Pharrell Williams describes his experience with the Holy Spirit on Kirk Franklin’s podcast

Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams performs during the MTV EMA awards at the Assago forum in Milan, Italy, October 25, 2015.
Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams performs during the MTV EMA awards at the Assago forum in Milan, Italy, October 25, 2015. | Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

Thirteen-time Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Pharrell Williams detailed his experience with the tangible spirit of God in an interview with Kirk Franklin earlier this month. 

On the first episode of the “Good Words with Kirk Franklin” podcast, Franklin invited his "123 Victory Remix" collaborator on to discuss his approach to life and his relationship with God.

During the podcast, Williams detailed the lasting impact gospel music and the Pentecostal Church had on his formative years, which helped him discover his “purpose” in life. 

In describing his experience with the Holy Spirit, Williams said, “Forget the wave in the basketball arena, forget the wave at the football stadium. You've never seen the wave of the Spirit causing people in waves; you see their heads turning and going up and down or whatever. Meanwhile, they're still simultaneously people jumping up and down.”

Williams described what most people in the charismatic church would call the move of the spirit, which he says is tangibly felt.

“The energy is so thick, arguably a scientist could go in there with the right bag and capture it, take it home, release it in their room and feel the same thing. That is one of the most amazing power sources,” he declared. 

Williams, a Virginia native who has embraced the Christian faith since childhood, spoke of the presence of God, saying: “I feel like it still fuels me to this day.”

Franklin celebrated Williams’ testimony. The wide-ranging conversation spanned from their thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic to Williams’ well-known skincare regimen as well as his new series, “Voices of Fire,” which is now streaming on Netflix.

The unscripted project “Voices of Fire” follows gospel leaders and Williams' uncle, Bishop Ezekiel Williams, the general overseer, pastor and founder of Faith World Ministries, as they embark on a quest to find undiscovered talent in Hampton Roads. 

In a previous interview with Beats 1 Radio show the OTHERtone, the “Happy” performer shared his opinion about how the world of science and religion could seek to understand one another.

"I don't think the church gives enough credence to science. On a scientific level, there's departments in your brain for everything that you think," Williams said. "All of your thoughts come from your brain ... and there's a part where it falls under religion. And certain people just don't have that."

He added, “I think a cool way to bring people together is to say, 'Look, you don't have to look at it in a faithful or religious way. Read it as a text,'" he said. "Replace the word God with 'the universe' and it starts making more sense to you."

Although Williams’ suggestion to swap God with "the universe" sounded to some to be antithetical to the Gospel message, he assured that he places his beliefs in the Word of God, the Bible.

"Now, I know that there's power in that Word. I've experienced it. I've seen it," he concluded. "But everyone has their journey and not everyone is going to believe. But I think it's really important to get us to understand. ... Because if you have a difference of opinion, I think it's smarter for you to understand your difference of opinion than to not know at all."

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