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"I don’t match up to the brilliance of gospel musicians " says Pharrell Williams
Multi-platinum recording gospel artist Kirk Franklin premiered the maiden episode of his Good Words podcast last week, with Pharrell Williams as guest. The 75-minute episode was “deep” enough to satisfy the saints, yet “light” enough to engage the unchurched listener. “Good Words is a podcast where culture meets faith, and a place where my guest can be real and open like you have never heard before,” said Franklin.
Pharrell took us down memory lane reminiscing on his formative years in the church – “I know what I felt, I know what I’ve seen, I know what I’ve experienced,” he said. The star left Kirk puzzled with his assertion that he lacked the requisite skills to cross over to gospel. “...I know what great piano and organ playing is in the gospel world. I know that lyrically I’m never going to be good enough. I don’t match up to the brilliance of musicians from the gospel world,” Pharrel insisted.
Songwriters who battle the occasional writing block can draw comfort that it took 9 attempts for Pharrell to write the smash hit “Happy.” The Oscar nominated and Grammy award winning song was the most downloaded song of all time in the UK in September 2014. Originally written for the animated movie Despicable Me 2, “Happy” almost didn’t make the cut as the movie’s production team were initially sceptical about it.
Describing the current COVID-19 pandemic as a plague, Pharrell had strong words for asymptomatic folk who refuse to wear masks and unknowingly infect others with the virus - “You’re selfish” he said.
Pharrell’s humility is refreshing and shines brightly throughout the entire episode leaving listeners with a renewed respect for the star.
Future guests scheduled to join Kirk in conversation include Chance the Rapper, Chris Paul, Glennon Doyle, H.E.R and Kelly Rowland. “Good Words with Kirk Franklin” is available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple and Spotify.
Written by Akosua Dwomo-Fokuo, Premier Gospel Presenter