Wanna know something we learned today while reading the new Zach Baron-penned GQ profile “Pharrell Williams Is Finally Happy”? Pharrell can, apparently, write a song in five minutes. While working on the soundtrack for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, collaborators composer Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr (of The Smiths fame) were arguing about chord changes, and, says Zimmer, “by the time [they had] finished, [Pharrell had] written a fully formed song.” Oh, and P also wrote “Blurred Lines” in approximately thirty minutes, the time it takes some of us to get ready in the morning.
But despite his ability to fire off hits quick, he knows that he has an occasional miss. In the article, Pharrell reminds us that he once flopped with 2006’s In My Mind. He’s since learned that purpose and hit-making going hand-in-hand, saying, “I wrote those songs out of ego… talking about the money I was making and the by-products of living that lifestyle. There was no purpose. I was so under the wrong impression at that time.”
In case you were curious, here’s a short list of custom-made jewelry Pharrell once made with all his money that we will probably never have: “a solid-gold BlackBerry, a gold skateboard chain, a gold N.E.R.D. chain,” and a diamond-encrusted Rubik’s cube. Just look at that sparkle. Even Pharrell says “it was ridiculous.”
Not to worry, questionable taste is temporary. Since then, Pharrell has participated in more worthwhile art projects, including a sculpture collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami for Art Basel Miami Beach 2013. He can do pretty much anything. As he says in the piece, “I fucking held a lamb in a Robin Thicke video. And people were into it!” In fact, if a rodeo-themed Usher video comes out in the next few months, Pharrell is partly responsible. He said to Usher, “Look at what happened when Ginuwine did ‘Pony’ and he had the mechanical bull… We’re talking about you, and bringing you to the rodeo world with a record that gives you the license to do that.”