'Individuality Is The New Wealth'
Pharrell Williams never seemed to be your typical rapper. In school, he wasn’t the cool guy. Pharrell once stated that he was a nerd and often did things that stood out from most of his peers. He met his producing partner, Chad Hugo, during seventh grade band camp. The two friends formed a group called the Neptunes and by the time they graduated high school, the Neptunes were signed with top producer Ted Riley. During the 1990s Pharell and the Neptunes found success writing and producing songs. It obvious that Pharrell had that rare gift for creating music that was always one step ahead of the curve.
Things turned around in 2006 when he released his first solo single, “In My Mind,” when the album flopped. It was a long time before he realised the reason behind it – he wasn’t being true to himself. In an interview, he described it as trying to “be like my peers—the Jays and the Puffs of the world, who make great music. But their purposes and their intentions are just completely different than what I have discovered in myself.”
Today, his music serves a much higher purpose. After realising that he’d never felt fully at home in the world of hardcore hip-hop; he took his wealth, time and energy and created i am OTHER, an organisation committed to reaching young people who recognise that they are different and helping them use their unique talents to launch innovative ventures. His mission statement “We are proud to be different and believe that individuality is the new wealth” focuses on giving a voice to kids who were like himself. At i am OTHER, Pharrell funded and mentored kids who wanted to break into all of the fields to which he had access to – fashion and entertainment, tech and manufacturing. He drew on the talent and creativity of the young people who had grown up on his music.
For BKC, discovering our lifes works through embracing our otherness has been the key to todays achievements. In the beginning we didn’t know where our path would take us in fact we barely had a path but what we did have was purpose – a purpose to do something different. We injected this purpose into designing, creating and delivering the lifestyle that BKC serves to today’s young society.
Written By – Abi Robles (220616)