Pharrell Williams Named Chief Creative Officer of U.K. Startup ROLI

The award-winning producer will also invest and become a co-owner in the company.


British startup ROLI has named Pharrell Williams Chief Creative Officer. A platform for next-generation instrumentation, the company was founded by Roland Lamb.

Williams, an award-winning producer and songwriter, said of his joining the ROLI team: “Music touches all of us, and for a long time I’ve been passionate about finding ways to share the power of music with more people. When I met Roland and ROLI, I immediately felt we were working towards exactly the same goals, and so I’m super excited that we’re kicking off this partnership.”

He will also invest and become a co-owner of ROLI, as per the longterm agreement between Williams and the company.

The first collaboration from the new alliance will be the “Happy by Pharrell” studiopack in ROLI’s “Noise” app, where, by touching the surface of a smartphone or ROLI instrument, users can tinker with the vocals, beats, and basslines, thereby recreating the hit, or using the elements in a new piece of music.

Other successful ROLI products include Seaboard and BLOCKS, a Lego-like system for music creation launched in 2016.