Pharrell Williams

Introduction

Pharrell Lanscilo Williams also known as Skateboard P is a multitalented superstar. He is a rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. At the age of 45, Pharrell is no new face to the music scene as he has been active in the music community since 1992.  He has worked in not one, but four musical genres: Hip-hop, R&B, funk, and pop. In 2012, Williams created I Am Other, A multi-media creative collective that serves as an umbrella for all of his endeavors.

Music Career

Pharrell has had a very elaborate music career. He has been a member of 2 music groups and has had an extremely successful solo career.

Pharrell had played instruments in band for years. He met a friend, Chad Hugo, in the 7th grade when he attended a summer band camp. In the early 1990s,  Pharrell and Hugo started a 4-member R&B type group with friends, Shay Haley and Mike Etheridge. The group called themselves the Neptunes. The group later entered a talent show, where they were discovered by the famous Teddy Riley.

In 1994, Williams and Hugo established themselves as a production duo, using their old group’s name , The Neptunes. They produced many songs such as Mase’s “Lookin’ at Me”, N.O.R.E’s “ Superthug”, and Kelis’s whole album entitled Kaleidoscope. By the 2000’s, the Neptunes were gaining a wide fanbase as producers. They have worked with artists such as Jay-z, SWV, Blackstreet, and Britney Spears.

In 1999, Williams and Hugo teamed back up with Shay Haley and they formed N.E.R.D, a funk rock Band.  In 2001, N.E.R.D released their first album entitled In Search Of….Since then, N.E.R.D has released 4 other albums and a major hit titled “ LEMON” that features Rihanna.

As a solo artist, Pharrell has encountered great success. He released his first solo single, “ Frontin’” in 2003 ,and in 2006, Pharrell’s first solo album, In My Mind, arrived. As a solo artist he has collaborated with many artist such as Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Solange, Madonna, Robin Thicke, Daft Punk, and Ludacris. He has produced material for dozens of projects including Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid and Mad City, and Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange.

Fashion Ventures

In 2005, Pharrell launched two streetwear brands, Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Footwear, with the help of Nigo, a Japanese fashion icon. Billionaire Boys Club has a store in SoHo, New York and there is an official Ice Cream Footwear store located in Tokyo, Japan. Both brands are sold in retail stores across North America, the UK, Europe, and Asia.

In 2008, Williams partnered up with the French fashion company, Louis Vuitton, to co-design a line of jewelry and glasses. In 2013, Pharrell created a line of sunglasses for Moncler called, “Moncler Lunettes”.

He entered a partnership with Adidas in 2014. Since his collaboration with Adidas, he has released an abundance of collections under the brand. He uses the brand to showcase humanity and explore different weaving techniques and textiles from around the world. Adidas and Pharrell paired up with the French fashion company , Chanel, to create a unique tennis. Pharrell has also announced a collection of clothing with Chanel that is expected to drop sometime in 2019.

Williams has become associated with textile brand Bionic Yarn that creates yarns and fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles. Through the partnership, he has worked to create collaborations between the textile brand and the gap, Moncler, and Top Shop in effort to produce sustainable fashion.

Films and Shows

Pharrell was the executive producer for the 2015, comedy film Dope. Williams has also produced the film titled Hidden Figures. He doubled as co-composer for Hidden Figures.

Pharrell has worked as co-composer for Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, and Despicable Me 3.

In 2015, Pharrell appeared on the singing competition television series, The Voice, as a judge.

Awards

Pharrell has won a number of awards throughout his career for a variety of achievements. He has been nominated for over 100 awards. He has been recognized for his accomplishments on many platforms including the BET Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, The iHeartRadio Music Awards, the America Music Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and many more.

Bibliography

“Pharrell Williams.” Contemporary Musicians, vol. 79, Gale, 2014. Biography In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/K1608006298/BIC?u=auctr_woodruff&sid=BIC&xid=f290e007. Accessed 4 Oct. 2018.

“Pharrell Williams.” Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 47, Gale, 2005. Biography In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/K1606002952/BIC?u=auctr_woodruff&sid=BIC&xid=5c6a1c6e. Accessed 4 Oct. 2018.

“Pharrell Williams.” Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 82, Gale, 2010. Biography In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/K1606004874/BIC?u=auctr_woodruff&sid=BIC&xid=68a18db6. Accessed 4 Oct. 2018.

“Pharrell Williams.” Newsmakers, Gale, 2005. Biography In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/K1618004149/BIC?u=auctr_woodruff&sid=BIC&xid=1ff92bee. Accessed 4 Oct. 2018.

“Pharrell Williams Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography, www.notablebiographies.com/newsmakers2/2005-Pu-Z/Williams-Pharrell.html.

Watson, Elijah. “Pharrell Williams’ Resume: The History of a Hardworking N.E.R.D.” Billboard, Billboard, 11 July 2013, www.billboard.com/articles/columns/the-juice/1569414/pharrell-williams-resume-the-history-of-a-hardworking-nerd.

“Pharrell Williams.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, www.forbes.com/profile/pharrell-williams/#6fb69d0f9bb1.

Fancystatue. “Pharrell Williams.” GRAMMY.com, 22 May 2018, www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/pharrell-williams.

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