will.i.am named chief creative officer of Rock Hill company

01/10/2014 5:10 PM

01/10/2014 5:12 PM

Grammy-winning musician, actor, producer and entrepreneur will.i.am has joined the creative team at Rock Hill’s 3D Systems.

Avi Reichental, 3D Systems’ president and CEO, hired the founder member of the hip-hop band The Black Eyed Peas to “inspire, shape and drive all of 3DS’ initiatives.”

Will.i.am’s official title with 3D Systems is “chief creative officer.”

“3D printing lets you get involved, be a part of the creative process and the story of the items you make,” said will.i.am in a press release. . “For me it’s a dream come true to work with ... the company that invented 3D printing and launched an entire platform that all other industries depend on.

“I am so thrilled to begin to fuse my creativity and experience with the technology that is poised to change how we create, make and express ourselves.”

Will.i.am was born Williams James Adams.

The partnership started more than a year ago when will.i.am approached 3D Systems about a project he had, Reichental said from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

During numerous meetings over a year’s time, Reichental said he realized the two are kindred spirits, sharing many of the same passions.

“After all these talks, I said, ‘let’s get into action,’ and he responded ‘I’m all in,” Reichental said.

3D Systems, in a press release, said it hopes that will.i.am will help “mainstream the use of 3D printing through major collaborations with creative brand partners, innovative global campaigns and educational grand challenges designed to grow the popularity of 3D printing.”

Reichental said wil.i.am has great entrepreneurial instincts, especially in getting consumers to adopt new products.

“We’re excited to partner with a pop culture influencer of will.i.am’s caliber who really gets 3D printing and its potential,” Reichental said.

Reichental said he expects will.i.am to expand the company’s efforts in the areas of fashion, music, sports and education. Both share a passion for expanding education through technology.

Will.i.am is also expected to “influence” the functionality of 3D Systems projects, Reichental said.

will.i.am is best known for his work with The Black Eyed Peas, who have sold 33 million albums and 58 million singles worldwide. His solo CD, #willpower on Interscope Records, was released in 2013 and includes worldwide platinum hit “This is Love” featuring Eva Simons, and “Scream & Shout” featuring Britney Spears, which shot to number one on the iTunes single chart and to the top three on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

As a producer, will.i.am has worked with Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, David Guetta and film composer Hans Zimmer.

Reichental said will.i.am is someone who “work 24-7 and brings his passion to everything he does. He will fit us into his schedule.”

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