Williams can already be called the man of the year - you can't go wrong. He is the author of the planetary hits "Get Lucky" (co-recorded with Daft Punk) and "Blurred Lines" (with Robin Thicke). His own single "Happy" from the spring album GIRL (exactly like that, with spaces) became the most successful song of the year. Music, fashion, design - everything turns into gold with him. Fascinated by space, the 41-year-old esthete, visionary and millionaire met me at his swank Florida mansion.
Happy has become an international anthem. How did you do it?
I just wanted to write something good with this idea and got to work, but of course I had no idea that everyone would like the song.
Does fame somehow limit you?
I am an artist and I live by my own rules. However, I have certain moral obligations, as my music, it turns out, can influence people. I enjoy giving and helping others, not just consuming and being selfish. I am inspired by other people.
Your production company is called i am OTHER. Why different?
I cannot live in a box. I don't believe in ceilings, floors, or walls - only doors and windows. So I wanted to do everything differently. The title was supposed to be something like a manifesto. In the United States, recently, in questionnaires, they ask you what ethnic group you belong to, and there is always a column “other”. It is this column that I mark, because I believe that there are endless possibilities hidden in each of us. You just need to be curious to understand what our unique talent is. By declaring that I am different, I refuse to be who I am expected to be, I show that I do not want to conform to stereotypes.
You have said more than once that you want to change the culture of humanity
“I am the Other” is a living organism, it breathes like a beneficial bacterium that mutates and multiplies, as if in the era of the origin of life on Earth. We went from primordial soup to a human being, and no one told us what to do. There is such an element of free spirit in the project “I am Other”, but we express ourselves through technologies that connect us with humanity.
You are a talented musician, but you have become famous in many respects thanks to joint projects with others. Why is that?
I started my musical career at the university. Studying disciplined me very much. You must always be on the lookout, because life is an endless university. When I collaborate with an artist or brand, it's like a fast school of life. I find out what kind of people they are, how they live, what worries them. And I reveal their talents for myself. Working with Nigo (Japanese musician, designer of Bathing Ape - approx. MC), I learned a lot about fashion. Marc Jacobs also told a lot of interesting things. Working with Jay-Z, I learned to write without paper or pen. It turns out that you can write on an imaginary canvas. At the same time, the phrase can be infinitely long, and no one will criticize you - you are writing it on your special inner canvas. You must always learn, otherwise your life is wasted. We come to this world to experience.
And what does this mean?
That the best music I write is working with others because I absorb their emotions. After all, people are energy, vibrations. Haven't you ever said, “I don't like the energy that comes from him”? It happens. When I work in the studio, I feel it clearly. I analyze what people tell me about their life on the way to the studio, listen to their voices. My job is to help the rose grow through the asphalt in a way that is interesting in terms of music - so that people say, "Oh, what is this ?!" I can't do that alone. With astronaut Buzz Aldrin, we wrote Pharrell: Places and Spaces I've Been. I am working with architect Zaha Hadid on a project for a house in Miami. And, of course, I just need to collaborate with all kinds of musicians. Music is the gateway to all the things I've done in my life.
What helped you become an artist?
In the Virginia Beach area where I grew up, kids were more interested in guns. But in my house, music was constantly playing. Parents listened to Earth, Wind & Fire and Parliament Psychedelic every day. The aunt included Stevie Wonder. And next door was the Hells Angels, where I heard Bob Seeger and Led Zeppelin. I listened to everything on the radio, from Prince to Tears For Fears. My environment infected me with music. You know, some people have an innate inclination towards something. But that doesn't mean anything, because only you yourself can decide what to do with your life. But the environment can push you. When I went to fifth grade, my grandmother said, “You take my spoons to drum on cymbals. Wouldn't you rather do this at a music school? " And then I went to learn to play drums and met Chad Hugo there,with whom we later founded the production company The Neptunes (one of the most influential production centers in the USA, specializing in hip-hop and funk - approx. MC). So thanks to my grandmother.
Is fashion important to you?
Very important, because clothes are part of your personality. If you are modest, you will wear subtle colors, things that do not emphasize the figure do not attract attention. If you're a creative person, your colors will be vibrant and your clothes will be more tight-fitting. For example, I love bright colors. And decorations. For a long time I wore them mindlessly, competing with others, because I wanted to attract attention. But when I realized that I must write music that brings comfort, I decided to wear jewelry that has healing holistic properties. Now I wear yellow diamonds, emeralds and river pearls, because these stones heal. I love jewelry not for its value, but for what it expresses, because it is what I am at heart. Every day I dress according to how I feel when I wake up - and according to the weather.
Did your father have any influence on your style?
Oh, my father, Farao, was a real man - in everything. He knew a lot about style. He did not say "get dressed", he said "get yourself in order." But today I, and everyone with whom I live and work, dress in such a way as to express their inner world. We wear certain things because they carry a certain meaning. This idea is of key importance in my life. If you write something, it should make sense. If you say something, there must be a thought in it. I once told Jay-Z that I like a rapper, to which he replied, "What is he talking about?" And I remembered this phrase. It's thoughts that make Bob Dylan who he is. He is, above all, a great thinker. He talks about those things that take people by the soul. It changed me too. Therefore, in my new album G I R L it was important for me to express what I think about women, about their importance in my life.
You became a shareholder in Bionic Yarn, a company that produces clothing from recycled plastic waste. So are you fighting for the environment?
We all have only one home on this planet, and we must guard it. And there is one garbage dump around! I have absolutely no desire to join the battle, but the world has given me so much that I feel the need to give something in return, to bring positive energy into the world. Collecting garbage and making clothes out of it that people will wear with the feeling that they are doing something useful for their planet is very cool, and I want to do it.
Where did you get such an interest in space?
I am interested in space as the place where we all came from 14 billion years ago, when our history began. I am fascinated by the idea that the solar system is not even one billionth of the cosmos and that there are many other worlds. I like looking at the stars for a long, long time. You know, astronomers classify stars by color, which is a specific frequency, just like sound. It turns out that the light of the stars is the notes of cosmic music, mainly C and D. In a way, the stars are singing. The twinkling star is music that we hear with our eyes.
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