N.E.R.D. recorded several tracks for their new album — in fact, they recorded the entire album twice and still weren’t happy and, in the end, found themselves with nothing.
“We had several [album] names throughout this process,” Shay Haley explained. “It’s just one day [Pharrell] called and said, ‘What do you think about the album title Nothing?’ ”
Shay said the group started with a blank slate and ultimately filled it in with songs inspired by two things: touring and women.
The group has toured extensively since before the release of their third album Seeing Sounds in 2008. They’ve played several festivals, colleges and opened for both Kanye West and Jay-Z. And Pharrell said the touring influenced the type of music they made.
“It’s funny — I think we were blessed in that sense,” Pharrell explained. “The music is very psychedelic for the most part — 80 percent of it is definitely flower-power, counterculture, release and let yourself be free and have a great time!”
Pharrell also said they wanted to tap into a new understanding of the opposite sex and cater the album more toward women. The first single is “Hot N’ Fun” and features Nelly Furtado, who the gang recruited for her distinctive tone.
“We think that the new definition of sexuality is the appreciation of life and the moment, and that’s why people should have sex. For the most part, when you and her are there and you’re having a special moment, it’s like, ‘Aww, man, I could have been anywhere in the world, but I’m here with you! This is amazing to me! This is so cool — let’s do it,’ ” Pharrell laughed. “I’m so kidding, by the way.”
“It’s the ultimate spring, summertime record. It’s the festival record, it’s a fun record and it’s geared towards the women,” Shay offered. “What woman doesn’t want to put on their sundress and stroll through SoHo and have that as their theme music?”
Nothing is slated for release this summer.
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