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Pharrell: I Couldn't Have Written "Happy" Ten Years Ago

Though he's been making hits for himself and others for years, it's safe to say that right now, Pharrell Williams is peaking as an artist.  Not only was he instrumental in two of the biggest hits of last year -- "Blurred Lines" and "Get Lucky" -- but he's now riding high with his first-ever solo #1 hit, "Happy."  In an interview with the British paper The Guardian , Pharrell explains that it's only now that he's evolved enough artistically to create a song like that.

Asked if he could have written a song like "Happy" ten years ago, Pharrell tells The Guardian . "No." Why not?  "Because the word 'sweat' would have been in there, and 'booty'. All those words would have been in there," he explains.

What's more, Pharrell says, ten years ago, he had an identity crisis. "I didn't know who I was," he says referring to his earlier material. "I thought I knew who I was."  And who was that? "This competitive guy in the music industry, who admired my peers and felt he needed to compete with the races that they designed. But in life, you're meant to race against yourself."

Now that Pharrell seems to have discovered himself artistically, he admits that he's "freaking out a bit."  "The popularity is not for me," he tells the paper. "It's about, you know, services to others. I know my intention, and my intention is not to make it about me."

In fact, Pharrell says that that if the head of his record label told him to stop producing for other artists so he could focus on his solo success, he'd be one unhappy boy.

"I have to produce people! I have to work with people," he tells The Guardian. "It's my only means of learning, my only means of colliding with foreign energy. It would be like asking Captain Kirk to just stay on Earth."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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