On June 8, Apl.de.ap, one of the founding members of The Black Eyed Peas, reunited with Will.i.am and Taboo on stage at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre. The get-together saw the three artists perform on stage together for the first time without Fergie since before 2003’s “Elephunk” was released. Apl, Will, and Taboo joined forces to headline a concert benefitting efforts to rebuild the Philippines, Apl’s home country.
But don’t expect the BEP reunion to end there.
“We still got a couple albums coming,” Apl, née Allan Pineda, told me on “Ralphie Tonight.” “There’s no definite dates, but it’s coming.”
The Black Eyed Pea is working on a solo project under an independent record label. Apl is incorporating the music he creates under that label to help jumpstart the careers of others in Southeast Asia. Eventually, he would like to partner up with Interscope, BEP’s home record label, for distribution.
But until then, the Peas are still under contract and planning to release music. As a matter of fact, Will.i.am may have already commenced the planning.
“I wanted to meet Will, getting the blessings for my solo project,” Apl explained. “He just started picking off songs like, ‘Ooh, that’s a Black Eyed Peas song!’”
Apl doesn’t mind losing solo tracks for the next group effort, but he says that everyone in the BEP family has enjoyed the hiatus.
“We had been touring since 1998,” he said. “Between the next record, we always have a break. So right now, we’re living. Fergie’s enjoying being a mom. I get to do my philanthropy work, doing ‘The Voice Philippines’ and discovering other artists.”
Apl’s charity work has centered in his native land, where he is helping to rebuild schools while sponsoring children and also attempting to simply lift spirits of those who are still recovering.
“It was so unreal,” Apl said of the scene in the Philippines just three weeks after the typhoon hit land. People were literally digging in search of their family and belongings. I’ve never seen anything like that.”
And the recovery efforts transcend simple structural or material issues.
“The kids are traumatized. They have separation anxiety. The teachers have nowhere to live,” he said. “So we have a therapy program through music and art and technology. So it’s kind of like rebuilding the morale for the kids to want to go back to school, because when it rains, they panic.
“Beyond rebuilding the schools and homes, you have to rebuild the people, too.”
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