Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.
Since launching on YouTube as part of the YouTube Original Channels Initiative, Pharrell Williams‘ i am OTHER has managed to tell stories that extend beyond the channel’s central figure. i am OTHER’s YouTube home, where serves as one part of a network of associated content, spotlights content from emerging producers, actors, musicians, and other creators. Of course, Pharrell uses the channel for his own purposes, too. Its most popular offering is the music video for “Happy“, which has been viewed more than 340 million times. TubeFilter talked to the i am OTHER team to see what they had to say about their thriving channel.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to have one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
i am OTHER: Our subscribers have been so loyal from day one and we’re happy our our fans have grown organically over time. We wanted to create a channel for Thinkers, Innovators and Outcasts and we appreciate all of the feedback we get from them every day. We’re so thankful they’ve invested in our content and helped us achieve this milestone.
TF: What would you say is the major theme that unites all of the original content on i am OTHER?
IAO: We always wanted our channel content to be consistent with the i am OTHER manifesto which celebrates individuality, creativity, and forward thinking. Our content ranges in subject matter and tone, but it all speaks to those messages in its own way.
By Ayana Byrd
“Pharrell Williams recently told a magazine that he used to be “the guy next to the guy.” It was an apt description for a man who spent much of his two-decade career as the behind-the-scenes producer, or the somewhat famous singer/rapper in the video with the very famous singer/rapper. This past year, thanks to gargantuan hits, an Oscar nomination and a critically acclaimed solo album, Pharrell became The Guy. Which begs the question: Who is next to him? Her name is Mimi Valdés, and her vision is changing the way the world consumes pop culture.
Valdés is creative director for Pharrell’s i am OTHER, a multimedia company that works in music, apparel, philanthropy, film, video, and whatever else Pharrell wants to explore. Hers is a simple title for a complicated position where she is responsible for an astounding number of things. “Album covers, music videos, live concert performances, I’m in charge of executing all of that,” says Valdés, adding that she is not as directly involved with the fashion side of Pharrell’s growing empire. She is working on so many projects simultaneously that she has taken to listing each on its own index card. The stack is more than an inch thick.
It’s hectic, yes, but her former career as a magazine editor more than prepared her. “When you’re an editor, there are all these moving parts–writer, editor, photographer, and art,” says Valdés, who was editor-in-chief of both Vibe and Latina magazines. After years of unofficially giving Pharrell, a close friend, the advice and counsel that a creative director would, he asked her to join i am OTHER at launch. “I was unsure at first,” she admits. “I had never done this before. But I had to check myself–I have done this before. I know how to create content and this is just a different form of content. Also, I know more than anybody how to help Pharrell execute his vision.” She started in January 2011 and immediately went to work shaping a company built on the idea of innovative creativity.
And then came “Happy,” the 2013 song that catapulted Pharrell to mega-fame. “‘Happy’ is such an amazing little blessing of a story,” Valdés says. A track on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, “Happy” needed a music video before the film was released on DVD. “Originally Pharrell wanted to do something in a black church with a choir,” she explains. “Then I said, ‘I feel like, do what the character in the movie does. He dances through the streets, saying hi to people, doing acts of kindness.'” In someone else’s hands, the “Happy” video might have been four minutes of Disney cuteness starring Pharrell. Valdés, however, wanted to bring on the French directing duo We Are From LA (with additional creative direction from Woodkid), who turned “Happy” into a daringly original 24-hour video that played the song on loop while different people danced. It spawned more than 1950 tribute videos and propelled the song to No. 1 around the world.
Many companies would have leaned on the success of “Happy” for years, but i am OTHER wants to “get involved with everything . . . every medium,” Valdés says. So on her stack of index cards there are projects for potential films, a European tour, set design for The Voice (where Pharrell is a coach), and corporate branding. “We can be a creative agency, figuring out ways for brands to engage with new audiences,” she says. “But only ones that are okay taking risks–Pharrell wants to change culture.”
So does Valdés, which is why she is also creating her own independent magazine. “Kaleido Beauty is an idea I’ve had forever,” she explains about the print title that will launch in December. “When you look at covers of magazines, it’s normally dictated by Hollywood and there’s not a lot of variety. Kaleido is concerned with the culture of beauty, with exploring what people really consider beautiful. And why.” For some, adding another major project to their lives might be a major deterrent. But for Valdés, it brings a deep satisfaction. “If I can entertain and inspire and inform, I am the happiest person in the world.”
Forum Member and the Co-Admin of the Best Neptunes Site On The Planet n-e-r-d.skyrock.com, Maxime Javel, has been choosen as one of the winners of the i am OTHER T-Shirt Contest with the so called ‘i am OTHER Happy Lyric T-Shirt’. What’s even better, his Shirt Artwork has been used at The NBA All-Star Game with Pharrell, now how dope is that guys, his Artwork has been even used at the Le Grand Journal Show, you can get the T-Shirt Here. Check out the T-Shirt and the Artwork below, as well as the Pharrell Performance with Maxime Javel’s Shirt, and make sure to check out his links below.
The NBA All-Star Game With Pharrell (2:07)
Pharrell Williams At The Grand Journal Show
Pharrell & Nigo
Two days ago the BBC crew came out to support the i am OTHER family for the launch of their collaboration with Uniqlo. Jus Ske dj’d the event, and Nigo, current creative director for Uniqlo’s UT line, as well as Vashtie, who designed a few tees from the collection were also in attendance.
The ‘Happy‘ singer tells to capitalfm.com Cara has become “refined” as they start working on new projects together. Pharrell Williams has hinted at plans to collaborate musically with model Cara Delevingne, while chatting exclusively to Capital about how “refined” the Burberry star is becoming. The ‘Happy‘ singer spoke to capitalfm.com during BRITs week on his visit to the UK, and heaped praise on Cara for evolving beyond her original modelling projects.
“I think what people should probably focus in on, versus these specific projects, is on her, her spirit,” Pharrell revealed to Capital’s showbiz reporter Kevin Hughes. “And what she’s up to next. Trust me. “Because the films only get better, the parts only get bigger, the music only gets better, the modelling only gets better,” he explained. “But the spirit is becoming refined. She’s becoming refined, so it’s another chapter in her life.
“And we’re happy over at i am Other to say that this is family now,” he added. “There’s going to be some really cool things. “I’m kind of speechless, he’s kind of blown my head out to the water,” Cara herself continued. “I mean, what an incredible man? Honestly.”
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