Robbie Williams has admitted his £80 million record contract "messed" with his mind
The 'Angels' hitmaker signed the famous deal with EMI in 2002 and although it was a financial "blessing", he struggled with the weight of expectation it put on him and felt like an imposter
23 November 2019
Robbie - who left EMI in 2011 - told trade publication Music Week: "It completely blew my mind, that deal. People talk about charlatan syndrome and I've had that all my life, but it's not the main voice now. It's still there, but it's not the main voice driving the car. So when that happened to me a) I didn't feel as though I deserved it. And b) Well, what was it - £80 or 90 million or something?
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"Eighty... What does an £80m artist perform like? Jesus Christ, I'm not Prince! As much as it was a blessing financially, internally, it messed with the wiring."
The 45-year-old singer - who has three children with wife Ayda Field - is unimpressed with the current music scene and thinks there's a serious lack of "personalities".
He said: "I think music's full. Everything that's been written has been written and we are bereft of personalities. My formative musical years were spent in the '90s, where having a personality was almost as important as the music - and I think we're missing that."
And Robbie thinks people are afraid to show their individuality because social media has made it so easy to be vulnerable to personal attacks.
Asked why he thinks things have changed, he said: "I don't know. Maybe the arrival of computers and social media - and everybody being scared - has something to do with it.
"There's so many people that shout now and they've got every opportunity to reach you - whenever a f***ing idiot on a sofa in Bromsgrove has an opinion about you, you can now hear it.
"And I wonder if that has an effect on people where they're scared to be big or different or have sticky out edges because, like [the Japanese proverb], 'Don't be the nail that's stuck up, because you'll get hammered down'. No doubt that's got something to do with it."
However, the former Take That singer admitted his own ageing has probably contributed to his disillusionment.
He added: "The landscape is a bit drab. But also, I'm middle-aged, isn't that what you're supposed to feel like? You get to 45 and you go, 'I'm not into this'."