Pharrell is the new cover star for GQ's New Masculinity issue, where the industry titan spoke with the topic at hand. In an interview with the magazine's editor-in-chief, Will Welch, about society's perception on masculinity, the super-producer touched on some of his discography, including his Robin Thicke collab, "Blurred Lines."
"Some of my old songs, I would never write or sing today. I get embarrassed by some of that stuff. It just took a lot of time and growth to get to that place," he explained the mag, before getting into detail about the 2013 smash. "Then I realized that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman, and it doesn’t matter that that's not my behavior. My mind opened up to what was actually being said in the song and how it could make someone feel. Even though it wasn’t the majority, it didn’t matter. I cared what they were feeling, too. I realized that we live in a chauvinist culture in our country."
On the flip side, Skateboard P was keen to reflect on records like "Happy," which wasn't even intended for himself. "I wrote that song for CeeLo [Green]. I don't have the capacity to write that kind of song for myself," he admitted. "When I do songs for myself, they're always too complicated, and too smart, with six bridges. Because I'm weird like that."
Pharrell went to confess that the universe set up the perfect conditions to get him to write a song like "Happy.' It even moved him to tears. "It literally made me cry. Like, I was on the Oprah show for my birthday, and she showed me a video of people around the world singing that song, and that sh*t f**ked me up," he reflected. "Bad. I was never the same. So I don't beat on my chest. I haven't been the same since any of that music."
As for his truest definition of masculinity, the star said it boils down to "the essence of you that understands and respects that which isn't masculine." "If you ask me, when we talk about masculinity, it's also very racial, this conversation. Because the dominant force on this planet right now is the older straight white male. And there's a particular portion of them that senses a tanning effect. They sense a feminizing effect. They sense a nonbinary effect when it comes to gender," he continued.
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