BFF Alert? During an interview with NPR Music Gwen Stefani revealed that Pharrell helped her start writing music again after she had her third child, Apollo.
Stefani explained that Pharrell had called her soon after she gave birth and invited her to perform at Coachella with him. Agreeing, Gwen then got a tour bus, left her house for the first time after giving birth, and performed “Hollaback Girl,” which she co-wrote with Pharrell, onstage.
“It’s not like we were super close, but [Pharrell] is one of those people that always pointed me in the right direction,” Gwen Stefani said. “He’s quite spiritual, and always said really poignant things to me that changed my life, let along the music we wrote together.”
Gwen continued by describing how Pharrell helped her push past her insecurities and get back to writing.
“That’s why he’s so good on The Voice,” Stefani said “He just has that gift.”
While on the show Pharrell went to Gwen Stefani with a new track he wanted to work on with her. That track then became “Spark the Fire,” which now has almost 7 million views on YouTube.
“It was the first bit of writing that I had done in a long time,” Stefani admitted. “I think after doing Push and Shove and having it not be successful, I lost a lot of confidence. Songwriting, for me, has always been traumatic, and I’ve always made all these excuses. But I’ve realized that you have to just accept that it was a gift.”
Gwen turned to that gift last year when she got divorced from her husband of 14 years, Gavin Rossdale.
“I was down,” she told NPR. “I was all the way down. And I just felt like, ‘God, I gotta turn this around. I can’t go down like this. I have to know that this is happening for a reason.’ And I knew that I had to turn to music.”
Gwen Stefani then wrote “Used To Love You,” which was released three weeks after she wrote it. According to the New York Times, prior to writing this track, Stefani’s label was unsure about the personal music she was making.
Stefani said she was told, “We support you, you should put out an artistic record, and don’t go for radio. It’s over for you, basically.”
However, after John Janick, the chairman and chief executive of Interscope Geffen A&M, heard “Used to Love You,” he knew that Stefani had a hit on her hands. The song then ended up peaking at No. 52 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“It was the only thing that felt good at all,” Stefani said about the song. “That’s what this whole record [This Is What The Truth Feels Like] documents — working through it, having faith, believing in myself and wanting to do something about it.”
The album also reflects Stefani’s new found love with Blake Shelton, fellow judge on The Voice, who went through a divorce at the same time.
“He had been going through literally the exact same thing in literally the exact same time frame,” Stefani said about her friendship turned relationship with Shelton.
Stefani and her team admitted Stefani’s new relationship definitely had an effect on the album.
“[The album] starts off angry, sad, mad and quite sarcastic — and then really does take a huge change, to hope,” Stefani said in her NPR interview. “It’s so great to write a record that’s mainly about being happy, and that’s something new for me.”
And everyone can see how happy Gwen is, including Pharrell, who at the end of last year told Entertainment Tonight he was grateful for Gwen and Blake’s happiness. Although Stefani isn’t judging with her bestie and beau on this season of The Voice, she’ll still be around as an advisor for Blake’s team.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment]