Robin Thicke is opening up about his late father Alan Thicke’s death.
During an interview with Zane Lowe of Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio show on Wednesday, the “Blurred Lines” singer said that losing his father in 2016 had an impact on his professional life as it inspired his first new single in years, “Testify.”
“Well, it’s funny — my father passed away a couple of years ago and I thought I had an album and these songs that I wanted to put out. Then when that happened, it was something I wasn’t expecting and it just rattled my soul,” Robin, 41, explained. “So, I took some time to re-think the album and then these songs started pouring out that had more meaning and more weight to them.”
Alan died in December 2016 after suffering a heart attack while playing hockey with his youngest son, Carter. The Growing Pains actor was 69.
In “Testify,” Robin reveals that he had trouble holding onto his family following his father’s death through the lyrics, “It was the perfect day/And everything changed/I lost my father suddenly/Couldn’t keep it together, my family/And all my reckless ways caught up with me.”
“It’s cathartic just to be able to say it and then let it live, as opposed to in the middle of a conversation or a quote,” Robin explained. “Once you put it into song form, then it can live forever. And so the message in the song is really about the hope and the light at the end of that tunnel when you feel that you lost or you feel that you don’t know what to do next. You know, that reconnection to God or spirituality or something deeper than the surface is what brings you back home to who you really are and who you want to be.”
Through the song’s lyrics, Robin also reveals that some of his “lowest” times came after his father’s death as he mentions how he lost his job and that his girlfriend, April Love Geary, “lost a pregnancy.”
Geary, 24, has been open in the past about how she suffered a miscarriage before the birth of her and Robin’s first child together, 9-month-old daughter Mia Love. The couple are currently expecting their second child in March, another baby girl. Robin also has an 8-year-old son, Julian Fuego, with ex-wife Paula Patton
Recently, Robin’s personal life took another hit when he lost the Malibu home he shared with Geary and his children in the devastating wildfiresthat hit California in November.
“We’ve been here for the last four years, and we’ve built so many memories with the birth of a new daughter and the maturing of my son,” he said. “We just moved into a rental where we’ll be staying while we rebuild. But the plan is, is to rebuild and try to gain some of those memories back by going back to the place we love.”
It’s been four and a half years since Robin released his last album, Paula, and while he said that the upcoming album he’s been working on will feature the themes found in “Testify,” it’ll also be “about having fun.”
“After you go through those tough times, you want to celebrate what you do have,” he said. “Like after we lost our home in the fire, the first thing I do every morning is gratitude for what I do have, what I still have. We lost our home, but I have love, I have children, I have family, I have friends. I get to make music for a living, which is what I love to do. So I think sometimes tragedy makes you count your blessings. So the album will hopefully be littered with some spirituality and some finding yourself. But it also is about, let’s celebrate all this greatness we have around us.”
This isn’t the first time Robin has been open about his personal life through his music — he said while making his second album, The Evolution of Robin Thicke, he was going through “the same kind of period.”
“I’d had all this hype and great energy around my first album and then it didn’t really connect financially,” he said. “And so I went through a growth period and a learning period and cut to about 10 years later, after going through a bunch of adult things, time to look a little deeper inside, instead of just lovemaking music, but actually put everything you are into it.”