Pharrell was born on April 5, 1973 to Pharoh & Carloyn
Williams in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He met Chad Hugo in
Junior School, and in High School they formed a band together,
with Pharrell on the drums and Chad playing the Saxophone.
They were also both members of the Marching Band, 'P' on the
snare drum; Chad being the conductor. After graduating from
High School they formed 'The Neptunes' together.
Pharrell as part of The Neptunes & N*E*R*D
Their first major production hit was with N.O.R.E.'s
Superthug in 1998, reaching #36 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The duo then went on to work heavily with Kelis, producing her
first album Kaleidoscope and Ol' Dirty Bastard's record Got
your money, on which she featured. Mystikal's Shake Ya
Ass and (a then newly-renamed) Diddy's single Diddy
were the first songs on which Pharrell sang, singing the hook
on both in 2000 and 2001 respectively.
In 2001 Pharrell, Chad and Shae released their first album
as N*E*R*D; In Search Of... (electronic), in Europe (where the
first Kelis album was better received), with a style similar
to their Neptunes production. However, the group decided that
they should make their work as N*E*R*D sound different, and
re-recorded the album, with the funk-rock band Spymob, for
worldwide release in 2002.
In August 2002, The Neptunes were named Producers of the
Year at both The Source Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.
Also in 2002, Williams wrote and produced rapper Nelly’s
single, "Hot in Herre", the single hit No.1 in the U.S..
He repeated the success by doing the same with Britney
Spears' single, "I'm A Slave 4 U". But it wasn't until the
summer of 2003 that Pharrell released his first solo single, "Frontin'"
featuring Jay-Z. At the time he insisted the single was a
one-off, and that he was purely a producer and not a
rapper/singer in his own right. The album The Neptunes
Present... Clones was then released, featuring Neptunes
production on tracks from various Star Trak artists, debuting
at number one in August 2003.
"Frontin'" was a big summer hit (the 34th biggest single of
2003 according to Billboard Magazine), and kept Williams'
momentum running up to the release of N*E*R*D's second
funk/rock-oriented album, Fly Or Die, released in March
2004. Williams' rock credentials were further bolstered by his
appearance at the 2004 Grammy Awards, performing The Beatles'
"I Saw Her Standing There" on drums along with Sting, Dave
Matthews, and Vince Gill. Pharrell went home with two Grammy
Awards that night, one for Producer of the Year,
Non-Classical, and another for Best Pop Vocal Album for his
work on Justin Timberlake's No.2 Billboard hit Justified.
On September 9th, 2005, Pharrell performed the opening
single from his debut solo album "In My Mind". The song,
titled "Can I Have It Like That", featuring Gwen Stefani. "In
My Mind" will have 14 tracks, 7 hip-hop tracks and 7 R&B
tracks; featuring numerous musical guests such as Gwen Stefani
(on 'Can I Have It Like That' ), Daddy Yankee, Vanessa
Marquez, Jay-Z and Kanye West (on 'Number 1' ). The
album cover for In My Mind is slated to be designed by
Japanese brand "A Bathing Ape". The album "In My Mind" will
likely be released before the end of 2006.