Pharrell Williams wears two hats as producer and songwriter for the film Hidden Figures.
Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, the historical dramedy tells the story of African-American mathematicians who helped NASA send astronaut John Glenn into space.
Pharrell compares the process of producing and promoting movies to a favorite hobby, telling The New York Times, “There’s no such thing as skipping a step with something you love.”
Williams wrote “Runnin’” and “I See a Victory” for the film. Both tracks have a 1960s feel, which reflects the time period of Hidden Figures. “Runnin’” is a jazzy upbeat tune, while “I See Victory” featuring gospel singer Kim Burrell is a rather soulful inspirational anthem.
“This was the universe warming up my mind and my faculties, to prepare myself to be able to write songs that spoke for it [the movie],” said Williams. “It’s crazy — the universe just took me by the hand and walked me.”
Coincidentally, Williams was raised in Virginia Beach, near the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton (the setting of the film). He told The Times he was more hands-on with the film’s creative process. Williams expanded to areas outside of music, saying, “I’m appreciative for that wiggle room and to be part of the conversation.”
Hidden Figures is now in limited release (debuted Christmas Day, Dec. 25) and will open nationwide on Jan. 6.