Pharrell: I Wanted To Quit Being A Solo Artist After My 1st Album
(AllHipHop News) Pharrell currently has the #1 song in the country and is four days away from releasing what should be his first Billboard 100 #1 album and was ready to quit 8 years ago. In a recent interview, Pharrell explains how he was unhappy with his debut album, how he instantly knew the title for G I R L and more.
On July 25th, 2006, Pharrell released his solo debut In My Mind and sold 143,000 copies the first week, over 100,000 copies less than The Neptunes' 1st week sales for 2003 Clones album. In his interview with GQ, Pharrell says In My Mind had no purpose and he ultimately did not like the finished product:
Talking about the money I was making and the by-products of living that lifestyle. What was good about that? What’d you get out of it? There was no purpose. I was so under the wrong impression at that time.
Afterwards, Pharrell revealed that in retrospect he was unhappy during that time period and decided "the solo-artist path was not for me." Pharrell later admits that his intentional reclusion from the solo spotlight was meant as training to understand how to make music with purpose:
So when I write a song on In My Mind called ‘How Does It Feel?’ ”—that’s the one that goesSee me on the TV, the cuties they wanna fuck—“man, what was I talking about? That wasn’t joy. That was just bragging. I wanted to be like Jay. I wanted to be like Puff. Those are their paths. I got my own path. But I didn’t know what my path was. I knew that I was meant to do something different. I knew that I needed to inject purpose in my music. And I thought that was my path. I didn’t realize that like, from ’08 up until now was like, training. Like, keep putting purpose in everything you do. Don’t worry about it; just put purpose in there.
The interviewer reveals that back in late January, Pharrell was discussing a potential horse-themed song he produced for Usher while on the phone with the singer. Apparently, Usher was set to shoot a video for the Pharrell-produced song and wanted to debut it at the start of the Chinese New Year, which this year is "Year of The Horse". Pharrell compares Ginuwine's classic 1996 song "Pony" with Usher's as-of-yet unheard horse-inspired song:
Now, that was Ginuwine. We’re talking about you, and bringing you to the rodeo world with a record that gives you the license to do that.
Pharrell later says "“I f*cking held a lamb in a Robin Thicke video and people were into it" in order to convince Usher to not worry about when he will release his song and video.
Check out the full interview with GQ here.