Singer, rapper and producer Pharrell Williams has released a new music video for his latest single “It Girl,” which premiered on the Today show on Tuesday morning. In it, Williams takes a different approach form his usual live-action videos featuring models and instead uses colorful animated characters to bring the song to life.
The music video draws inspiration from Japanese anime and video game art. Although there doesn’t seem to be a clear narrative, some parts of the video feature Williams guiding anime-drawn girls through an RPG-inspired format of purchasing accessories and riding a whale spaceship that shoots lasers. Williams appears in different ways throughout the video: as a hand drawing in the sky or as a super-deformed video game character interacting with the girls.
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) September 30, 2014
Williams teamed up with Takashi Murakami and his production company Kaikai Kiki, which also tasked the artist Mr. to do the visuals of the video. One cool Easter egg in the video is Williams’ oversized hat, which he wore to the Grammy Awards and can be seen throughout the video as a visual cue for Williams’ character.
The video for “It Girl” also premiered on a Times Square billboard in New York. The song is Williams’ fourth single from his album G I R L, after “Happy,” “Marilyn Monroe” and “Come Get It Bae”.
Williams is also currently collaborating with his co-judge on The Voice, Gwen Stefani, on her third solo album. They are reportedly holed up in a Miami recording studio working on the project, and according to Stefani’s manager, Irving Azoff, she is going to premiere her first lead single in a performance on The Voice this season.
Williams is reportedly praising Stefani’s new work. “You gotta hear this new Gwen record. When I tell you she’s killing it, it’s another level. Gwen is somewhere else,” he said.