QUICKFIRE: Will.i.am on Michael Jackson, money and jedi dinners

Guilty pleasure? I don’t feel guilt about things I enjoy – I’m proud of what I like.

Where is home? I have a house in Los Angeles, which will always be home, but I’m hardly ever there. By the beginning of February this year, I had already been to China, Japan, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Utah, Davos and London. It’s just my life and I like it.


Career plan B? I’ve never thought about an alternative because I always knew what I was going to do. I think of myself as a conductor, directing all the different parts of my life, whether it’s music, videos, tours or building AI [artificial intelligence]. It’s all an amazing, beautiful symphony.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? I don’t know, maybe he hasn’t been born – I’m not done yet!

Biggest bugbear? People talking all at once and no one listening to each other or even being aware of it.

Earliest memory? Trying to get out of my playpen, when I was about six months old. It wasn’t new, so it was probably my brother’s before I had it.

Your best qualities? My imagination and my memory.

And your worst? I don’t know how to say no. Trying to appease everyone means that eventually you are going to hurt somebody.

Last meal on earth? Right now, my craving is for muesli. I’m following a healthy eating regime and I like it. I don’t have acid reflux, I don’t feel bloated, I have energy and I don’t struggle to think.

Dream dinner-party guests? My close friends, who I’ve been having dinners with since we were 20 years old to discuss plans for the future. We call them our jedi dinners.

Advice to teenage self? My 13-year-old self is the architect of the life I live now. I pray every day to that 13-year-old and he prays to me, too.

Starstruck moment? Working with Michael Jackson. I didn’t believe it was him when he called me. We became friends for six years before he passed away.

Career highlight? I haven’t had it yet.

One thing that would make your life better? Learning to delegate.

Philosophy? Turn strangers into friends and friends into family.

Most important lesson you’ve learned about money? That it doesn’t care – yet. In the future, money is going to be intelligent, advising you how to take care of it so it can take better care of you.

Where would you time travel to? I want to be here right now so I can learn from the past and design the future.

First record? Escape by a rap group called Whodini, which my mom bought me for Christmas.

Most extravagant purchase? A house for my mom, which I paid for partly with the money from a Dr Pepper commercial I did with The Black Eyed Peas.

Celebrity crush? I don’t think of celebrities like that, but someone who I really admire is Beyoncé.

Do you have a special relationship with the UK? I love it here – it’s awesome.

Will.i.am’s new book with Brian David Johnson, WaR: Wizards and Robots, is published by Penguin, price £12.99. To order a copy for £10.39 (a 20 per cent discount) until 8 April, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; free p&p on orders over £15