Belfast Telegraph

Friday 30 January 2015

Pharrell Williams: I was camouflage

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mandatory Credit - A.M.P.A.S./REX (3613006t)
A.M.P.A.S. Pharrell Williams
86th Annual Academy Awards Oscars, Show, Los Angeles, America - 02 Mar 2014
Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams always felt he was "the guy next to the guy".

The singer is having a serious moment since his hit single Happy reached number one all over the world and was even nominated for an Oscar. He also lent his voice to 2013's huge hits Blurred Lines and Get Lucky and really feels that he really came into his own last year.

“By 2013, I had accepted my role as the… camouflage,” he admitted to W Magazine. “I was the guy next to the guy, rather than the guy himself. All my formative years, I spent standing next to Jay [Z] or Justin [Timberlake] or all those kings. I’ve always learned from the masters, whether it’s in music or art or fashion. But in 2013, it was different: suddenly, it was not about being the camo anymore.”

It may seem that Happy, which appeared on animated movie Despicable Me 2, became an instant hit. However, it was the tenth song Pharrell presented to the film's producer Chris Meledandri.

“I was at zero,” he revealed. “After nine different songs, recorded fully, they were like, ‘No, no, no, no.’ So I went back and wrote Happy. I didn’t have the melody, just the chorus. For 20 minutes after I finished, I was jumping around the room. I told Chris to listen to the song in his car, that if he didn’t like Happy, I didn’t know what to give him.”

He might be enjoying success now, but it has come at a price. The singer and Robin Thicke were criticised by many for their joint hit Blurred lines, due to its provocative lyrics and video, which featured scantily clad women.

But Pharrell, 41, is adamant he knows the "power" of ladies and that he respects them fully. Blurred Lines was actually a track designed to help girls enjoy a night out dancing.

“I realised that a lot of women didn’t know how to fit in to the rhythm of rap songs - they needed music to bend and curve a little bit. I was producing Robin Thicke, and he is a soulful white boy and I thought we could take some chances. That song was what happened," he explained.

© Cover Media

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


A cherished dream is elusive. It will be best to change gear, at least for the immediate future. Pursue a moneymaking opportunity with creative appeal. Getting paid to exercise your imagination will lift your spirits. By the time you finish this assignment, you may be in better condition to pursue your primary goal. A brilliant idea for operating on a shoestring budget will come. At that point, nothing will stand between you and success. Stay calm and take things one step at a time.More