Pharrell Williams, by most accounts, is having an amazing year, and it all started with the Grammys.
“I was genuinely shocked by Grammy night,” Williams told a special issue of W magazine, W:Art. “I had been happy running this career marathon. I didn’t expect any medals. I was particularly amazed when I went backstage after winning the first Grammy and one of my managers told me that my hat now had its own Twitter account. During the show, a fan started tweeting as my hat.”
So began Pharrell madness.
Nevermind that Williams has been musical sensation most of his 41 years, producing for everyone from Justin Timberlake to Jay Z as a member of the Neptunes, and becoming cult famous with his band N.E.R.D., which he started with two middle school friends. When he released a solo album in 2006, it bombed.
“When the record failed, I decided that being a solo artist was just not my path. And I was okay with that,” Williams told W.
“By 2013, I had accepted my role as the…camouflage,” he continued. “I was the guy next to the guy, rather than the guy himself. All my formative years, I spent standing next to Jay [Z] or Justin [Timberlake] or all those kings. I’ve always learned from the masters, whether it’s in music or art or fashion. But in 2013, it was different: Suddenly, it was not about being the cameo anymore.”
Soon after the Grammys, where Williams took home four awards, his single “Happy” shot to No. 1, and he performed on the Oscars stage — with his hat.
Now, Williams has out a new solo album, “G I R L,” which debuted at No. 2 in March, and he just joined “The Voice” as a coach.
“One thing I’ve learned is that this life is a movie and I am a co-creator,” he told W. “It’s a big movie, and there’s a lot of creativity going on. As long as I play my part, it won’t be over for quite a while.”