Q&A with will.i.am

"To become part of the AMG family is a dream come true.”

Will.i.am and the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]

Musician and tech entrepreneur will.i.am is not only the protagonist of the new Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE campaign; he also becomes a part of the AMG family as a brand ambassador. In our Q&A session, he gives a glimpse of the power of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE.

Whether on stage or on asphalt: will.i.am and Mercedes-AMG have more in common than pure performance. As a car enthusiast, the musician and tech entrepreneur has always had an eye for the performance cars from Affalterbach – but above all he shares the brand's innovative spirit. The co-founder of the legendary Black Eyed Peas loves to question conventions and break down boundaries. With his progressive and innovative ideas, will.i.am is the perfect partner for the journey into a new era of electrified driving performance and a further step towards the exciting future of Mercedes-AMG!


How does it feel to be a part of the Mercedes-AMG family?

will.i.am: As a car-enthusiast, car-lover, collector and a builder of customs cars, this is an honor like no other. I have loved cars since I was a little kid, so much that I’ve built a couple of cars on my own. And to be acknowledged by AMG, to become part of the family is a dream come true.


How did the cooperation and relationship start with AMG as you moved your way up from doing AMG Uncovered and now a brand ambassador?

will.i.am: When I got in AMG Uncovered, the conversation went deep into my custom cars that I build, the different teams that I invest in like my tech teams, my product teams and a lot of my investments that I have made as an entrepreneur. I think they value my scope, and we started brainstorming about things that we can do that complement one and other. So they brought me on board as an ambassador, because they see the cross-disciplinary thinking that can help in the future and on things they working on.

Musician, producer, tech entrepreneur and TV star - will.i.am
Musician, producer, tech entrepreneur and TV star - will.i.am

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]


Let’s talk about the new campaign „Everything But Quiet.“ How does this works between your own beliefs about technology and futurism combined with what they’re doing? How does your work with the „Everything But Quiet“ campaign fit together? Why is it a good fit?

will.i.am: „Everything But Quiet“, this is a phrase that is layered. AMG have like me always been proud to make ourselves heard with what we do and stand for. If you’re doing good in the world and you’re solving problems, quiet is not what you want. You want people to know about the problems you solved. If you’re passionate about something, quiet is not what you want, because you want to share your passion. The future may be more quiet in terms of sounds from an engine but the AMG brand will always be everything but quiet in how it sees itself and it’s followers!  I’m pretty similar in that way and it’s why I wanted to partner with them.

Will.i.am in front of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE
Will.i.am in front of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]


What parallels do you see between the campaign name and your own personal career?

will.i.am: My own personal career from music to philanthropy, the work that I do on the inner-city, teaching kids computer science and robotics and college prep with the i.am Angel Foundation, we want the activities and the learning and the excitement and the discipline and dedication. That excitement and that love should be heard around the world. And that’s everything but quiet. We are everything but quiet in the neighbourhood, and our commitment towards excellent is loud. Our excitement for the future and preparation is loud and generous. When it comes to writing songs and people hearing music from my music career, that’s everything but silent. You come to our shows, that’s everything but silent. You come to my studio when we’re making music, its everything but quiet. The stuff that I invest in, the companies and the problems that they’re solving, the solutions they’re bringing to the market, that’s everything but quiet as well. So there are a lot of parallels. Passion is not silent steps.

Side profile of Will.i.am
Side profile of Will.i.am

Do you ever get nervous before you appear on stage or when you start filming a new video or are you cool as a cat?

will.i.am: I usually don’t get nervous anymore. I may get nervous when I’m working by myself, but when I’m working with my best friends and Black Eyed Peas bandmates I don’t get nervous.

Will.i.am and the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]


Would you say that’s because of lots of experience, both behind the camera and in front of the camera you’ve been doing this for so long, that you just have a mental checklist of all the things you should do to make sure everything goes smoothly and you’re a detail-guy?

will.i.am: Because I like to solve problems and improvise, I love to improve. Improvising is my tool. I equip myself with the drive to improve. And if you know that your weapon or your skillset is improvisation, then that’s it. You don’t prepare yourself when improvising, you just do it. Fast-thinking and free-styling, that’s my shit, that’s my super skill. And as an improviser, you don’t prepare, you don’t rehearse. You just get into a freaking scenario and improvise.


