For more than 25 years, Pharrell Williams has been one of the most impactful, influential and celebrated musicians in the world. As a rapper, singer and, most importantly, producer – solo and as one half of the Neptunes with his childhood friend Chad Hugo – Williams has minted dozens of hits, won a boatload of Grammys and reshaped the musical ethos of entire generations.
Known for his percussive, futuristic rap and R&B beats, Williams first broke out in the late 90s, working on music with Hugo for artists on pop’s vanguard such as Clipse, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Kelis. Throughout the early 00s, he maintained a tight grip on the pop firmament, producing some of the era’s most indelible hits, including Britney Spears’ I’m a Slave 4 U, Kelis’ Milkshake, Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl and, of course, Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot, which Williams also rapped on. At the same time, he released records with Hugo as NERD – an acronym for No One Ever Really Dies – and as a solo artist.
Throughout the 2010s, Williams produced some of his biggest hits ever, including Get Lucky, a collaboration with Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers that peaked at No 1 on the UK charts, and Happy, a song for the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack that went on to become the eighth-highest-selling song of all time in the UK and was nominated for an Oscar for best original song. During this time, Williams branched out into scoring films – including The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Despicable Me 2 – launched his own festival, Something in the Water, and collaborated with everyone from New York’s American Museum of Natural History to art collective FriendsWithYou.
In recent years, he’s become just as well-known for his seemingly ageless skin – so it makes sense that, in 2020, he launched Humanrace, a range of gender-neutral, vegan and refillable skincare products.
Now, he’s ready to answer your questions about his long and storied career. Do you want to try to glean Humanrace’s secret ingredients? Perhaps you’re keen to ask after the gigantic hat he used to wear on red carpets, or want a specific NERD lyric unpacked?
Whatever you want to ask, he’ll be answering. Post your questions below by noon on 2 January and we’ll choose the best ones to ask him.