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Pharrell Williams’ year has been filled with a return from self-inflicted obscurity. The artist and producer has always been pretty elusive about his life off the red carpet and out of the studio, but his new tactic is pretty simple: make so much amazing art that they don’t have time to worry about your personal life…and it’s working.

Pharrell spent 2013 chasing “Blurred Lines” with Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and more recently, “Happy,” the contiguously cheerful song from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, which is now the lead single for his new solo album, G  I  R  LNow he’s celebrating his accolades with the cover of GQ Magazine.

GQ‘s Zach Baron sits down with Pharrell for an exclusive interview to talk about the making of G I R L — an entire album of disco-infected, ’70s-soul-addled sex songs — and how it stands out from his previous work.

Below are some excerpts from the interview:

Pharrell on his first solo record in 2006, In My Mind:

“I wrote those songs out of ego. Talking about the money I was making and the by-products of living that lifestyle. What was good about that? What’d you get out of it? There was no purpose. I was so under the wrong impression at that time.”

“The money was too loud. The success was too much. The girls were too beautiful. The jewelry was too shiny. The cars were too fast. The houses were too big. It’s like not knowing how to swim and being thrown in the ocean for the first time. Everything is just too crazy. You’re like, flailing and kicking and whatever, and you know what happens, don’t you? You sink. My spirit sank. I just felt like, ‘Fuck, what am I doing?’ ”

“That was just bragging. I wanted to be like Jay. I wanted to be like Puff. Those are their paths. I got my own path. But I didn’t know what my path was. I knew that I was meant to do something different. I knew that I needed to inject purpose in my music.”

On the name of his new album:

“I instantly knew that the name of the album was called G  I  R  L, and the reason why is because women and girls, for the most part, have just been so loyal to me and supported me.”

“There is no breathing human being on this planet that did not benefit by a woman saying yes twice. Yes to make you, and yes to have you. Point-blank.”

 Tyler, the Creator on Pharrell’s influence on him as an artist:

“Being a young black kid, especially at that time, I was different from all my other peers. So when I seen that this dude was saying he was open to rock and jazz and fucking skateboarding and all this other stuff that I was interested in, I was gravitating toward it because it was like: ‘All right, I’m not the only black dude who’s probably called weird every fucking day.’”

Be sure to head over to GQ for more from Pharrell’s GQ interview, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

SOURCE: GQ | PHOTO CREDIT: Paola Kudacki / GQ

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