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Pharrell Williams Edit Profile

also known as Pha-real, Lil' Skateboard P, P. Willy

Composer , musician , singer

Pharrell Williams is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, fashion designer, and drummer.

Background

Pharrell Williams was born on April 5, 1973, in Virginia Beach, Virginia the eldest of three sons of Carolyn, a teacher, and Pharaoh Williams, a handyman.

His parents considered it important to develop creative abilities of their children. Pharrell spared a lot of time on playing different musical instruments.

While in the seventh grade, Williams met Chad Hugo during a summer band camp. The two also were both part of a marching band. Williams studied at Princess Anne High School where he was part of the school band.

Education

Princess Anne High School

Williams played in a school band.

Career

In the 1990s, Hugo and Williams formed a four-piece "R&B type" group, The Neptunes, with friends Shay Haley and Mike Etheridge. They later entered a high school talent show where they were iscovered by Teddy Riley, whose studio was next to Princess Anne High School.

After graduating from high school, the group signed with Riley.

Through working with Maddison Harper, Williams went on to write a verse for Wreckx-N-Effect's 1992 hit "Rump Shaker".That same year, he also performed a small rap solo on SWV's second hit, "Right Here (UK Remix)". In 1994, Hugo and Williams had established themselves as a production duo under their old name "The Neptunes", and produced "Tonight's The Night" from Blackstreet's self-titled album. Over the next three years they continued to produce occasionally. Some of the results had little resemblance to the Neptunes sound of today. However, some like Mase's 1997 song "Lookin' at Me" from his album Harlem World, and the most definite beginning of the distinctive "Neptunes sound", came with N.E.R.D's "Superthug" in 1998, reaching number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, and gaining them widespread attention for the first time. In 1999, a friend introduced Pharrell to Kelis, they really vibed so the beginning result was producing her first album Kaleidoscope.

Pharrell did music for the Universal film Despicable Me. The film makers liked his genre of music for the movie. Williams has encompassed a broad range of genres, including hip hop, R&B, pop, rock, and funk. His lyrics often pertain to his childhood, family, religious faith and sexuality. In the review of Seeing Sounds by N.E.R.D, Christian Hoard ofRolling Stone said he learned nothing from his lyrics except that Williams was sexually aroused.

Williams has stated that he does not have any direct influences, but has expressed his admiration of several musicians, including Michael Jackson, J Dilla, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Rakim and Q-Tip. Williams explained that A Tribe Called Quest's 1990 album, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, caused a "turning point" in his life, which "made me see that music was art". His style of production includes very unusual sounds, which give a feeling of being extra terrestrial. His beats have heavy percussions and synths.

In 2005 Williams released his first solo album In My Mind.

In 2014 Pharrell Williams released his second solo album G I R L.

In 2008, he founded From One Hand To AnOTHER (FOHTA), a foundation focused on supporting the Pharrell Williams Resource Centers’ learning programs for underserved youth in at-risk communities across the nation. For the past two years, Pharrell has partnered with the United Nations Foundation for the International Day of Happiness to inspire individuals all over the globe to celebrate their unique “happy.”

Achievements

  • Williams has written or produced for some of the biggest names in music: Britney Spears, Nelly, Jay Z, Kanye West, Shakira, Snoop Dog, Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, and Beyoncé. Over four albums, Williams and Hugo along with Shae Haley created an unpredictable hybrid as part of the alt-rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D. The music industry has honored Pharrell with 10 Grammy Awards (including 2004’s and 2014’s “Producer of the Year”) and ASCAP’s prestigious Golden Note Award in 2012. He also received a 2014 Academy Award Nomination for his original song “Happy” featured in the animated film Despicable Me 2. “Happy” remained atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart for ten consecutive weeks, peaked at #1 on iTunes in 103 markets worldwide, and was the lead single off his Grammy nominated album, “G I R L.”

Works

  • album

    • The Neptunes Present... Clones

    • In Search Of...

    • Fly or Die

    • Seeing Sounds

    • Nothing

    • In My Mind

    • Girl

Religion

Pharrell Williams revealed that he believes in God and considers people who doubt His existence to be "incredibly arrogant and pompous."

