Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Because I'm Happy
Pharrell Williams is some sort of musical angel in my eyes. Having been obsessed with his addictive and feel-good song Happy since it came out in the summer of 2013, I was really interested in the fact that the song’s meaning and Pharrell’s own opinion of it was perhaps not quite as ‘happy’ as we might think. Having been on Oprah this week, he was reduced to tears after watching fans remake the Happy video, from people in London to Portugal to Malawi - literally all over the world.

Several articles have appeared this week on what makes Pharrell’s song so catchy and feel-good.  It took him 10 attempts to write Happy, knowing that he wanted to create a song simply about a man who had lots to be happy about, but felt that he couldn't write this into a song. Thank god he kept going. His 8th version was named ‘Feeling a Bit Tired But Fine’, but he knew he’d struck gold by the time he got to the 10th version; Happy.

Even musical experts have come forward this week to determine why the song has become such a global phenomenon. It’s been said that so many artists these days try to make music that is a little out there and different from what we know, but because Pharrell’s song takes us back to a more familiar mode of pop music, it makes us love it even more. It’s been said to have a kind of 60’s Motown feel to it so we associate it with pop music that we can relate to. It’s not trying to be too clever or alien to us. And similarly, Happy came out at a time of year when the recession had ruled for quite some time, and what people really needed was a song that would make them feel better about themselves. Radio 1 Extra test their top 25 songs each week to rate which is the most loved song – and unsurprisingly, Happy came out as having the highest ‘passion score’ of any song within the last 18 months.

Pharrell said himself that the song had "Zero air-play, nothing. And the next thing you know, we put out the video on 21 November and all of a sudden - boom. I mean, when I say boom, I mean booooom”. This shows that he didn't even expect great reactions to this song but, yeah, he got one! He was even the first ever person to create a 24 hour-long music video for the song – showing that no matter how many times you listen to it, it seems it just doesn't get old.


Thanks for reading! 



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