N*E*R*D (formed 2001)
N*E*R*D is an American hip-hop, rock and pop band featuring the production duo The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) and Shay Haley.
The Early Days: Chad Hugo met Pharrell Williams at a musicians' summer camp at the age of 12. Both of them hated the camp. As children, they were also friends with Timbaland and they would all spend their free time creating beats and rhythms and performing in bands. At high school, Hugo and Williams also met Shay Haley, who would dance in Chad Hugo's garage whilst Hugo beatboxed through a speaker system.
The producer Teddy Riley signed Williams and Hugo after watching them perform at a talent show in 1992. They produced songs for a number of artists throughout the 1990s and in 2001, they formed N*E*R*D which stands for 'No one Ever Really Dies'.
N*E*R*D's debut album was released in September 2001. Entitled In Search Of., it was produced by The Neptunes and they used similar techniques to those they use on other artists. However, a second version of the album was recorded live, using real instruments, played by the rock band Spymob. The album was certified Gold in the USA and the original version of the album has now become a collector's item.
The lead track from the album, 'Lapdance', reached 36 in the Hot Rap Tracks chart in the US and 'Rock Star' reached 36 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks.
The second album from N*E*R*D was entitled Fly Or Die and was released in 2003. This time around, Williams and Hugo had taught themselves to play the instruments so that they could play the music on the album, rather than having to enlist another band again.
Fly of Die fared much better than their debut album, in commercial terms. It reached number 6 on the Billboard album chart, with the debut single 'She Wants to Move' reaching the Top 5.
In 2005, N*E*R*D fell out with their record label, Virgin Records and ended the contract, resulting in the band splitting temporarily. Soon after, however, the band began recording material for a third album, using their own money and forming a new label, Star Trak Entertainment, a subsidiary of Interscope Records.
In March 2008, N*E*R*D performed at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, followed by a tour with Rihanna and Lupe Fiasco, as one of the opening acts for Kanye West's Glow in the Dark Tour. They reportedly came close to missing their show at the Isle of Wight festival off the coast of England because they didn't know where the island was. In September that year, N*E*R*D performed at the House of Blues in Chicago. They brought Bad Brains (a hardcore punk band) onstage as a special guest.
The band's third album, Seeing Sounds was released in June 2008 and the second single, 'Spaz' was used in a commercial for Microsoft Zune.
Currently enjoying one of the most successful years in his career, Pharrell has said that he is in no rush to finish N.E.R.D. album
Pharrell Williams has appeared on two of the biggest hits of 2013; Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' and Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines,' and is currently enjoying one of the most successful periods of his already illustrious career. Not one to forget his roots, Pharrell is also working on a new N.E.R.D. album, but told the BBC recently that he has no plans on rush finishing it to cash in on his current wave of success.
Pharrell is in no rush to bring out the next N.E.R.D. album
"N.E.R.D. is the special thing. You don't just throw that [new music] out there. You take your time and you get it right," he told BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat. The group, whose hits include 'Rockstar' and 'She Wants To Move,' last released an album in 2010, when they brought out the mixed received Nothing. Since then Pharrell has focused on his solo and production duties for artists such as Daft Punk, Thicke, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and Justin Timberlake. Now the producer extraordinaire is taking his time to make a quality record with bandmates Sheldon Haley and Chad Hugo.
Continue reading: Pharrell Williams "Won't Rush" New N.E.R.D. Album
This compilation collects some of the best songs recoN*E*R*Ded by talented rap-rock trio N.E.R.D.. The key word here is 'some'; only songs from the period they spent signed to Virgin are included, so there's no 'Hypnotise U', no 'Everyone Nose (All The Girls Standing In The Line For The Bathroom)', and nothing from their most recent album, the appropriately titled Nothing. Instead we have to be content with the group's early singles, some of the better tracks from In Search Of... and Fly Or Die, two B-sides, and two remixes. There's very little wrong with most of this material, but anybody who buys The Best Of expecting a comprehensive greatest hits collection will wind up disappointed.
Continue reading: N.E.R.D, The Best Of Album Review