Pharrell Williams Talks Reinventing Himself, His Time in High School, and Miley Cyrus

Pharrell Williams is an enigma. Underneath the surface of that barely ageing body is one of the hardest working, most innovative producers who manages to churn out beat after beat that both contain his signature sound, but are also sonically different from anything else that he’s done. He’s a musician who puts a part of himself into everything that he creates, yet he’s still capable of maintaining some mystery.

Gracing Complex’s latest digital cover (which, in and of itself is worth your time just scrolling up and down the page as these digital covers are incredibly interactive and aesthetically mesmerizing), Joe La Puma takes a stab at “[cracking] the Pharrell Williams code” as the two discuss the importance of reinvention, his involvement in “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky,” Miley Cyrus, and more. Read some of the highlights from the interview below, and check out the rest of the insightful interview at Complex.

On the need to reinvent himself
“I try to do it every day. We all evolve. That’s not specific to me. It’s something I don’t fight [...] The universe is going to continue to evolve, and the ultimate feat in that experience is the perspective of awareness.”

On what he was like in high school
“I was a maverick. I never belonged to anything, and while I would love to sit here and act like it was all on propose, the only way I could ever make sense of that is because I continued to be like, “Fuck it.” Nobody fucked with me anyway. I had friends, I wasn’t hated or anything, and I wasn’t totally picked on [...] I always had this ‘I ain’t got nothing to lose’ attitude. Because I didn’t have much.”

On Miley Cyrus
“[It's] tough to be that age, and to have to make all those decisions yourself. And it’s the people you’re surrounded by, too. I’m not worried about Miley. I’ve seen her soul in action. I know her voice, her voice is crazy. I keep saying it to everybody. You gotta remember, she’s 20 years old and enjoying her freedom. When you see her, when you read her words, and you listen to her musical choices, and you look at what she’s wearing—I’m not talking about when she goes on stage, I’m talking about everyday dressing—she shuts it the fuck down. Not too many people understand the Chanel vocabulary like her. Like, she’s a problem.

THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT PHARRELL

(Complex)