TODAY – Even if Pharrell Williams isn’t a household name where you live, the music he’s had a hand in creating most likely is. He’s featured in this this year’s song of summer, “Blurred Lines,” and he’s co-collaborated on songs such as Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl,” and Snoop Dogg‘s “Drop it like it’s Hot.”
Sixteen Grammy nominations (and two wins) later, the music producer-song writer-recording artist sat down with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie to talk about the path to getting to top of the Top 40.
“I can write pretty much anywhere, but in the shower it’s, like, where it’s, like, really great,” Williams told Guthrie of where he’s come up with some of his best work, including “Hot in Herre” Nelly’s super-successful 1992 hit.
But before he was sharing top billing with the likes of Nelly, Justin Timberlake and Ludacris, he was any other kid growing up in Virginia Beach, playing the drums and going to band camp. “Most of us were kinda nerdy,” Williams said. “Nobody sort of walked in, like, you know, Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl-cool.”
It was at that camp where Williams, then 12, met his producing partner Chad Hugo. By the time they were 19, the duo had helped write and produce the 1992 Wreckx-N-Effect hit song, “Rump Shaker.”
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