R&B singer and producer Pharrell Williams was in his element at the iTunes Festival in London this week, and thanked his fans for making his song “Happy” from the movie “Despicable Me 2” the most downloaded tune in Great Britain.
Williams is a multiple Grammy award winner as a producer and songwriter, but 2013 was the year that thrust him into the limelight as a solo artist.
In addition to “Happy”, he co-wrote and featured on international smash hits “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk and “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke.
“Happy” was confirmed on Thursday by the Official Charts Company as Britain’s most downloaded track of all time, and has sold over 1.6 million copies since it was released in June last year.
“I think all of the appreciation should go toward the people who bought, like they did it – I didn’t do anything,” Williams told Reuters at the Roundhouse on Wednesday, where he performed to rapturous fans at the eighth annual iTunes Festival.
Asked if he felt under pressure to keep performing at the same high level, Williams said: “I don’t understand pressure. Not because of anything else other than the fact that I’ve never seen pressure work out for anyone.”
“If anything, I just love what I do every day,” he added.
Williams also said he doesn’t have a hit-making formula.
“I want something to pique my curiosity so that’s the only thing that works for me, but that doesn’t work all the time, you know? I’ve used pots and pans and spoons and buckets and beads and all kinds of things to mix it up a little bit. And sometimes those things work out wonderfully, you knowand then sometimes you just do some weird crazy stuff and everyone’s like, ‘what are you doing?'”
He said that creating good music and songs that last is like being in a good relationships.
“Most people stay with people because they realise what’s on the inside is so much brighter and so much more beautiful than what’s on the outside, and they feel like they have a gift and it makes you want to date.
“Music’s no different. It might sound weird, but you’ll get tired of those sounds if they have nothing in it, for real. There needs to be some substance, there needs to be drive and purpose.”
For future projects, William confirmed he has been working with Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, T.I, Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dogg.
About the Snoop Dogg album, he said, “He’s doing what you want him to do but you’d never expect him to do – that’s all I can say about it.
“And the title of it is crazy, and the music sound is crazy, like, it’s amazing.” (Reporting by Holly Rubenstein; Writing by Michael Roddy; Editing by Hugh Lawson)