Hidden underneath his mountain of money and pile of platinum records, Pharrell keeps the secret to his longevity in the entertainment business: ambition. The New York Times spent some time catching up with Mr. Williams, reviewing his latest endeavors in the design world.
As he approaches 40, Mr. Williams, artist and superproducer, is having the opposite of a midlife career crisis. In addition to an ever-expanding roster of singers and songwriters with whom he collaborates (recent examples include Justin Bieber, Frank Ocean and Conor Maynard), his services are increasingly sought by corporations to remix their product designs. Since announcing in May that he is restructuring all of his creative endeavors under a single umbrella company, called I Am Other, Mr. Williams might as well have put out a “for hire” sign.
When you watch Mr. Williams work, it is not unreasonable to wonder if he is spreading himself too thin, or even putting the value of the Pharrell brand at risk of overexposure. Riding to the offices of his clothing collections in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which is basically a luxury van outfitted with an office, a minibar and a rec room, he dismissed such a notion.
“I am overly ambitious, because I realize it can be done,” he said. “I don’t want to end up being a circus act, doing my most famous tricks when I’m 70.”
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