NPR logo
Pharrell Williams Blurs Lines With Daylong Music Video
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/249074830/249129073" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Pharrell Williams Blurs Lines With Daylong Music Video

Music

Pharrell Williams Blurs Lines With Daylong Music Video

Pharrell Williams Blurs Lines With Daylong Music Video
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/249074830/249129073" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Multi-music hyphenate Pharrell Williams hit it big earlier this year with the song, "Blurred Lines," which he co-wrote. Now Williams has blurred the lines of what makes a music video. The 24-hour-long music video for his new single, "Happy," has people dancing and lip-synching down Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles as the song loops over and over. Mimi Valdes, Williams' creative director, was on set for every day of the 11-day shoot, and she tells Robert Siegel and Melissa Block about the process.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And we end this hour with a very different kind of ecstatic voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HAPPY")

PHARRELL WILLIAMS: (Singing) Because I'm happy, clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because I'm happy, clap along...

SIEGEL: This is the song "Happy" from Pharrell Williams. He sings. He writes. He produces. Williams is also the creative force behind an ambitious new music video, though calling it just a video hardly does it justice.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

That's because this video for "Happy" is 24 hours long. It hit the Web two weeks ago at the site 24hoursofhappy.com. It looks like an ordinary music video. There's lip-syncing to the song and someone dancing through the streets of Los Angeles. But here's where the ambition comes in. The song ends...

SIEGEL: But the video doesn't. The song starts over. The video picks up in the same location with a new happy dancer. The hand-off happens over and over again through the course of an entire day. The song plays 15 times per hour. Multiply that by 24 and you get a lot of happiness.

BLOCK: And a lot of work to put together.

MIMI VALDES: It was crazy and awesome at the same time.

(LAUGHTER)

BLOCK: That's Mimi Valdes. She's the creative director for Pharrell Williams' entertainment company. She was on-set every day for the 11-day shoot. She says the video involved over 400 extras. Many of the dancers they cast ahead of time, some they didn't.

VALDES: When we were filming in the streets of LA, sometimes we'd see really amazing, cool people that just seemed like, you know, they would fit in and - or people just watching. We were like, hey, do you want to join? And, of course, people, sort of jumped at the chance.

SIEGEL: While it's a catchy song, we had to ask Valdes: During the shoot, did you ever get tired of hearing it?

VALDES: I promise you, no. It was the weirdest thing. And I swore I was going to get sick of it, and I really didn't because every time it played, it felt like a new experience.

SIEGEL: And so it is with the finished product. You can browse and - if you don't like one dance number - you can skip to the next, 24 hours of happy to choose from.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HAPPY")

WILLIAMS: (Singing) If you feel like a room without a roof. Because I'm happy, clap along if you feel...

BLOCK: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.