(Photo: PAOLA KUDACKI for GQ Magazine, February 2014)
Pharrell didn't trek his way to solo stardom without hitting a few detours along the way. After years of success as a producer/songwriter, 2013 marked a new chapter in Skateboard P's career, but he isn't too big to admit his mistakes.
In the latest issue of GQ magazine, P opens up about his new album and making bad music moves, namely his last solo album, In My Mind. “I wrote those songs out of ego," he admits. "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."
In My Mind went on to sell more than 800,000 copies, powered in part by the single "Can I Have It Like That," featuring Gwen Stefani. As a full solo effort however, P confessed that it wasn't his most authentic work. “That was just bragging," said the now 40-year-old married father. "I wanted to be like Jay[Z]. I wanted to be like Puff[y]. 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.”
Finding that purpose eventually led P to a new creative space. Before his latest single "Happy" landed an Oscar nod and topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts, the Virginia Beach-born talent was already having a pretty good music run. In 2013 he was featured on two mega-singles, "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." In January of this year, he won four Grammys, landed a tour spot opening for Bruno Mars and is gearing up for the March 3 release of his third solo album G I R L — which recently sparked controversy over the exclusion of Black women on the cover.
The title pays homage to his entire female fan base, P explained. “I instantly knew that the name of the album was called G I R L, and the reason why is because women and girls, for the most part, have just been so loyal to me and supported me."
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