Pharrell Williams Classic Interview
To celebrate 15 years of Hard Knock TV, we are uploading the full version of some of our favorite interviews over the years. In honor of Pharrell’s birthday we had to dig into the Hard Knock TV vaults for one of our favorite interviews with Pharrell. Nick Huff Barili of Hard Knock TV, in collaboration The GRAMMYs sits down with Producer of the Year Pharrell Williams for in-depth interview. Pharrell recalls how Sugarhill Gang, Afrika Bambaataa’s Planet Rock and Nile Rodgers all played into his early music memories. Pharrell explains how he’s always felt a “little left of center”. He adds that “I think music helped me and other people make sense of it. You are only crazy when there is nothing to go along with it…When you have these eccentric characteristics, its more accepted and understood when there is some sort of skill-set attached to it…For example Jay Z mumbles when he writes his songs, he mumbles for 10-15 minutes, then he comes back with like 16 bars of one of the most comprehensive verses you have heard in a long time. He does it every time. But again, there is some sort of skill-set to accompany his madness…Music was my inner sanctum, that’s where I found my peace.” As the interview continues Nick ask’s Pharrell about his creative process when he goes in the studio with an artist and what his thought process was going into the making of Blurred Lines. “I didn’t go into it with anything. I actually went into it with no expectation,” he said. “And if anything I just went looking for fun. And looking for something that felt festive. And felt like it would lift people. So, I just went looking for that. You can’t get into a scenario looking for something that’s big or it’s going to sound that way. I’m just happy that the universe rewarded us…And again you can’t take authorship for the success of anything. You really can’t. The success is determined by the people.” Pharrell proceeds to tell us how Lorde, Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran are changing the game by making meaningful music and letting the people speak for them instead of record labels executives. “The people make the decisions here,” Pharrell said. “In fact, everything that goes on on this planet is made by the decision of the human being. Thank God like a lot of new musicians are realizing, you know, that’s when you can sort of effectuate change. That’s why we’re seeing so much great music come out. Cause these kids are like ‘You know what? I’m not waiting on a record label. I’m not waiting on a radio station. I’m gonna put my music up and out to the world. And if it’s meaningful to people then it will catch fire.’ And in a lot of cases we’ve seen it. You’ve seen it everywhere from the likes of the Kendrick Lamars to Lorde. Two of my favorite artists at the moment. They just didn’t care. Put a song up on Soundcloud, shot a video. It’s like ‘Okay, I may sign with you guys or not.’ And I love that. Because she’s 16-years-old. So, she to me is like a shining example of where we’re headed.”
Pharrell also talks “Blurred Lines”, “Get Lucky”, GRAMMYs and shares advice for young artists.
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