We all know that the live-action remake of Aladdin is going to feature plenty of song and dance routines because, well, we just do. Will Smith who plays the Genie in the movie, a character who was played by the late, great Robin Williams in the animated version, is no stranger to a bit of song and dance. I am old enough to remember Fresh Prince starting on TV and of course, that led to the likes of Boom, Boom, Shake the Room, long before he ever made Men in Black and also sang the theme tune.
I guess the musical side of Will Smith is something that kind of puts me off him as an actor. In the UK there was a TV star called Dennis Waterman who always seemed to sing the theme tunes to his own TV shows, and I always felt Smith’s singing his own theme tunes a little cheesy, like Waterman. I do wonder if one of the reasons he chose Wild, Wild West over The Matrix was because they promised him a theme tune to sing?
However, with Aladdin, this is the perfect chance for Smith to blend that acting and musical world in a non-cheesy manner, for me. LRM Online was in attendance at the recent Aladdin pres conference, where Smith describes how he used some old Hip Hop beats to break one of the songs and get into character.
The song that got me over the hump of yes, I can play Genie, was “Friend Like Me.” I went into the studio the first day and I really wanted to play with it to see if I could add something to it. And literally 30 minutes in the studio, and starting to play with it and finding that in that 94, 96 BPM range, we were playing around in there thinking ultimately it was a little bit faster than that. But that 94, 96 BPM range is right old school hip hop. So I grabbed the Honey Drippers Impeach The President which is a really classic old school hip hop break beat. And I had them throw that break beat under there. And I messed with that and I messed with Eric [PH] Bien Rokems. I know you got sold under Friend Like Me. And I was like oh my God. I’m home, I’m home. And then I started playing with the hip hop flavor and then the Genie was really born in my mind from the music. And I understood once I played with Friend Like Me.
Until I see the movie I cannot possibly make comment on how Smith fares in the role of Genie, but you can check out LRM Online‘s own Fox Troilo’s review in the related section above, and we always listen to what the Fox says.
Do you like the musical side of Will Smith, am I being harsh in my cheesy stance with his previous work? Sing like a birdy in the usual spot below.
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SOURCE: Aladdin Press Conference