Pharrell Williams has got to be the happiest guy because it seems nowadays he is singing about how happy he is everywhere. “Because I’m happy” Is on the lips of people of all ages, all races, all over the world. We have to take notice of this guy because his songs are the greatest of hits on the song charts recently. Most artists can only dream about having the successful year that Pharrell has had this past year. He also sang and co-wrote the song, Get Lucky. He produced and co-wrote the song Blurred Lines but it is with his first solo number one that featured himself that became the greatest hit of all.
Billboard Magazine ranked him the top producer of the past decade. He was behind hits for Nellie, JayZ, Justin Timberlake and Brittany Spears. He takes pride in being different and in been able to try different things musically. He likes being in the room without a roof, wants to be limitless in style, lyrics and melody. Lately every type of music he has touched has turned to gold. Even the goofy hat he wears is his signature. He even wore his goofy hat the night he won four Grammys. It is a mountain hat designed by Vivian Westwood. His hat is so famous, it has its own Twitter account.
This guy had a clothing line before he was famous for his music. He is a designer with two clothing lines. Esquire magazine once ranked him the best dressed man in the world. Now that one I feel is hard to believe. First of all he is not gay and gay guys dress really well. And when I look at him on his music videos, he dresses quite ordinary except of course for his goofy hat. They say never judge a book by its cover but at times, his cover, says a lot. Pharrell says that he is an extrovert and likes to think in color. Even as a child he liked to wear colorful shirts.
He grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia the son of a handyman and a teacher. It was his grandmother who urged him to get serious about music. She was diagnosed with cancer when he was 15 years old and urged him to play drums in the school band. There he met music teachers and other influences in his life. He gives credit for most of his success to his past teaches and mentors when he says, ”Who am I without them?” without them he would have been a struggling whatever. Pharrell Williams is a poster boy for why we always need to have the Arts in schools.
Grades in all his other subjects were poor. It was the Art classes that gave him a sense of design and the music classes that allowed him to express himself in a fun way. Before long he was taking spare hip hop beats and fusing them with rock and pop. His music flooded the radio. One of Pharrell’s few disappointments was his first solo album in 2006. It didn’t sell and he thought it was full of ego. Now he is 41 years old and married to fashion designer Helen Lasichanh in 2013. His new album called Girl is very successful.
The change in his success he attributes to now having music with a purpose. He looks back to the music of Stevie Wonder and other artists who had a message in their songs. Maybe that is why people of all ages and in all countries are singing together about being happy. He wants his music to lift people up. At least he is learning from the past and noticed that uplifting songs lasted. The song Happy released last July in the movie Despicable Me II, went nowhere at first. When they took it to radio they hardly picked up played it saying that it was too different. Then in November his own label released a video and overseas they love it. The song is number one in 21 countries.
At least we have a simple song that brings people of every color and every age together.