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Steve Stoute Interviews Pharrell On “The Tanning Effect”

I’ve always appreciated Pharrell not only for his music (N*E*R*D pops up frequently in my DJ sets), but also for his continuous expansion into new creative partnerships and endeavors.

In a recent edition of “The Tanning Effect,” a series presented by AOL BlackVoices, Pharrell sat down for an interview with Steve Stoute, advertising exec and author of The Tanning of America.

Pharrell discussed growing up in Virgina Beach, his experience producing Justin Timberlake’s Justified album, and how he ended up partnering with Marc Jacobs to design a line of sunglasses.

The Tanning Effect with Steve Stoute

Photo courtesy of AOL Huffpost Media Group

Pharrell on giving Justin Timberlake tracks originally intended for Michael Jackson:

I had been telling him, “Yo, I got these Michael records…and I’ll never forget Michael’s manager saying, “Yo, Michael wants some ‘Superthug!’” And I was like, “What?” I just remember being so baffled and so crushed, ’cause he still is my idol. And I just had these records sitting around and I was like, Man, this kid is primed and ready to go for this. And I had that conversation with him and he was like, “Cool, we’re gonna come down to Virginia and let’s really spend some time and really make some music and you’ll play me those records.” And what’s crazy is as soon as I played him those records, we just immediately started recording and before we looked up, that whole album was done.

Funny story is, when we were working on it, Michael called …he just called me and he was eating popcorn in my ear [over the phone] and he was like, “Oh, so you’re working with Justin, how’s it going?” I remember just thinking to myself, “Man, I wish Michael could hear these songs.” And later on, after those songs came out and they were really huge thanks to Justin’s talent and what he had to offer, I’ll never forget the day that me and Michael met up. And he sang me those songs, sounding like Justin. And he said, “You should’ve gave those songs to me.” And I’m like, “You know those were your songs.”

I find this bit contains an interesting lesson about the nature of creative collaboration: while it can be useful to know what you’re looking for, it’s also important to be flexible and open to other, potentially better possibilities.




Via TanningofAmerica.com

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