Creativity

Pharrell gives big respect to African-American women in Spotify's celebration of black history

Multitalented musician and producer fronts latest installment of 'Black history is happening now'

By Ann-Christine Diaz. Published on Jul 10, 2018

Editor's Pick

Pharrell Williams gets poignant about African-American women's significant contributions to culture in the latest installment of Spotify and Saturday Morning's "Black History Is Happening Now" campaign.

In an original short film appearing on the dedicated Spotify hub, the multi-talented musician and producer discusses how black women in particular--from Sojourner Truth, to Oprah and beyond--have historically been a "serious force" in moving history forward. Williams' long-time collaborator Paul Hunter of Prettybird directed the film, along with two others in which the artist shares more thoughts on how integral African Americans have been in shaping social, cultural and structural fabric of the U.S.

While he doesn't call Donald Trump out by name, in one video he cites how the current administration's tactics of "hate" have proved succesful--yet they have provided a powerful impetus for action and perseverance. "Humans are resilient," he says. "They will climb that wall, they will crawl under it, they will go around it. They will do everything they gotta do and we'll help because that's what we're supposed to do."

Williams serves as the new frontman of Spotify's "Black History Is Happening Now" hub, following its launch with Grammy-nominated singer and actress Janelle Monae. Along with the new short films, the hub will also feature curated playlists. It will be live in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Germany.

As part of this next phase of the campaign, Spotify will also be giving a boost to more black female creative talents. When the initiative debuted in March, Spotify introduced its Sound Up Bootcamp to help support up-and-coming African American female podcasting talents. Now, the company will be funding three groundbreaking black female creative talents in film, literature and visual arts to create original content around Pharrell's line that "black women are a very serious force." That work will be showcased in the fall.

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Credits

Date
Jul 10, 2018
Client:
Spotify
Agency:
In-house
Agency:
Saturday Morning
Director:
Paul Hunter
Production Company:
PRETTYBIRD
Mix and Sound Design:
One Thousand Birds
Edit House:
Final Cut - LA
Editor:
Eric Alexander-Hughes

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