"Blurred Lines." "Happy." "Sing." Pharrell has been on a major hot streak lately, producing hit single after hit single with some of the biggest artists in the world. But in a true testament to his artistic side, the famous beatmaker has stretched his limits by working with loads of artists that fall out of his usual sound and/or might not be that huge of a star (yet).
Fall Out Boy's Folie a Deux is a largely underrated album with their fanbase: Its release delays and so-so performance on the charts overshadowed the interesting experimentation that was coming from the group. That included recruiting Pharrell for a rocky-slightly-funky "w.a.m.s." There's even a jazzy interlude!
Before linking up with Pharrell, Adam Lambert had been kicking it with pop maestros like Max Martin, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and Shellback. Then Skateboard P linked the Idol fave up with his sophomore album's groovin' title track, which really should have gotten the single treatment. It's a sassy stomper of a track that slightly recalls "Hollaback Girl," but we wouldn't pin it on Pharrell automatically.
You wouldn't be stunned to hear Pitbull recruited Pharrell for a new single today. But back in 2006? At that time, Pitbull hadn't even landed a Top 40 single, but the superstar producer worked on this blazing Spanglish track, which likely paved the way for Pitbull to work with even more top talent and top the charts.
When you have a superstar producer like Pharrell, it's always a surprise to find him dabbling with indie acts. But after Mac Miller's independently-distributed Blue Slide Park album hit No. 1 in late-2011, it's not too shocking to hear that Pharrell worked on the rapper's sophomore LP. The guys cooked up this dreamy, hip hop cut laced with Hendrix-esque guitars.
While still relatively unknown stateside, Paloma Faith is pretty huge in her native U.K. thanks to her soulful pipes and dramatically rousing live shows. (Girl used to be in a burlesque cabaret and was once a magician's assistant.) She impressed Pharrell enough to have him helm the lead single off her third album A Perfect Contradiction. It was a Top 10 single in the U.K. and became one of her biggest chart hits across the pond. Fingers crossed it can still be used for a proper U.S. introduction.
Another track showing Pharrell getting rocky with this cut off Travis Barker's 2011 mixtape Let the Drummer Get Wicked.
Prior to 2011's Little Miss Havana album, the legendary Latin diva had announced her retirement from music with her 90 Millas LP from 2007. Pharrell presented her with the Cuban-flavored "Little Miss Havana" (above) and "I Can't Believe," and it convinced her to record again.
Pharrell is not only the go-to beatmaker, but also the guy to get your favorite artist out of retirement.
Now defunct pop-rap duo Chiddy Bang hadn't even released their debut album before getting the famous beatmaker to co-write and produce a track for them. "The Good Life" from 2010 was a little more electronic than we're used to hearing from the superstar, but the rhythmic drums are signature Pharrell.