Pharrell, known by many for his hit singles “Happy” and “Blurred Lines” as well as his participation on The Voice dropped by NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and gave a masterclass on the music industry. Named the school’s Artist in Residence, Pharrell works directly with many of the students at the university and in this hour-long seminar offered his own wisdom and insights into the industry along with his musical critique.

The hit-maker also invited high-school students attending the Future Music Moguls, a program related to The Clive Davis Institute. Before taking a moment to listen to a few songs written by the aspiring moguls, Pharrell acknowledges his humble beginnings and attributes certain individuals to his own success: “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing right now if it weren’t for Q-Tip.” After listening thoroughly listening to the students’ songs, Pharrell was visibly impressed and offered this advice: “It’s like when the Wu-Tang Clan came out. Like, no one could really judge it. Either you liked it or you didn’t, but you couldn’t compare it to anything else, and that is such a special quality. And all of us possess that ability, but you have to be willing to seek. And you have to be willing to be real frank in your music and frank in your choices.”

Mediated by NYU faculty members Bob Powers and Jason King, the seminar is part of Pharrell’s residency at the university. “The idea behind the masterclass was to have Pharrell work directly with our students, and to give them ideas about how to shape the music they’re making. It’s our mission to train students as creative entrepreneurs, and few artists have married the art and business of recorded music as successfully as Pharrell,” said King. Attend the lecture below.

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