Pharrell Williams is doing a little country music moonlighting in the time he has off from coaching budding artists on NBC’s The Voice. The hat-“Happy” music mogul has hooked up with the sibling trio of Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry, better known as the Band Perry, to work on material for their highly anticipated third album.
“We’re being really crazy about the different collaborations that we’re diving into,” the group’s Kimberly Perry recently told CMT After Midnite host Cody Alan. “We got to hang out with Pharrell a couple weeks ago. He’s a huge country music fan, and he also really loves what we do with harmony. One thing that we worked on with him was this song where all three of us sing different interwoven vocals on the verse and on the chorus.”
Perry also dispelled the notion that Pharrell’s distinctive hats, like the vintage Vivenne Westwood topper he donned (and dominated social media with) at the 2014 Grammy Awards, are permanently attached to the R&B superstar’s head. “He does not wear the hat all the time; he does wear Adidas all the time,” she revealed with a laugh.
Pharrell is also dipping his toes in country music a bit on The Voice this season. So far, his team includes country-soul singer Meghan Linsey, formerly of the duo Steel Magnolia, and a soulful rock singer named Sawyer Fredericks, who put a unique spin on a beloved country classic, “Man of Constant Sorrow,” during his blind auditions.
There’s no word yet on the exact role Pharrell is playing with the Band Perry’s album — co-writer, co-producer, duet partner and/or mentor. The follow-up to the group’s 2013 Pioneer — which produced two Number One hits, “Better Dig Two” and “Done” — is expected to be out later this year. The Perrys are keeping fairly tight-lipped about it, but newlywed Kimberly did hint to Rolling Stone Country last year that her marriage just might inspire a tune or two.
“We’re trying to have a little more romance about this new album,” she said. “We are definitely ping-ponging between [touring and writing], but we’re allowing more time for creative flow, too.”