Pharrell Williams Joins Music Tech Company ROLI as Chief Creative Officer to Accelerate the Vision of New Musical Instruments for Everyone

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Pharrell will work with ROLI to develop revolutionary new musical instruments that are iconic,digitally connected, and accessible to all.

Roland Lamb and Pharrell Williams discuss new technologies for music creation at ROLI’s East London headquarters.

When I met Roland and ROLI, I immediately felt we were working towards exactly the same goals, and so I'm super excited that we’re kicking off this partnership.

ROLI, the UK startup that has created next-generation musical instruments like the Seaboard and ROLI BLOCKS is thrilled to announce that Pharrell Williams is joining the team as Chief Creative Officer.

Pharrell Williams, the producer, songwriter and cultural icon, said: “Music touches all of us, and for a long time I've been passionate about finding ways to share the power of music with more people. When I met Roland and ROLI, I immediately felt we were working towards exactly the same goals, and so I'm super excited that we’re kicking off this partnership.”

Roland Lamb, founder of ROLI and inventor of its instruments, said: “Our mission is to empower everyone to create music, and more broadly to empower people as creators. Pharrell is not just an extraordinary musician, he embodies creativity. His ideas will take us in exciting new directions.”

As Chief Creative Officer Pharrell will work with Roland to develop revolutionary new musical instruments that are iconic, digitally connected, and accessible to all. Their collaboration will accelerate the arc of innovation that began with the award-winning Seaboard and BLOCKS, which have been called “two of the most compelling music-making devices in recent memory.” As part of their long-term partnership, Pharrell will invest and become a co-owner of ROLI.

In an event today at London’s historic Hackney Empire theater, Pharrell and Roland discuss the question “Why Create?” Sharing their experiences as musicians and technologists, they will explore how technology is unleashing new ways for people to express themselves creatively in music and beyond.

Over the past year more music-makers than ever have played ROLI instruments. BLOCKS, a Lego-like system for music creation, launched in November 2016 to worldwide acclaim. The Seaboard Block and a next-generation Lightpad Block are the newest Blocks in the modular system, which empowers people to create songs and also customize the instrument on which they play it.

About ROLI

ROLI is creating the future of musical instruments. From next-generation keyboards like the Seaboard to free apps like NOISE, ROLI instruments are deeply expressive, intuitive to play, and so versatile that they can sound like anything and be played anywhere. Their expressiveness comes alive through touch. Visit ROLI.com to learn more about “the most important company in music technology right now” (Music Tech magazine).

About Pharrell

Pharrell Williams is a producer, songwriter, and cultural icon who has been at the forefront of music for over a decade. His hits like “Happy” and “Marilyn Monroe” have not only topped the pop music charts but also also defined pop culture. The polymathic creator is passionate about design and has become a major influence in fashion. Pharrell’s contribution to music and culture can be felt worldwide. Learn more about Pharrell Williams on http://www.pharrellwilliams.com

Media Contacts
Will MacNamara: will.macnamara(at)roli.com
Tiffany Desmarais (US): roli(at)maxborgesagency.com
Monica Sondhi (UK): roli(at)brewpr.com

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