Pharrell Talks “Happy,” Hillary Clinton, and Cries Pearls for Esquire

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Musician, fashion designer, pop culture phenom, and as of today, the first guy to star in a Chanel handbag campaign, Pharrell Williams wears many hats (including that hat), and he touches on them all in Esquire’s February issue. Mario Sorrenti shot Pharrell wearing designers like Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garçons, and Junya Watanabe Man mixed in with his own line, G-Star. In the feature, he opened up about his new album, an upcoming movie, his hit song “Happy,” Hillary Clinton, and why women can change the world . Read the full story here, or when the issue comes out on January 10. Below, a few gems to tide you over until then.

On how he finds his songs…
“I think everything is given to us. Everything is. We didn’t create it. It’s being given to us in one shape or form. It is a deep delusion to think otherwise. I’m not the juice. I’m not the ice that makes it cool. And I’m certainly not the glass. I’m just the straw.”

On his 2013 hit “Happy”…
“I noticed that there was a lot of pain going on around the world. Then you start thinking about why people might have needed that song, and it becomes very heavy.”

Why he supported Hillary Clinton…
“I did it so I could sleep. So whatever happens, I know I tried. This has kept me up at night. The kind of divisions that this nation is seeing—it hasn’t been this way since the 60s.”

On empowering women…
“Women have a lot to carry, right? Including the entire human species. That’s deep. And still they don’t have an equal say on this planet. That’s insane. Meanwhile, their feelings are suppressed, their spirits are oppressed, and their ambitions are repressed.”

Kristen Heinzinger is the Senior Editor of The Daily Front Row/Daily Summer.

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