Pharrell Covers ‘GQ’, Expresses Disappointment With T.I. Album Performance & Talks (Maybe) New Kelly Clarkson Music

Robbie Daw | January 20, 2015 12:01 pm
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With its February 2015 issue, GQ is presenting readers with The Legacy Project, which the publication describes as “a Hall of Fame portfolio of music makers who made the most noise over the past twelve months.” And there’s certainly no doubt that Grammy nominee Pharrell Williams has made some noise of his own — if not the most noise — in the past year, so it makes sense that the mag would slap the “Happy” hit-maker on its cover.

Photographer Pari Dukovic shot all 18 musician portraits for The Legacy Project, and included along with Pharrell are St. Vincent, Sam Smith, Future, Mark Ronson, Stevie Wonder, Diplo, Kim Gordon, Rick Ross, FKA Twigs, James Blake, Drake, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Karen O, Spoon, Nas and Iggy Azalea.

While along for the ride — literally, as they were in an Escalade together on the way to a taping of The VoiceGQ writer Devin Friedman was privy to a phone conversation Pharrell had with his manager, in which the producer discussed the following:

* T.I.’s recent album: “I wasn’t happy about the T.I. situation. They did that record hoping for radio play, and they got nothing out of it…. Great, you got your No. 1 hip-hop song. But what does that do for your sales?… You want to be camouflage? Go ahead. Blend in. But we want to be that twinkle in the sky. We want to be that twinkle in the sky. And you might not be able to see that star now. But it’s daytime. Wait till it gets dark.”

* Kelly Clarkson’s upcoming music: [We’ll note here that Friedman says this part of Pharrell’s conversation with his manager could be about Clarkson — implying that it also could be about a different person named Kelly.] “With Kelly. I think we break her out by going to the sync department at Sony. Go put her music on Sons Of Anarchy, go put her music on House Of Cards. Her songs are so sync-friendly, it’s not even funny. This album is flawless. Let’s get it.”

* A potential upcoming hit for Big Sean: “Send [Big] Sean an e-mail and tell him he’s got a missile coming.” [Pharrell then calls Big Sean himself.] “It’s not what we talked about, man. But it’s haaaaard. It’s like ghost-of-Shaka-Zulu hard!”

* An unnamed artist in trouble: “I don’t know that I can do anything, bro. It doesn’t look good. I don’t know what I can do. It’s in another place. It’s not even me. There are some serious, serious issues. Music is therapy, but there are deeper issues. I’m really worried. Really worried, man. Well, I have a writer in the car. That’s why I’m kind of talking around it.”

You can catch Pharrell’s full interview with GQ here. The February issue will be on newsstands nationally on January 27.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.