As everyone has been talking ‘best of the year’ as 2013 comes to a close, it’s safe to say few people in music had as much of an impact from January to December than the genius himself, Pharrell Williams. Today, the producer interestingly announced his signing with Columbia Records, along with plans for a solo album, which according to Complex will include the song “Happy”, for which Pharrell put together a 24-hour music video for. For now, a release date is simply sometime in 2014.
It’s odd that at this point in his career Pharrell would make a move like this. For one, artists with drastically less resources and money are skirting record labels and finding great success (see: Chance The Rapper). The other side of things is the fact that we’ve never heard a solo album from the former N.E.R.D. frontman. Hooks, sure. Playing a show at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago a couple of months ago while on tour with Waka Flocka Flame, Borgore and Steve Aoki, Pharrell simply walked about the stage first singing Frontin’, a song that was my Virgin Mobile ringtone back in eighth grade before launching into a series of hooks that he sang between the recorded verses he book-ended. Perhaps it was this experience of realizing he forgot to save some beats for himself that prompted the move. Whatever the case, this just became one of the most anticipated releases heading into the new year.