Pharrell Williams: ‘I was inspired by Miley Cyrus, not Marvin Gaye, when I wrote ‘Blurred Lines”

March 5, 2015

Pharrell Williams said he was inspired by Miley Cyrus, not Marvin Gaye, when he wrote ‘Blurred Lines’ for Robin Thicke.


Pharrell testified in the ‘Blurred Lines’ trial, in which Marvin Gaye’s children Frankie and Nona are suing Robin Thicke because they claim Thick’s #1 single ‘Blurred Lines’ ripped off their father’s 1977 single ‘Got To Give It Up’.

“I had Earl Sweatshirt in one room and Miley Cyrus in the other. I was doing a bunch of country-sounding music with Miley,” Williams told the court, adding that it was the work on Cyrus’ music that inspired ‘Blurred Lines’. “It was like blending this country sound with this up-tempo groove,” he said.

Williams spent more than an hour describing his musical process and he how he came to write ‘Blurred Lines’ in mid-2012. Though he admitted a similarity between the track and ‘Got To Give It Up’, he said the Gaye song never entered his head during the writing process. “I must have been channelling that feeling, that late ’70s feeling. Sometimes when you look back on your past work, you see echoes of people. But that doesn’t mean that’s what you were doing.”

He continued: “[Marvin Gaye] is one of the ones we look up to so much. This is the last place I want to be right now. The last thing you want to do as a creator is take something of someone else’s when you love him.”

The trial is expected to run for eight days in total and include testimony from Williams, TI (aka Clifford Harris Jr., who is a plaintiff) and Thicke’s ex-wife Paula Patton.