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This week’s playlist is a Pharrell Williams special for several reasons – we’ve had Blurred Lines stuck in our heads, after some research we realised that Pharrell has been involved as a writer and producer on many songs by other artists that we like and finally, because E and I saw Pharrell, very briefly, last November and he was just such so cool.

The story is that it was the last day in Paris – our first holiday in four years. We were rushing around trying to get in as many activities as we could that last evening and one of them was a visit to Colette, quite possibly the coolest store we’ve ever been to. It’s expensive and it’s rare that we can really buy much but the books, clothes, art, and music on display is so inspiring that it’s worth the trip. On this particular evening the store was also crowded as hell. The hassled store attendant apologised for not being able to help us because it was too busy. He kept going off and coming back as we browsed. Then he said, off-hand, “There are some big hip-hop stars here you see, so it’s busy.” We thought, ok, might see some cool French rappers and asked who it was. He said, “Oh you know, Puff Daddy and Pharrell.” “Uhh… sorry what? They’re here right now?!” Yes. They were indeed. We made our way through the crowd to the front and there they were. Done with their store visit and ready to leave. I really like Pharrell’s work as a producer and I wanted a picture but I was too shy to ask. So I decided to talk instead and I guess the best I could come up with was, “Hi Pharrell, I’m a producer from India.” Why would he care?! Since I had mumbled it vaguely in his direction, I hoped he wouldn’t hear. But he turned around and smiled and began to tell me that he wanted to come to India and he said something else as well which I couldn’t hear because he was talking and walking backwards as his bodyguards were leading him out the door. He waved goodbye and they were gone.

Here are some of our favourite songs by Mr. Williams.

Frontin’ – Pharrell feat. Jay-Z
I actually heard the cover by jazz artist Jamie Cullum before I heard the Pharrell original. Here are both for you to listen to.

Frontin’ – cover by Jamie Cullum

Drop It Like It’s Hot – Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell
Pharrell was a songwriter and producer on this one as part of The Neptunes.

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell and T.I.
I’m not going to discuss the video (or link to it) because this is about the music and also because we don’t know how young some of the fine folk that visit this site are. It is the song that’s stuck in our heads so it is the song we will link to. I did not get it the first time I heard it, but it has since really grown on me.

Fun, Fun, FunDespicable Me OST
I love everything about Despicable Me. We just bought two McDonald’s Happy Meals to get the Despicable Me 2 toys they were giving away with them. That’s commitment. The soundtrack by Pharrell was the icing on a very tasty cake. Here’s a song from the first movie.

Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
I like exactly two songs by No Doubt/Gwen Stefani and I just found out that both songs have Pharrell involved in them. He’s a writer on No Doubt’s Hella Good and a writer/producer on Stefani’s solo hit Hollaback Girl. I remember listening to it over and over to analyse how the drum sounded so fat and distinctive and then trying to layer different types of drum hits to achieve a similar effect. It took a while but it worked and that’s how I learned to get a good drum sound.

Hot in Herre – Nelly
I can’t believe this song is 11 years old. Wasn’t it just yesterday that this played at every single party in town?

Image courtesy: PharrellWilliams.com