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

Transcript

00:00
There's nothing like going to a restaurant.
00:03
Over everyone talking, you can kind of hear like,
00:05
a melody, something that sounds foreign.
00:08
But you like it.
00:09
There's nothing like getting up,
00:10
calling the waiter over, they don't know.
00:12
And so they go to the back, and you kinda go to the back
00:14
to go see what it is that they're playing.
00:16
There's nothing like that.
00:18
That notion of wanting to know what something is.
00:20
I can only get to that if I do something
00:22
I've never done before.
00:25
It's called You.
00:26
'Cause it's not about me.
00:27
That came to me probably 3/4 into it.
00:31
I was like, man.
00:32
Just felt right.
00:33
A project that wasn't about me.
00:35
Synth-punk with 808s.
00:38
Each song kind of comes apart with the same sounds
00:40
and the same notes and reassembles
00:42
to make a different shape.
00:43
Turns into, like, aggressive electronic kinda rap music.
00:47
So imagine if, like, you were looking at
00:51
a house made of Legos.
00:52
In the middle of a song, it just kinda exploded,
00:55
and then reassembled using the same parts to make a rocket.
00:58
That's kinda like what the songs do.
00:59
It's like really aggressive,
01:00
it's like listening to Red Bull.
01:03
Lotta screaming, lotta angst.
01:04
But it feels really good.
01:06
It's been like maybe 10 years since I heard
01:07
something that made me cry.
01:08
I mean, Donny Hathaway has an old song
01:11
called Take A Love Song.
01:12
It would make me emotional.
01:14
But I think I was eating a lot of, like,
01:16
weed candy at the time.
01:17
So that could be kinda the thing that just
01:20
knocked it over the other side.
01:22
[Interviewer] Who is royal to you?
01:24
There are so many.
01:25
But Wes Anderson is like, he's one of the most consistent.
01:28
I love what he does.
01:30
Bill Murray running across that field made me very happy.
01:33
His composition is amazing,
01:35
his color way that he uses.
01:37
Music that he uses.
01:39
I'm not an actor.
01:40
In a heartbeat, I would just walk by.
01:43
Whatever he asked me to do in his film, I would do it.
01:46
[Interviewer] Where was your first kiss?
01:47
In the projects.
01:48
I was like 12.
01:49
In the hallway.
01:51
Just a girl I liked.
01:52
Dreamy.
01:53
I was probably so sloppy, I mean,
01:54
I didn't know what I was doing.
01:56
Some real tongue action.
01:58
Sloppy but, yeah.
02:00
You kind of end up working all the time.
02:02
I hear things that trigger stuff.
02:03
Not every minute, but a lot.
02:05
Enough to where I'm really grateful.
02:07
It's bountiful.
02:08
And then you forget what it's like
02:09
not to have to do anything.
02:11
And then when you're there,
02:11
you're like trying not to pay attention to
02:15
music you might be hearing, or craving.
02:18
Unplugging is a real thing I'm learning how to do.
02:21
Just like any other artist.