Multitalented musician Pharrell Williams and "superflat" fine artist Takashi Murakami have teamed up for another collaboration that is both visually and sonically awesome.
For Murakami's feature-length film Jellyfish Eyes (which The Creators Project talked to the artist about last year), the duo debuted a special remix video that sees the lighter side of Murakami's foray into filmmaking, with Pharrell getting transformed into an anime character. The song and video, a remix of the movie's theme song "Last Night, Good Night" by livetune, features characters from the film dancing alongside virtual vixen and pop sensation Hatsune Miku, plus Pharrell's already-famous Vivienne Westwood hat.
Says Pharrell, of "Last Night, Good Night (Re:Dialed) -Pharrell Williams Remix-": "As we have collaborated in the past, it was only natural for me to say yes when Takashi reached out. We met at his office in Tokyo and he presented the project to me. Within 15 minutes I knew what I had to do. I think it took a few more weeks for me to come up with the music." The result is an ethereal, pulsating groove, replete with the steady sounds of breathing beneath the synthetic songstress' synthesized croons.
Still image from the music video for "Last Night, Good Night (Re:Dialed) -Pharrell Williams Remix-".
It's the humble "somehow" that has us guessing. At this point, Williams and Murakami are already the kind of old friends whose collaborations from Simple Things through "Last Night, Good Night" have become something of a science. "We're both professionals at our own craft, we both started with humble means, and we both seem to be kids living in grown up bodies," says Pharrell, "So I would say we have similarities. I don't think we differ on anything; we both aspire to take people somewhere else with our work."
Murakami echoes the sentiment: "When we first met, he was already a big name and yet he approached me in an incredibly humble and courteous manner, leaving me with great admiration for his humanity. Even now, after such an incredibly massive breakthrough year, his attitude hasn't changed a bit. I think of him not only as one of the greatest artists around but also as a role model to look up to."
The first time they met, the machinery was already revving into full-gear. "I think we first met in LA at his MOCA retrospective; we sat at the dinner together," Pharrell Williams tells the Creators Project. "What I love about Takashi is his willingness to listen to ideas. We met again in Tokyo soon after. I wanted to collaborate with an artist on my Simple Things project, so I made a presentation at his Kaikai Kiki office thinking, 'Why not aim for the sky?' I was waiting for him to send me on my way, but he started sketching ideas right away. When I left, Takashi had already gone way beyond what I was hoping could happen, and that was only on paper so you can imagine how I felt when I saw the finished piece."
In the end, it's all about making the fantastic real, and in such a way that even Pharrell got to check something off his bucket list. When asked if he preferred being made into a character from a cartoon or an anime, Williams was conclusive. "Anime," he succinctly decides. "It's always been a dream of mine, so seeing the video come together for this remix was incredible." We have to agree.
Re-visit our documentary on Murakami in which he discusses Jellyfish Eyes below:
Image credits: © Crypton Future Media, INC. ©2014 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai KikiCo., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.