Michael Jackson was a genius at mind control, according to Pharrell Williams.
The Happy hitmaker met the legendary singer twice before he passed away in 2009 aged 50. While many think of him as the King of Pop, Pharrell says he was just as accomplished in keeping people on their toes.
“Talk about mind control, he was a genius! We get into the trailer, it’s a two story trailer, the trailer has stairs!” he said in a preview of OTHERtone with Pharrell Williams and Scott Vener, which airs in the US on Sunday. “He comes in, he’s tall, standing there, two beautiful women walk in, he kisses one. It’s a moment! It ain’t like no peck, it’s a situation. [The women] look Brazilian, and I’m like, ‘Wow!’ He’s the king of catching you off guard.”
Pharrell had offered Michael a number of songs and their first meeting had been to discuss his reasons for turning some of them down. The next time the 42-year-old heard from the Smooth Criminal singer was when he was in a recording studio with Justin Timberlake.
“I don’t think he realised that I was going to give those songs to Justin. So I’m in the studio with Justin, and they say, ‘Got a call for you on line one, it’s Michael Jackson,'” he recalled. “So I’m thinking it’s one of my friends trying to be funny. And I heard someone eating popcorn in my ear, that’s how I know that it’s him. He’s the king of control, I think he invented it!”
Pharrell need not have worried about Michael being annoyed that he had taken his songs elsewhere. In fact the singer was just calling to wish the pair all the best with the tracks.
“He’s like, ‘Hey, OK, you working with Justin? Ah that’s really nice, OK cool, well you guys have a great session, tell Justin I said, ‘Hello,'” he continued. “And Justin was like, ‘Who was that? Michael? Yeah he does that.'”