Everyone knows Pharrell, the man behind funky beats for Jay-Z, N.E.R.D, Snoop Dogg and countless other musical heavy weights, but these days Pharrell Williams is emerging as an afficiando of cool with his new book Pharrell: Places, And Spaces I’ve Been. Pharrell donned a blonde buzz cut and a camouflage tux at the Design Miami event that celebs including Jay-Z and Beyoncé have flocked to.
In this rare sit-down, Pharrell’s eccentricities are on full display, from his affinity for Johnson & Johnson baby lotion to his appreciation of Andy Warhol’s Campbell soup painting. He also revealed his key to success. “If you want to be happy, find something you love that you would do for free,” he explained. “If you could possibly squeeze in two other things which is a way to service humanity and to actually get paid for it, that’s a very happy life.”
The hit beat-maker has certainly made a nice living from his passions which range from music production to fashion and art. He’s found a way to give back through the Pharrell Williams Youth Resource Center in his hometown of Virginia Beach, where he provides guidance for youth in the arts.
The grammy winner acknowledges that the trend of musicians publishing books is nothing new, but the always-trendy producer feels he is ahead of a new wave. “In the music industry they tend to go really deep and I don’t know that it’s time for that in the ether. I think people want to feel good and be enlightened and happy.”
Places And Spaces I’ve Been was born from the hit-maker’s frustration of formulaic interviews, instead of writing a book about himself he chose to feature his mentors, Anna Wintour, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Buzz Aldrin, Takashi Murakami and Nigo. ”If you really want my fans to know something about me, then let’s tell them the most important thing, which is colloborate with people you can learn from.”
With all of his accolades, it’s interesting to learn that the tastemaker still considers himself a student while in the “space” of his wide range of mentors.
As the microphone made the rounds in the audience, fellow Pharell: Places And Spaces I’ve Been contributor Kanye West had a question: “Pharrell, I wanted to ask you about your taste in art and how you develop such a high taste level and influence so many people around the world through pop culture and music and the visuals.”
Press play to watch Pharrell’s enlightening response to Kanye’s question and surprise visit.