Williams noted that while he holds Christian beliefs, he also believes in the universe and in the "innate ability to make decisions and to exercise our feelings as human beings."

"How do you see all the stars and think there's nothing else out there? It's so incredibly arrogant and pompous. It's amazing that there are people who really believe that. It's unbelievable," said Williams.

He added, "Every person who doubts is another person unconverted to better ways of thinking. So, with no conversation there's no conversion. With no conversion, there's no conviction. And with no conviction, there's only confusion ... If you don't believe there is a change that is due to you then you will never, ever find it. Change won't come and tap you on the shoulder. You have to be open for change."

Williams is not a devout Christian. Pharrell thinks that there are different routes to God.

"On paper I'm a Christian but really I'm a Universalist," said Williams. "Do I think that Christianity is the only way? No. I think the only route for everything is their connection to God … There's religious dogma that gets involved, something for the greater good and sometimes for not so great reasons … But they give you a way, a vehicle to get to God."

Politics

We’re about to have a female president. Hillary’s gonna win.

Let me tell you why Hillary’s going to win. Everywhere you go in this country, you have red and blue. You got the Democrats; you got the Republicans. You got the Bloods; you got the Crips. Everything is red and blue in this country. You know what else is red and blue? Blood. Blood is blue in your body until air hits it, and then it turns red. That means there’s unity. There’s gonna be unity. So when you think about a night where there’s late-night talk-show hosts and it’s mostly women, that’s a different world. Right? A world where seventy-five percent of the prime ministers and the presidents were women: That’s a different world. That’s gonna happen, and it’s gonna happen when Hillary wins. Hillary’s gonna win. Listen, I’m reaching out to her right now. She’s gonna win.

Hillary’s gonna win. Trust me. And it’s a two-for-one: Bill is the coolest dude in the game, still plays saxophone, and every woman in the world wants him. It’s a two-for-one. Hillary’s gonna win. Everybody laughed at me when I said Obama was going to win, but I knew what he represented. But I know what Hillary represents: She represents a woman in power, and she did great as the Secretary of State. She’s gonna win.

Views

Quotations: There shouldn't be anything absolute, except physics.

You treat the air as a canvas and the paint is the chords that come through your fingers, out of the keyboard.

You sort of have to become what you're wearing.

You get used to it when you feel like you're an artist.

You can't get anything done hanging out all day long.

When you're playing, you're playing something for the world to hear.

When you're dancing, you're dancing for people to see.

When it comes to luggage, I am an underpacker.

There's no better feeling than just going in and just working with someone and what comes out is something that the world knows about.

The element of harmony is super important.

Some of us get a feeling when we hear music and we feel music, and you want to figure out how to continue to feel that.

So when I'm playing, I'm sort of painting a feeling in the air.

Right now, musically I'm inspired by everyday people.

My style hero was Batman. Now it's Tony Stark.

Most of the time, I see what I see, I search my feelings, and then I make my decisions based on my gut - and I don't always make the right ones.

Iconic artists are never straight ahead. Michael Jackson loved Elvis and Burt Bacharach, and uniquely blended both of them into what he did.

I'm like most people. We just concentrate on the present. I live right where the film is going through the film projector and it hits the light.

I'm like a little boy from Virginia. I'm a backpacker. In my head, I'm left of centre. I come from the pool of weirdoes.

I'm always consciously trying to make what I feel is missing.

I'm a fan of music, first and foremost. So I do things from the perspective of a fan.

I like to browse and just hang in bookstores.

I learn a lot from my experiences and collaborations. Most of my collaborations are meant for me to learn.

For me, nothing is given.

Entrepreneur just denotes that you recognize that you're doing things across disciplines and that you're blazing your own path.

The keyboard is my journal.

Remember my first tenet in getting dressed is how you feel in the morning. So if you're not being true blue to that, it usually shows.

My favorite Dominican dish to indulge in is anything with crab.

I think all music is a gift from God.

I love what I do, I love my job.

I love the way Charlize Theron and Kate Moss dress.

I love making music, though. I love playing.

I like the world.

I like anything sweet.

I just like being a kid. I enjoy it, I don't want to grow up.

