Nov 15, 2017
Grammy winner Pharrell Williams sounds warning about climate change with song titled "100 Years"
SHANGHAI — Pharrell Williams is using music to sound the warning about climate change.
The Grammy-winning musician appeared in Shanghai this week to debut a song titled "100 Years," which he described as "a postcard, a sarcastic one, to the people who should be ashamed to call themselves scientists and politicians."
The song addresses those who deny climate change.
"I thought, 'Let me just troll all the pseudoscientists, the ones that don't care about the ecosystem,'" he said. "There are a lot of great fine scientists. We just happen to have some that agree with our current administration in the States. I don't get it."
President Donald Trump's administration has downplayed man's role in climate change and has announced plans to pull out of the landmark Paris climate accord, which was agreed to by President Barack Obama's administration.
However, the targets of Williams' song most likely won't hear it: The song, a collaboration with the cognac brand Louis XIII, won't be released for 100 years.
Williams spoke to a group of reporters and celebrities, many of whom had been flown to Shanghai for the event. Actors Jesse Williams and Zhao Wei were among those present.
In an earlier interview with The Associated Press, Williams struck a mostly optimistic tone, saying young people in particular make him hopeful for the planet's future.
"I don't even know if the new generation needs a message. This new generation cares about others. They believe in sharing for the greater good," he said. "I think the world would be a different place if millennials and women would take positions of power. It would definitely be different."
At the exclusive pre-release, all guests were instructed to turn off their phones and lock them in bulky metal boxes so that no one could leak the song. Pharrell showed off the track he had recorded onto a record made from clay. Explaining that the record would be placed in a vault that was destructible only by water, he made a clear connection with climate change and rising sea levels.
"If we don't, as a species, if we don't do what we are supposed to do, we lose the track but we also lose the planet," he said.
The mood lightened when the audience watched as Williams attempted to play the record for the only time before its official release in 2117. After he struggled to get the record to play, participants wondered whether anyone in 100 years would know how to play the record — if it survives.
After playing the track, Williams emphasized: "Normal lies are not normal, so don't normalize them."