Pharrell – “Happy (Woodkid Sad Remix)” (Stereogum Premiere)

By Chris DeVille / March 26, 2014

A sad version of “Happy” is something that should collapse the space-time continuum or something, but Woodkid — Polish-born, French-raised director, designer and chamber-pop musician Yoann Lemoine — has given Pharrell’s #1 smash a string-laden treatment that’s more likely to tug at your heart than move your feet. The man who directed the videos for wistful pop anthems such as Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” Lana Del Rey’s “Born To Die” and Drake/Rihanna’s “Take Care” has cast Pharrell’s unmistakable vocal against an entirely different instrumental track, with a piano-led orchestra swelling through a wrenching new chord progression. The resulting emotional contrast is powerfully bittersweet, and while it might not pack the dance floor like the original “Happy,” this is the version I could see myself listening to on repeat. Check it out below.

In other Woodkid news, he collaborated with artist JR and modern dancer Lil Buck on a Pièce d’Occasion for the New York City Ballet to be performed in late April and early May. Get more details here.