Artists and their reps are selective when picking an outlet to premiere their new music. Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am just raised the bar. On Tuesday, the "I Got A Feeling" rapper debuted his new single, "Reach For The Stars," from Mars -- not a nightclub named after the Red Planet, but the actual celestial body located fourth from the sun in the solar system.
The rapper and producer, who is big on science and technology, teamed with NASA to broadcast the uplifting song via the Curiosity Rover that landed on Mars earlier this month.
For the premiere, will.i.am joined NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California for an educational event to speak to students about Mars, play the song and explain the technology used for the transmission.
will.i.am (photo: NASA)
The song lyrics use space as a metaphor for achieving goals. "Why do they say that the sky is the limit when we have footprints on the moon," will.i.am raps. "I know the sky might be high … Let's reach for the stars."
will.i.am said the partnership with NASA is a dream come true. "I had no idea that one day I would have a meeting at NASA, and I never thought that in a billion years a song would hitch a ride on a rocket and when it lands on Mars it would be beamed back to earth," he said in a video statement.
will didn't create an electronic pop sound for "Reach For The Stars." "Reach" features a children's choir and an orchestra. "I don't think it's a right thing to do to send a computer beat to Mars," he said. "So I wanted to put an orchestra together to show human collaboration, exercising their skills, their craft. That robot is going to Mars but a piece of humanity, art, is going as well."
Last year, will.i.am and Dean Kamen produced i.am.FIRST — Science Is Rock And Roll, a one-hour ABC special that covered the 20th annual FIRST robotics competition for high school students.