Pharrell Williams believes he's been in ''training'' for his new album for five years.

The 'Happy' singer - whose new album 'G I R L' goes on sale next week - tried to emulate rappers like P. Diddy and Jay Z on his first album 'In My Mind' in 2006, and feels it has taken him time and growth to discover the kind of music he should be making.

Pharrell pinpoints one particular song on his first offering, 'How Does It Feel?', which brags about ''cuties'' wanting to sleep with him.

He said: ''What was I talking about? That wasn't joy. That was just bragging. I wanted to be like Jay. I wanted to be like Puff. Those are their paths. I got my own path. But I didn't know what my path was.

''I knew that I was meant to do something different. I knew that I needed to inject purpose in my music. And I thought that was my path. I didn't realise that like, from '08 up until now was like, training. Like, keep putting purpose in everything you do. Don't worry about it, just put purpose in there.''

Following lacklustre sales of his first album, the 40-year-old star was reluctant to release another solo record, but was convinced to get into the studio by Columbia Records following his success working with Daft Punk last year.

He said to GQ magazine: ''They're like, 'Look, we know that you're not interested in doing another solo album. But we know that you're going to change your mind. Even if you're not ready now, we know you're going to change your mind. And since we know that, we'd like to get ahead of it and change your mind and tell you, 'Look, here's a deal. Go make whatever album you want to make'.''