On the eve of his second solo album G I R L, Pharrell Williams sits down with GQ for a candid interview. The 40-year-old hitmaker, who is now married and has a four-year-old son named Rocket, speaks about finding purpose in his life and why his 2006 solo album In My Mind was a personal and professional failure.
“I wanted to be like Jay. I wanted to be like Puff,” said Pharrell. “Those are their paths. I got my own path. But I didn’t know what my path was. I knew that I was meant to do something different. I knew that I needed to inject purpose in my music.”
He also reveals that he has produced a song for Usher called “Year of the Horse,” and that he wants Hype Williams to direct the video.
Read on to find out how Pharrell found his happiness and what Tyler, the Creator had to say about his idol.
On 2006’s In My Mind: “I wrote those songs out of ego. Talking about the money I was making and the by-products of living that lifestyle. What was good about that? What’d you get out of it? There was no purpose. I was so under the wrong impression at that time.”
On the title of his new album: “I instantly knew that the name of the album was called G I R L, and the reason why is because women and girls, for the most part, have just been so loyal to me and supported me. There is no breathing human being on this planet that did not beneï¬t by a woman saying yes twice. Yes to make you, and yes to have you. Point-blank.”
On his diamond Rubik’s Cube: “I was out of my mind. It was ridiculous. But that’s how caught up I was.”
Tyler, the Creator on Pharrell’s influence: “Being a young black kid, especially at that time, I was different from all my other peers. So when I seen that this dude was saying he was open to rock and jazz and fucking skateboarding and all this other stuff that I was interested in, I was gravitating toward it because it was like: ‘All right, I’m not the only black dude who’s probably called weird every fucking day.'”
For the full interview, visit GQ.com.
Photo credit: Paola Kudacki/GQ