Pharrell on 'Despicable Me' Inspiration: 'I Would Have Never Written Any of These Songs' Without Movies

Pharrell Williams is one of the most talented, one of the most successful, and one of the most groundbreaking recording artists in music today. So it might be surprising to learn how much inspiration he takes from Gru, the Minions, and the other denizens of the animated Despicable Me series.

“I’m always given parameters and guidelines for what they need for a scene, and so those things sort of drive me into different places that I wouldn’t go on my own,” the musician told Yahoo Movies at the Los Angeles press day for Despicable Me 3. “I would never have written any of those songs if it weren’t for this film and what it required.”

The songs Pharrell has penned for the Minionverse include the ubiquitous 2013 smash hit “Happy” from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, and the five new tracks he lined up for the new threequel (include the singles “Yellow Light” and “There’s Something”).

Just because “Happy” became a sensation three years ago inspiring countless imitations all over the globe, doesn’t mean Pharrell felt any pressure when it came to his next act.

“I’m not a follow-up kind of person,” said Williams, who admitted “Yellow Light” is his favorite track among the new batch. “You just want to continue to have new experiences. And each film informs the music I’m gonna make. So that film required that, this film requires other things. I’m so grateful for the places that it takes me musically.”

Despicable Me 3 is now in theaters. Watch Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig answer kids’ questions:


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