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Photos by Gareth Cattermole, Pharrell Williams has likened working on ‘The Lion King‘ to an “apprenticeship” or “college” because he was surrounded by so many legends. The ‘Happy‘ hitmaker collaborated on the soundtrack to the new live action remake of the Disney animated hit and he admits it was a “gift” to be around such “legendary” musicians and work on their versions of the iconic songs.

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Speaking at the European premiere of ‘The Lion King‘, held in London’s Leicester Square, he said: “It is a gift. It is one of the best apprenticeships. It is one of the best – I didn’t go to college but this is college to me. I was working around nothing but legends. It’s such an interesting thing because I know the original but to see the actual thing, what we’ve been working on for this new version, it just continues to blow my mind because you know where it came from and you know where it’s heading. It’s like what is this life.”

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And Williams admits the movie is a particularly “big” project for him as he is thrilled to see positive hopeful stories coming out from Africa. He added: “I just wanted to stay out of the way. There’s so many legends. It’s just things you can’t really put into a sentence. ‘Oh I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to wake up today and I’m going to work with this person and this person and this person and this person and this person today.’ And it’s on a legendary project and tells a story in a continent that needs as much beautiful positive hopeful stories as we can get. Africa. I mean how many times do we see stories that come out that give hope to all races. I’m honoured to be a part of it … Culturally for my DNA, this is big for us.”

‘The Lion King’ Featurette With Pharrell & Co.

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Pharrell With Prince Harry & Meghan Markle
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Pharrell With Hans Zimmer
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Beyonce & Pharrell
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Florence Kasumba, Seth Rogen, Elton John, Beyonce & Pharrell
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Pharrell With Elton John
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Keegan-Michael Key, Florence Kasumba, Seth Rogen, Elton John, Beyonce, Pharrell, Billy Eichner, Jon Favreau & Hans Zimmer
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*instagram.com/pwilliamsworld
*femalefirst.co.uk