Cee Lo Green and sake? The combination seems a like bit of a stretch for the eccentric Georgia native, but is it really? The singer-songwriter, Voice coach, and member of both hip-hop group Goodie Mob and soul duo Gnarls Barkley, has always had a flair for the atypical. So it somehow seems right that he would team up with Ty Ku, a premium sake and spirits company, which has launched the first national sake spot titled “Share On.” Adweek spoke with the Green before he took the stage for “Cee Lo Green is Loberace,” his Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood.
How did you team up with Ty Ku?
Ty Ku was a joint effort between my management company, Primary Wave Music, and myself. I wanted to be associated with a brand that was original, unique and uncharted territory. Ty Ku sake was presented to me in that way, it was very attractive and interesting and it made complete and total sense. The pitch and the way it was presented to me on paper was very profound. Also just meeting the guys, they were very compassionate and empowered. I wanted to align myself with that type of attitude and that type of aspiration.
What do you think about celebrities teaming up with big brands?
I can dig it, you know, but you can’t buy good taste. Business is more often impersonal than not. That said, you don't have to drink Bud Light exclusively to partner with them in a joint venture in which they use your name and likeness to promote their brand.
How involved are you in the creative?
A few of the ideas on the editing room floor are [things] management and I agreed on. We all throw things up, maybe they don't stick, maybe they do, but we respect each other’s taste and talent. Compromising is also a talent too, knowing when to and where to.
Where did you get that hat?
That big ol' hat I'm wearing, I found that in Atlanta, Georgia in a nice little boutique store and thought it was cool. I was looking for an opportunity to wear it (laughs). It’s really cool and freaky-deaky.
What's your favorite sake?
Coconut. We have Ty Ku that we make with the mean green liquor with the [illuminated] bottle. You mix that with a little Patron and you have yourself a little festive evening.
What are some of your media habits?
Honestly, I generally don't watch a lot of TV, but one channel I can turn on and leave on is Adult Swim.
Are you coming back to the Voice for Season 5?
I'm definitely on board to come back for Season 5. Who knows, people may fall in love with the new cast and say, "We don't even want Cee Lo back, stay where the f*** you are" (laughs)." But I’m definitely coming back.
Is there anything else you're working on?
Yeah, I’m working on another solo album tentatively entitled "Girl Power," which is cool. And I’m working on another Goodie Mob album that I’m almost done with entitled "Age Against the Machine."
Is there a Gnarls Barkley album coming out or is that on hold for a while?
I told Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) I wouldn't do another Gnarls Barkley album until he cuts his hair (laughs).