and have total control in bringing his ideas to life.
"I saw the void in culture. If it wasn't me, then who in my community was going to fill that void?"
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