The next question is about AMG taking the plunge into hybrid vehicles and how brave do you need to be as a brand or an artist to be successful over the longterm. You continue to reinvent yourself too. With AMG and Mercedes moving into hybrid vehicles: What are they going to need to do to make this a part of their success story?

will.i.am: There’s been a lot of hybrid vehicles in the past. But when it comes to high performance hybrids, I think AMG is the only one that can really deliver. You are talking about the fastest cars and team on the Formula One racetracks, that’s AMG. Of all the legal vehicles on the street that you drive and high performance at the highest level, that’s AMG. There are no others. Who else is winning Formula One races with the same brand on the street? This is what you get when Formula One and E Performance marry each other!

 back profile of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE
 back profile of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]


Overall, what sets Mercedes-AMG vehicles apart from other vehicle manufacturers and designers?

will.i.am: When you think of luxury, AMG is up there. They’re the top luxury brand. And luxury doesn’t always mean fast. Luxury doesn’t always mean high performance. But Mercedes-AMG is the best of the best in both areas. It’s the best of the best. It’s the best of high performance and the best of luxury. I mean you cannot get any better than this brand.

front profile of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE
front profile of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]


Can you talk about what it was like to get behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE. How did it feel getting behind the wheel and testing it out?

will.i.am: It’s one thing to be behind the wheel on the street, it’s another thing to be behind the wheel on a racetrack and pushing it with no limitations but your own inner doubts holding you back saying „Uh oh“. That was powerful. When somebody gives you limitations, you want to say „Man I wish I didn’t have any limitations.“ And then finally when somebody says „Go as fast as you want“, you notice, you don’t really want to go as fast as you want. You hold yourself back. And that’s a metaphor for life. There was no speed limit on that track. I could’ve pushed the car to go as fast as I wanted to like the way Lewis Hamilton drives. And I just couldn’t do it. There was too much „uh oh“ in the back of my mind. The „uh-ohs“ took over. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t. And that was like a lesson learned, for me to be like „What is the equivalent of getting past self-imposed limits in life?“

Will.i.am and the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE
Will.i.am and the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]


How did it feel on the track?

will.i.am: The highest-level engineering makes sure that vehicle doesn’t wobble and is well-balanced. What held that vehicle back, from to its full potential, was me, the driver. This car has the best of everything to make sure that vehicle performs at its best. Then when a person like me gets behind the wheel, because I’m not Lewis Hamilton, it didn’t perform at its best. It goes to show you like: just because you want do it, doesn’t mean you can, because you didn’t put the right steps to equip yourself with all the skillset that’s needed to push and perform at its highest level. And desire is not enough. Desire and wanting to do it, this is not enough. And that’s what I realise.

Just because I wanted to get in a car, and drive with no limitations, on a professional racetrack…the desire to do that did not allow the car to go to it full potential because the limiting factor was me. They have the right engineers, they have the right scientist, they have the right freaking aerodynamic folks, they have the right freaking design of aerodynamic, they have the right freaking combustion as far of gasoline and electric, they have the right everything except for the person with the foot on the pedal and the hand on the steering wheel that was not equipped with Lewis Hamilton’s driving knowledge, that was overcome by „Uhh-oh“-nes. I had several „What-If“ questions in my mind while on the track, and it made me realise out of the car, where else do I need that same narrative in my  life beyond the track?


In your new role as the brand ambassador for Mercedes-AMG, what can we look forward to you doing as the brand ambassador? What are you looking forward to doing with Mercedes-AMG as part of that role?

will.i.am: Mercedes-AMG saw a couple of the cars I built and customised, so the AMG management team put forward a challenge to me to design a car for AMG. So I’ll be making two AMG vehicles. They’re going to be called „will.i.AMG.“ And I’m going to add some intelligence into the vehicle. I can’t wait to share the world how I reimagine and insert new innovations into the I.AMG.

the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE
the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 7.9 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 180 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 12 kWh/100 km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]

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