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The Very Considered Pharrell Williams.

by Jamal Cassim

5 min read

Lessons from a soft-spoken superstar.

Pharrell Williams is a pretty considered dude.

It’s easy to miss.

He’s above all a showman, famous for: beats, rhymes, skincare, hotels, lapdances, sub-MJ vocals — and a truly ridiculous hat.

But watch a few choice interviews.

See how he handles himself in a masterclass with music students, reflects on the disaster of Blurred Lines with Rick Rubin, or even on a Zoom call with Gwyneth.

Off-stage, his manner is thoughtful. Open. Humble. You can see he’s someone who considers a topic deeply.

Listen to the way he runs a studio session with Ariana Grande – he’s someone with an appreciation for the value of a moment.

Watching the interviews you realise – he’s not just searching for the right words, but the right everything. It’s a manner of truly listening – deeply respecting the question by giving it the grace of a thoughtful response.

It makes sense – consider the way he describes the role of a producer: a mirror. Dealing with creative conflict is about taking off the ego hat. It’s not a technique, but a fundamental shift in the importance placed on communion with others.

That they have value. It’s about them.

It’s the opposite of how a culture of Everything Now regularly trains us. Most of us speak first, then listen. We’d dash off a word, a decision, a choice, a tweet in a second. Because there isn’t too much time for nuance — it’s hard enough just to be heard. And as we move through life as quickly as possible, to hustle, to win, thoughtfulness is a subtlety we don’t always have time for.

Pharrell is a perfect example of the necessary gap between the big hat and the calm mind. Between the larger-than-life persona and the private individual.

Because as we sprint through life, we might be bold, but we could also hope to be a little considered.

Considered, like Pharrell Williams.

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Jamal Cassim

→ A proven business leader to some of the world’s most innovative and successful B2B and government brands including AGL, CommBank, WorkSafe and the BBC.

 Jamal’s multifaceted experience includes the practical application of insight into meaningful growth strategies, processes and digital products. From start-ups to blue-chip businesses, he’s helped launch ideas, scale teams, revitalise systems, and worked with business leaders to level-up their models and approach to brand experience.

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