PICTURE & SOUND

“DESPICABLE ME 2,” PHARRELL SING “HAPPY,” “SOULFUL” SONGS

It seemed an unlikely pairing when the first movie opened in 2010 – Pharrell Williams, whose songs have included a graphic or sexually explicit word or two here and there, writing and recording songs for an animated movie, Despicable Me.  But his collaboration with the movie’s composer, Heitor Pereira, worked in the best possible way, his trend-setting sounds making up five of the ten songs on the soundtrack.  

The filmmakers – directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin, and producer/Illumination Entertainment Chairman Chris Meladandri – and the wise folks at Universal brought the Grammy® winner Pharrell back for more with Despicable Me 2.  

“The music for the first film was distinctive and defined the character of the movie.  It was borne out of collaboration between Pharrell and Heitor,” Meledandri explains.  “It was clear that was a relationship that we wanted to continue for the second film.  That process of scoring is something that happens in a parallel to the making of the film, and as we created the musical landscape for the sequel, they’ve done work that is outstanding.” 

The movie, starring Steve Carell as the former bad guy Gru, recruited by Kristen Wiig’s Lucy to help take down the villain El Macho, easily topped the Independence Day box office ($83.5 million for the 3-day, $143m for the 5-day, $294m worldwide).  Pharrell’s music only adds to the hugely entertaining and successful movie; he wrote and performs two new songs, and a third he wrote, “Scream,” is performed by CeeLo Green.  

The film and soundtrack are just the latest success story for Pharrell, who also co-wrote and performs the super popular “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk, as well as the hit single “Blurred Lines,” playing non-stop on radio stations across the country, which he produced and co-wrote with Robin Thicke and T.I.  

See here how Pharrell channeled music of the ’70s to create the sound for his new Despicable Me 2 tracks – “Happy” and “Just a Cloud Away.”  

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