OK, so you know already that I am a fan of Pharrell Williams. The post I wrote last May (go on, you’d better read it) was more about his back catalogue as a producer and how he had been behind the sound of many songs I loved, rather than how he sang on Get Lucky. The Grammy voting panellists were obviously reading this blog, as Pharrell won Producer of the Year at the Grammy’s which were held this week, and Get Lucky won Best Song for Daft Punk and all of its contributors.
Last year, as everyone knows, Get Lucky went mad. It went to the top of the charts worldwide and split the general public (including me) into those who thought it was a perfect effortless funk record and those who thought it was lyrically dodgy and musically a rip-off.
Then in November Pharrell brought out a new song and I was certain I was going to find it irritating and annoying – I clicked through a link on Facebook and found that it was ‘the world’s first 24 hour music video’, and that it was the same song being played over and over again for 24 hours. What a massive ego trip! I said to myself. One song will not test being listened to over and over again! Pharrell (who stars in the video himself, but only on the hour every hour) has finally put a step wrong!
But I was hooked. For some reason I was at home quite a bit that weekend, and I spent hours watching Happy…same song, different dancer. The whole scenario is set through a 24 hour cycle in LA (each one is at a different time; the sky changes colour accordingly, etc) and different people stroll and dance their way through it. It’s contagious – you find yourself improvising your own dance moves yourself as you watch (or maybe that was just us). The first one I saw was a woman doing her shopping in a supermarket. I couldn’t tear my eyes away.
Funnily enough, not only the kids liked it, but so did the harder to please husband. When Despicable Me 2 came out (for that is why it was written), there we all were singing away (and dancing round the room) to it. Anytime it appears on the radio, same thing. It went down a storm when we played it on New Year’s Eve. It is catchy in a brilliant way and in my opinion a far better and more positive song than Get Lucky.
The original 24 hours’ worth of the song appeared on this website. You can also find hourly chunks of the song on the i am OTHER channel on youtube, which houses all of Pharrell’s creative outputs. I will just post the 3 minute version here.
We are only just getting to the pinnacle of my story. At the Grammy’s on Sunday Pharrell took ‘park ranger chic’ to new levels when he wore a hat which straight away got its own Twitter account @Pharrellhat and which some people thought was the best thing about the Grammy’s. Many more people just thought he looked like an idiot. He is a man who can carry off some pretty cool couture which would look stupid on most people but this hat is stretching it some. Rather than trying to look like a Canadian mountie, he was making a point by wearing a hat made famous by Malcolm McClaren in the Buffalo Gals video of 1982 – and designed by his then-partner Vivienne Westwood. Was it a point about music or fashion? “It’s Vivienne Westwood,” Pharrell says. “It’s a Buffalo hat. This gentleman by the name of Malcolm McLaren [designed it]. [He has a] huge history. And I just liked it.”
It’s funny, really, as I’ve talked about Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood before.
Anyway, once the hat had roused all that interest, the next step was inevitable. Pharrell’s team at i am OTHER put together a quick tribute to ‘Hatty’. And I love it, because Pharrell and Hatty is now a ‘thing’. Let’s face it, it’s all a load of silliness, but I do like to see search terms of ‘pharrell and hatty’, especially when they are bringing people to my blog.
I am guessing (and hoping) that the comedy Twitter account @Pharrellhat doesn’t last too long. It is so of its time, and it’s not amazingly funny, but on the other hand I am enjoying seeing Pharrell and his crew put a light hearted spin on it all. Hats are serious business, I should know, and they are great for keeping your head warm, but sometimes it’s nice to see Grammy award winners taking the pith (helmet) out of themselves.
What about you? What do you think of the hat?