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Pharrell Williams: ‘I know what I am. I know what God put in me’

Written by on November 18, 2022

Pharrell Williams joins Zane Lowe on New Music Daily on Apple Music 1 to discuss new song “Down in Atlanta” with Travis Scott. He tells Apple Music about making the song for Travis, embracing a 6/8 mid-tempo dance sound, feeling ravenous when it comes to making new music, making music for 30 years and loving what he does, A Tribe Called Quest, and more.

Pharrell Williams Tells Apple Music About New Song “Down in Atlanta” with Travis Scott…

When you make it and then you listen to it in the whip, that’s when you know. At stoplights, stoplights on the highway, that’s when you just know. And this is just one of the ones. It’s because it’s also hearing Travis in rare form. It’s a 6/8 dance record, mid tempo. Just hearing him in that zone, just it’s great. It’s just one of those ones, bro. You can just listen to that s**t over and over again.

Pharrell Williams tells Apple Music About Writing The Song for Travis Scott…

When he commits to it, he brings what he brings to it. Because when I played it for him, I wasn’t sure he was in the mood for that, but I knew he could do it, because I made it for him. But I knew that he could do it, but I just didn’t know whether he was going to be in the mood for that, right? Because a lot of our music is led by mood, and he just dove right in. And we have been on a high ever since he recorded it that night. It’s just something we just listened to over, and over, and over again. I wanted to hear him in another space. That’s my job. My job is to push. I think that’s my purpose on this planet, is to push. Push in different categories. Push in design. Push in songwriting. Push in production. Push in innovation. Push not in politics, but push in community and entrepreneurship. And most importantly, push spiritually, and push within myself to be a better person.

Pharrell Williams on How He Knows To Pursue a Song Idea…

When it’s already unique, that’s like 50% of it. The other 50% is to make it undeniable.

Pharrell Williams Tells Apple Music About Being Ravenous When It Comes To Making New Music…

That’s really what I’m into these days… there’s just certain pockets in your life of moments when you feel the rush, and you feel the intensity, and you feel the magnetism of something that makes you want to listen to it over and over and over again. And that isn’t always the case. Even if you’re making them joints that you just want to put on repeat, the desire and the hunger for it isn’t always level. It has its valleys and peaks, and right now I’m just ravenous for it.

Pharrell Williams Reflects on Making Music For 30 Years and Loving His Job…

I just calculated the other day, I thought it was only during 20-something years, but Rump Shaker came out, might have been August 25, 1992. I need to figure that out. But it’s been 30 years since I’ve released something commercially. My first thing, when we went double platinum. So Teddy, and also Wreckx-n-Effect. Man, I was so grateful to be able to write on something like that. And it’s been 30 years. 30 years of, I really write. I really produce. I really compose. I really do this, bro. I really do it, and I really love it. I really love this. So I’m up here right now talking about Down in Atlanta with Travis Scott. It’s like, “dont’t Play with me, man. This is what I do, bro. This is what I do.” You know what I’m saying? And I be trying to be cool. You know what I mean? I’d be trying to be cool. I be trying to be cool, man, and I’m going to, I’m going to, because that’s my job. But be clear. This is what I do. This is what I love to do. This is what God gave me. You know what I’m saying? And nobody, I’m not going to let … Listen. My gift will never be spoken down upon. I will do everything in my power to highlight it, because that’s my job… it’s not my fault if you don’t know that you’re fire. You know what I’m saying? But I know what I am. I know what God put in me. I know I’m a flame. I know it. Not just because motherf***er get burnt getting too close, but because I’m here to light a light. That’s my job, bro. And it’s not my problem if you don’t understand it. That was your job as well. You know what I’m saying? I’m here to light a light.

Pharrell Williams on A Tribe Called Quest…

My love for Tribe was always unwavering. And when they got into that whole dispute and there was that whole issue, that broke my heart, I was like, you don’t understand. Q-Tip is the king for me. And Teddy at the time knew that. He knew that. He knew how I felt. Q-Tip was the king. Bro, those guys, those guys, that whole Native Tongue organization set so many of us free.


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