TITANS

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams TIME 100
Kurt Iswarienko—Trunk Archive

The performer whose sound now blankets the world

Pharrell Williams is having way too much fun. At 41 and still with the swagger and appearance of a college kid, he has been the biggest part of our soundtrack for the past 15 years. And you will never see him doing it without a smile on his face.

When I decided to work on my first solo album in 2002, Pharrell was the first musician I spoke to. I was 21 and ready to say something to the world. But I needed someone to help me translate exactly what that something was. I knew from our first conversation that he was that person.

I will never forget how free and fun those sessions were. There were no rules, loads of laughs and music being created that made you feel like you could levitate. The collaboration I have with him is like no other. He made me fearless, and I’ve carried that with me the rest of my life.

That’s what Pharrell does. He injects that vibrant energy into the music in a way that you can feel. Whether it’s the chord changes that remind you of another time or the melody that instantly grabs you, you are transported to another place. You smile, you dance, you clap along. His music actually does make you happy.

Maybe that’s why he still looks younger than the rest of us. Yep … Pharrell Williams is having way too much fun. And I don’t know about you, but I hope he never stops.

Timberlake’s the 20/20 Experience World Tour, now in Europe, will arrive in the U.S. this summer

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