I just happen to admire everyone that we work with.

I don't want to end up being a circus act, doing my most famous tricks when I'm 70.

I don't know, the artist thing is not me. I love making music, though.

I don't know about style mistakes.

Fashion is more about feel than science.

Living your life 40 floors up, looking out every day on ocean and skies, you see the world from a different point of view. It's like living in a very interesting fishbowl, but since no one can see up here, it's like a fishbowl with a limo tint.

My ideal travel companions are my family.

I wanted clothing that I couldn't find, so I decided to make it.

I only entertain very close friends.

I love playing. The keyboard is my journal.

I love everything that Frank Gehry does. I wish I could have that man build me a Wayne Manor-style mansion, like his idea of it.

I am overly ambitious, because I realize it can be done.

Everything that we experience every day leaves a long-lasting impression.

Music is all of a sudden much more colorful.

I just do what I do. It's not something that should be revered as something that's great.

I answer questions the best I can.

I think music follows the trends of the collective conscious.

I have an all-Japanese design team, and none of them speak English. So it's often funny and surprising how my ideas end up lost in translation.

I'm just very thankful. And I say that a lot because that's the most important message.

I love when things are transparent, free and clear of all inhibition and judgment.

You don't know what people are looking for. What you know is what you feel like might be missing. It's up to the people to agree with you or disagree with you, and you'll know in their reaction.

The simplest way to say it is that I think we're all dealt these cards in life, but the cards in and of themselves don't read one way or the other. It's up to you to home in and cultivate whatever you've got in your hand.

The people have allowed me to - they've respected my choice of wanting to be like, a little, you know, a baby alchemist, and just trying to mix different cultures together and things that I think are interesting.

The more I can make a person comfortable in their environment by taking my ego's hat off and leaving it at the door, then they can dive deep within themselves and we can pull out something interesting that people have never heard before. It's the stuff that's - that no one's ever heard before is really interesting.

Some people say there's nothing new under the sun. I still think that there's room to create, you know. And intuition doesn't necessarily come from under this sun. It comes from within.

Lyrically, I could be so much sharper. Melodically, I could be so much stickier. Musically, I could have so much more texture. So I'm constantly doing that, trying to find new ways to mix things up.

I'm a producer. I'm a musician. And my job is to come in and, you know, put - you know, I treat all of the artists that I work with, like, you know, the way da Vinci was looking at Mona Lisa, you know, there's an interesting backdrop.

I can't say what I'm going to wear all the time. The minute that I say that, then there's something in me that tips off and then I need to break out of that.

Alber Elbaz is just a genius. He'll be in a dinner jacket and he doesn't care what time of day it is: I love that about him. He just marches to the beat of his own drum.

Personality

Height: 5' 9" (1,75 m)

Interests

  • Sport & Clubs

    skateboarding

  • Music & Bands

    A Tribe Called Quest, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Jay-Z, Biggie and Nas, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Tower of Power, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Steely Dan, Stereolab, Adele.

Connections

Williams married his longtime girlfriend, model/designer Helen Lasichanh. They have a son, Rocket Williams.

father:
Pharaoh Williams - United States - handyman

mother:
Carolyn Williams - United States - teacher

Brother:
Cato Williams - United States - skateboarder

Pharrell is 10 years older than Cato.

Brother:
Psolomon Williams - United States

Pharrell is 20 years older than Psolomon.

half brother:
Pharoah

half brother:
David - salesman

wife:
Helen Lasichanh - United States - model and fashion designer

son:
Rocket Williams - United States

childhood friend, colleague:
Chad Hugo - Unighted States - Multi-instrumentalist , record producer

When Pharrell Williams was in seventh grade he met Chad Hugo at a camp for high achievers. The two started out playing jazz, before experimenting with samplers and beats and calling themselves Neptunes.

childhood friend, colleague:
Shay Haley - United States - musitian

Williams also enlisted a third high-school friend, Shay Haley, to form the group N*E*R*D.

protégé:
Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake - protégé of Pharrell Williams

The Neptunes basically invented Pharrell's protege, Justin Timberlake, half his debut album having originally been written for Michael Jackson.