Pharrell Williams Says N.E.R.D.'s New Album Is Like a Rocket... Made of Legos
Ahead of the release of N.E.R.D.'s first album since 2005, Pharrell explains how it came together—like a house made of legos... that then falls apart and reassembles into a rocket. It makes sense when he describes it, anyway.
Released on 12/13/2017
There's nothing like going to a restaurant.
Over everyone talking, you can kind of hear like,
a melody, something that sounds foreign.
But you like it.
There's nothing like getting up,
calling the waiter over, they don't know.
And so they go to the back, and you kinda go to the back
to go see what it is that they're playing.
There's nothing like that.
That notion of wanting to know what something is.
I can only get to that if I do something
I've never done before.
It's called You.
'Cause it's not about me.
That came to me probably 3/4 into it.
I was like, man.
Just felt right.
A project that wasn't about me.
Synth-punk with 808s.
Each song kind of comes apart with the same sounds
and the same notes and reassembles
to make a different shape.
Turns into, like, aggressive electronic kinda rap music.
So imagine if, like, you were looking at
a house made of Legos.
In the middle of a song, it just kinda exploded,
and then reassembled using the same parts to make a rocket.
That's kinda like what the songs do.
It's like really aggressive,
it's like listening to Red Bull.
Lotta screaming, lotta angst.
But it feels really good.
It's been like maybe 10 years since I heard
something that made me cry.
I mean, Donny Hathaway has an old song
called Take A Love Song.
It would make me emotional.
But I think I was eating a lot of, like,
weed candy at the time.
So that could be kinda the thing that just
knocked it over the other side.
[Interviewer] Who is royal to you?
There are so many.
But Wes Anderson is like, he's one of the most consistent.
I love what he does.
Bill Murray running across that field made me very happy.
His composition is amazing,
his color way that he uses.
Music that he uses.
I'm not an actor.
In a heartbeat, I would just walk by.
Whatever he asked me to do in his film, I would do it.
[Interviewer] Where was your first kiss?
In the projects.
I was like 12.
In the hallway.
Just a girl I liked.
I was probably so sloppy, I mean,
I didn't know what I was doing.
Some real tongue action.
Sloppy but, yeah.
You kind of end up working all the time.
I hear things that trigger stuff.
Not every minute, but a lot.
Enough to where I'm really grateful.
And then you forget what it's like
not to have to do anything.
And then when you're there,
you're like trying not to pay attention to
music you might be hearing, or craving.
Unplugging is a real thing I'm learning how to do.
Just like any other artist.