Is Pharrell Williams the saviour of pop music?

As I step onto the dance floor of my local club, I am greeted by a Pharrell double-bill—Get Lucky and Blurred Lines. Hallelujah! I think, finally some decent music.

As I step onto the dance floor of my local club, I am greeted by a Pharrell double-bill—Get Lucky and Blurred Lines. Hallelujah! I think, finally some decent music. For it is my opinion that Pharrell is going to help create a music revolution that will take pop away from its generic club beats and towards a funkier style.

Get Lucky is the biggest selling song of the year and Daft Punk’s only UK number one single. I defy you to find someone in the UK who hasn’t heard Get Lucky since its release in April. It’s everywhere. I am entirely unsurprised at the track’s phenomenal success. The funky vibes, catchy chorus and almost Latin-American beat make the song universal. As Annie Mac stated, Daft Punk don’t make dance music, they make “real music to dance to.”

The French music duo are probably best known for the synthesized electro-dance tracks from their album Discovery in 2001, such as One More Time and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. The DJs’ subsequent albums, Human After All and the Tron soundtrack were not so successful. Conversely, thanks to the hype generated by Get Lucky, their latest album, Random Access Memories, went straight to Number One.

However, I don’t think Daft Punk is the reason for the track’s and subsequent album’s success. Within a few seconds of listening to current UK Number One, Blurred Lines, a song by Robin Thicke also featuring Pharrell, the similarities to Get Lucky are obvious. It stands to reason that it is both songs’ featured artist who has made the tracks the colossal successes they are.

Moreover, sales of Random Access Memories dropped dramatically by its second week of release. The general public, too, are realizing that it is Daft Punk’s vocal guest star who made Get Lucky the track of the year.

So what’s the deal with Pharrell?

You may recognise his vocals from early 2000s band N*E*R*D, or maybe one of his solo singles featuring Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. However, it is his work as a producer that has had the greatest reach in the music world. Pharrell has produced singles and albums by a range of artists, including Pitbull, Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, Scissor Sisters and Frank Ocean to name a few. All of his work in the music industry, as well as his clothing labels and work with designers such as Louis Vuitton has amassed the virtuoso a fortune of almost $80 million!

Granted, Pharrell is definitely a force to be reckoned with. But is it really possible he could reshape the world of pop music? Absolutely.

Reshaping pop 

Remember when David Guetta became big and every subsequent chart song seemed to be a dance/pop crossover? Or when every female artist tried to imitate Gaga? I believe Pharrell and his funky/R’n’B/electro vibe will be the next ‘new sound’ that other artists will try to emulate.

In all honesty, I’m rather impressed with the state of the charts right now. Of course, the usual dance dross remains, but there are a few glimmers of hope emerging in the form of Passenger, Imagine Dragons and Bastille. ‘Real’ music is starting to break through.  I even enjoyed the last number one, ‘La La La’ by Naughty Boy.

I sense a change on the horizon. And I like it.

What effect do you think Pharrell Williams has had on pop music? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Photo:Lisa EK