Pharrell Williams on Daft Punk - Rolling Stone
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Pharrell Williams on Daft Punk: ‘The Robots Are Leading’

‘There’s something happening in the ether,’ producer says of the ‘new wave’ of EDM and hip-hop

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams

David Becker/Getty Images

Pharrell Williams, who turned 40 earlier this month, held his birthday party Saturday night at Las Vegas’ new Hakkasan Restaurant and Nightclub at the MGM. The five-story venue was a fitting spot, as Hakkasan will feature EDM stars including Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Tiesto and more, as well as the Ling Ling room for hip-hop acts such as Questlove and Rev Run.

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Considering Williams is back on the top of the charts with “Get Lucky,” his collaboration with Daft Punk, the multi-hyphenated producer-rapper-singer-songwriter has a lot of thoughts on the marriage of dance and hip hop. He’s been previously featured on tracks by Paul Oakenfold and Swedish House Mafia.

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“The idea of people collaborating is cool,” he told Rolling Stone. “But I think more than anything else I’m just excited about the change, a new wave in music. There’s something happening in the ether, and you know about it or you don’t. And if you know, it’s because you’re probably somewhere engineering the change. If you don’t know about it then you’re probably somewhere missing your call, and you’re gonna end up chasing it.”

An eight-time Grammy winner, Williams has often been viewed as an innovator for his work in N.E.R.D. and as part of the production duo the Neptunes. He believes those at the forefront of this new wave are going to deliver some groundbreaking material. “The people that are leading are gonna do some really incredible things because they’re reaching from oblivion to come up with new stuff,” he said. “So, to me, that’s interesting to watch.

“I think the robots are leading, ” he added. “Daft Punk, they’re definitely leading.”


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