In an interview with Vanity Fair, Pharrell Williams sat down to discuss how he became one of the world’s most influential personalities in music and fashion. Pharrell has won 10-grammy awards for his music, established two successful fashion labels and works on a range of side-projects, from campaigns to fight climate change to being a coach on the TV show, The Voice.
In terms of musical inspiration growing up, Pharrell listened to a lot of hip hop and grunge; artists such as The Treacherous Three or Grandmaster Flash. Growing up in Virginia he was exposed to many types of music and with the expansion of the internet his music library grew.
Pharrell started his musical exploration when he formed the high school band The Neptunes, who after winning a talent show, were picked up by producer Teddy Riley. They produced a few albums together with success, but Pharrell eventually decided to focus more on co-producing and collaborating with other artists. He started making his own music back in 2006 as a small experiment – which he actually didn’t like and never released the tracks. It wasn’t until he was asked by Columbia Records to collaborate with Daft Punk on the hit “Get Lucky” that he realized he was at the point where he was ready to start making his own music. This then lead to one of his most successful tracks ‘Happy’, which won him many awards.
But he is not just a musical genius, Pharrell is also making headlines in the fashion world. He famously started to wear the over-sized cowboy hat, which he admits was just a gift from a friend, and was somewhat surprised by the attention it gathered when he wore it to the 2014 Grammy awards. Pharrell has also gone on to work with designers such as Louis Vuitton and Uniqlo before going onto create his own urban clothing lines, Billionaire Boys Club and Icecream.
Season 9 of the popular TV show The Voice asked Pharrell to be a part of the coaches’ panel, alongside Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. The waves he has made musically means he has a wealth of knowledge and experience to pass onto the contestants.
Pharrell also has used his fame and concern for the planet to get behind some interesting causes. He is the creative director of the Live Earth global concerts that aim to promote awareness of climate change. Supported by the U.N, with over 190 countries participating, Pharrell wants to “make the whole world sing”.u may as well book a trip to Sweden every week.