Longtime producer and pop star, Pharrell Williams lends his musical expertise to the film, Hidden Figures. As the producer and composer on the movie’s soundtrack, the musician continues to give us small tastes of what to expect before the film is officially released on December 25th.
“Hidden Figures,” follows Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P. Henson, the the African-American mathematician whom was known for her work in NASA and the Space Race. When working in segregated quarters of the Langley Research centre, Johnson and her colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson made it possible for the first American astronaut to fully orbit the earth. While the film serves as a biopic, in his TIFF interview this past, fall, Williams notes that this story should be a powerful source of inspiration to women of every colour, one to show them that there are no limitations to what they can achieve.
His new single, “Able,” highlights this message of empowerment. “Don’t you know that we’re able … yes we can,” he sings among a chorus of strong female voices. Much like the other two singles that we have heard from the soundtrack, this song has a heavy gospel influence. The main rhythm is heard through a series of claps, and the chorus is dominated by powerful and confident voices.
And much like other music from Pharrell, “Able,” is poppy, but also boasts intricate production. At times the song fuses electronic beats with simple hand claps, and the instrumentation borders along cinematic. The vocals, however, are at the forefront, demonstrating that this song is just as much about the message as it is about pop-sensibility.
Listen to “Able,” here: