Pharrell Williams has had his hand in plenty of hits from a number of huge artists throughout the years, and now he’s focusing on cultivating another star.
Meet Buddy, an 18-year-old Compton native, signed to Pharrell’s recently formed label I Am Other.
“My homeboy Scott Vener [music supervisor for Entourage, How To Make It In America, 90210 and more] came to the studio one night, and he showed me a video,” Pharrell told XXLMag.com. “I saw this kid freestyling over ‘Flava in Ya Ear,’ and he shot his own video to it, and I was buggin’ out. A) what’s he know about an instrumental like that? B) why is he dumbin’ all over it?”
That was a couple years ago, shortly before Buddy’s 16th birthday. The two met a few days later, and not long after that, the partnership began.
“I’m tryna set up a movement,” said Buddy, who’s now in college. “I’m really trying to put out a bunch of good music that’s positive and stay fun. [I'm] coming from Compton, with the reputation along with it, and I just wanna start anew. Show them a whole ‘nother side of the city. I grew up around it, but I didn’t grow up in it.”
Pharrell is confident that the up-and-comer will make his presence felt.
“The way he thinks, and his ability to articulate that is just—I hadn’t seen anything like it,” Skateboard P said. “I was like, man, this guy, he is I Am Other. He’s not some ordinary child. He’s a kid that thinks outside of the box. He’s on his way to being one of those super special artists.”
Above, you can check out Buddy’s debut video, “Awesome Awesome,” with an appearance by Pharrell and produced by The Neptunes. —Adam Fleischer