If “Happy” Were Sad

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
March 27 2014 2:31 PM

If “Happy” Were Sad

476345137-singer-pharrell-williams-performs-onstage-during-the
Woodkid gives Pharrell's "Happy" a somber remix.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jack-of-all-trades artist Yoann Lemoine, who records under the name Woodkid, played a vital role in conceptualizing the ambitious 24 Hours of “Happy” interactive video for Pharrell’s chart-topping hit. Now, months later, it seems he’s still as hooked on the song as the rest of us. Perhaps taking a cue from the Gregory Brothers, Woodkid has released his own “sad” remix of the song.

While the Gregory Brothers’ purposefully bleak cover, made by moving the song from a major to a minor key, was more tongue-in-cheek, Woodkid’s is legitimately affecting. Isolating Pharrell’s vocals, he strips away the original track’s memorable funky beat and replaces it with a moody orchestral bed of violin and piano. No matter my mood, I actually prefer it to the original. (Via Stereogum.)

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.

  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Dec. 19 2014 4:15 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? Staff writer Lily Hay Newman shares what stories intrigued her at the magazine this week.