Pharell Williams is one of the most inventive composers of his generation, who regularly collaborates with contemporary vocalists, and on his new single he’s working with 21 Savage and Tyler, the Creator on ‘Cash In, Cash Out.’
Fittingly, Williams works on the frame and music, leading the rappers and vocalists to focus on the words in question. “Pharrell made this so it’s a million dollar beat,” 21 Savage howls during the song’s opening verse. The song proves to be Williams’ first official single of 2022, although his 2013 work ‘Just a Cloud Away’, written for the Despicable Me franchise, has enjoyed something of a second wind of popularity thanks to its association with TikTok.
Williams offered an insight into his creative process during an interview with Time Out magazine. “There are different ways of doing it,” Williams admitted.”For me, I want to chase after a feeling, something that just feels good. And from there, lyrically, the music just sort of sets the template for the words. The feeling directs all creativity. The beat comes first. My job is just to listen to it, and let it tell me what should be fed lyrically, where the drums should go, where the melodies should go. It’s all by feel.”
Williams is also the founder of Something in the Water Festival, which will be held in Washington D.C. for the first time. The festival aired for the first time in 2019, but was postponed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The festival will expand across three stages to encompass the three-day festival.
Nearly 70 artists have signed up to perform this year, including Tyler The Creator, Lil Baby, Pusha T, Lil Uzi Vert, Calvin Harris, Chloe x Halle, Usher, Omar Apollo, Davido, Teyana Taylor, Jon Batiste, Roddy Ricch, Thundercat, Run The Jewels, Dave Matthews Band, 6lack, Ashanti & Ja Rule, Denzel Curry, DJ Domo, Dominic Fike, EARTHGANG, JID, Moneybagg Yo, Rae Sremmurd, Skepta, Slowthai, Syd, T.I., and Tierra Whack.
The festival comes at a time when audiences are returning to the stages after a two-year hiatus, and like Glastonbury, promises to be more than worth the ticket fare.