Entertainer and Beats founding shareholder William Adams, better known as Will.i.am, believes the fusion of technology and culture will drive hardware development, and he says Apple acquired the headphone company because of its success in melding the two.
"That culture and tech relationship hasn't been nailed properly, and the only one that does it is Beats," Will.i.am said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley."
Will.i.am, a music producer and member of The Black Eyed Peas, spoke about Apple's $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats in a pair of CNBC interviews from London. The deal, which will bring Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to Apple, has received mix reviews since it was announced Wednesday. Some observers have called it a talent acquisition or an attempt to buoy a sagging iTunes.
Will.i.am wouldn't disclose his stake in the company or how much he'll make from the deal, saying that he prefers to be "approachable." He touted Beats' ability to grow a brand worth more than $1 billion while becoming "a tool to express yourself."
"The giants didn't see us coming and now we dominate the market," he said.
He said Apple is unique in that it offers an unprecedented number of platforms to users. He pointed to the fact that he creates music eventually sold on iTunes on Apple hardware.
Will.i.am's relationship with Apple goes back 10 years, as The Black Eyed Peas' song "Hey Mama" was featured on the first iPod commercial.
He notes that Apple's devices are not only the tools that people use to listen to music, they're also the tools artists use to create the music. "It is sewn into your life," he said.
Apple looks for innovation in places other tech companies don't, he added. He believes that Apple will continue to collaborate with "unlikely candidates," such as Beats.
Will.i.am didn't give any clues on his future business endeavors and instead diverted attention to his philanthropy and education work. He funds scholarship programs and has been vocal in encouraging youth to explore opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.
He wants inner city youth to channel their talents into technology or robots rather than pinning their future on becoming musicians or athletes. He's attempting to use the Beats experience to encourage the next technology mogul.
"So they are not looking for jobs, but can create jobs…I have proof now [with Beats]…[that] you shouldn't just try to be a musician or an athlete if you are in an inner city; you should try to bring a consumer electronic device to market."
—By Jacob Pramuk