Gwen and Pharrell Talk “Spark The Fire” on The Voice

Gwen and Pharrell sat down behind-the-scenes on The Voice during the Live Playoffs to talk about her new single “Spark The Fire” and the strong message behind it.

She tells the story of how the single came out by being on The Voice and how they pair worked on it over several recording sessions in Los Angeles, New York and Miami.

Pharrell on “Spark The Fire”, “It is a more positive take on torches of freedom. Whether it’s a lighter, whether it’s the light in your heart, the luminescence of your optimism… whatever that light is within the female species on this planet, I feel like the female species have been suppressed long enough. We owe them a lot more respect and ‘Spark The Fire’ is kind of like Gwen saying, ‘Enough’s enough. Who’s got the lighter? Let’s spark the fire.'” Pharrell calls the song “bigger than feminism” and says he so proud to be apart of it with Gwen.

“Spark The Fire” will be available everywhere on Monday and the pair will also debut the song with a live performance on The Voice, too.

51 Replies to “Gwen and Pharrell Talk “Spark The Fire” on The Voice”

  1. I don’t think he gets her melodic sensibilities. Never has. “Hella Good” is a great example in that it would be so mundane if it were not for the middle 8 where Tom sweeps in and takes it to another level with a very unPharrell solo that made it like Michael Jackson good. Pharrell can make a hot beat but they need another songwriter in there.

    If I went back to her first two albums and asked which songs would be hits today,I would say songs like “Cool,” “Danger Zone,” “The Real Thing,” “Fluorescent,” “The Sweet Escape,” “Early Winter” and the like.

    Ryan Tedder has always had the most boring melodies, too. It’s nothing against Gwen, I just think she’s being misdirected, and it’s unfortunate given how fickle people are today. Even if she comes out with a great album, there’s no telling if people will listen to it after two singles that don’t perform well, and the likelihood of having any hit singles is even lower.

    What I want to know is why she isn’t working with the Bleechers guy Jack Antonoff. Screw Taylor Swift, she doesn’t know shit about New Wave and has an annoying voice, but my god, are those songs they did together great. He and Gwen could make magic since that sound has always been a sweet spot for her.

    1. Nick, that is the most constructive comment I have seen in a long time. A comment that will make me do some research and learn something new. Thank you for that! What a rarity to see something constructive, a suggestion for how to make her work better in a comment instead of a complaint.

      I have been a lifelong fan of Gwen’s and I was always trying to pinpoint why I think the collaborations cheapen her direction. I completely agree with your idea that these collaborations are not getting at the core of what drives Gwen’s fantastic artistry — her unique, wavering voice and her heartfelt, yet simple lyrics which appeal to so many.

      What I also don’t understand is the rampant product placement in her latest videos. Gwen’s solo direction has always been rife with camp and cartoony imagery, but it has previously seemed less depressing and aggressive than these latest videos.

  2. So sad that im really not feeling this song … and a lot of people aren’t ….At least it’s getting more promo than BDL …. but still I don’t know if I’m looking looking for a new sound from gwen …but it’s not refreshing in my opinion. -_-

  3. i havent commented on any posts for a lil while cuz i dont wanna sound negative but i REALLY am not feeling this song either. I hate pharrells “feminism” trip hes on, that word is prob never gonna come out of gwens mouth. and just because pharrell worked on it doesnt mean its going to be a hit, he has some pretty BIG misses as well. i really realllllllly wish Gwen/ND would stop making music and not mess with the timeless/classic/iconic catalog of music they have. This whole “solo era” is looking desperate. Lets hope im eating my words and this turns out to be really big for gwen

  4. I think the song is a little annoying to be honest, but I hope my opinion will change once I own an official copy. I’m not seeing the feminist connection and I think he sounds kind of ridiculous saying that. I like him though and I love that Gwen is so excited about this song and working with him. She was clearly not into BDL.

  5. Yeah I agree about the feminism thing. Not seeing the connection either. The song is better than BDL but still doesn’t reach the heights of LAMB or even TSE for me.

  6. I love STF, but to be honest I can see how it could get a little grating after a few listens. It sounds a little rushed to me production wise. BDL kindof grew on me after more listens, but it always bothered me that the second verse is just the first verse repeated! In my opinion it’s just rushed songwriting. Like when you record you use the same lyric as a placeholder sometimes, but it’s like they never got around to writing the 2nd verse haha.

  7. I guess I kinda understand what Pharrell means when he’s talking about “feminism”… but clearly he really has no idea what feminism actually is. I wish he would stop talking about it, because I’m sure it will backfire at Gwen once people get to know the song. She already received some criticism for being “anti-feminist” on The Voice, she doesn’t need any more of that. They shouldn’t try to get some deeper meaning to STF. It’s a nonsense party song and that’s fine. Just call it a “fun song”. Once they accept it for what it is, the general public might do the same.

    I have to say I like STF a little more than I did at first, but I still think it sounds like a reject that hardly would’ve made it on any of her previous albums. I guess we can’t expect Gwen to keep the standard she set with L.A.M.B. (she couldn’t keep it with TSE either). I’m just glad she’s still trying and having fun doing so. Even though commercial success will definitely be a bonus at this point.

  8. And I agree with the comments on the other thread. I also think it’s odd the single announcement came from NBC.
    There has to have been a lot going on behind the scenes this whole time with the label. It seems like leaking STF on the BDL radio promo, gewn in a way was kindof strong-arming interscope into rush releasing STF. Seems to me the Interscope plan was to give BDL the big push while gewn wasn’t into it and played the song. Then all the forced changeover to STF (fiat ad, voice performance, etc). I just hope relations w/ interscope weren’t damaged enough for them to hold back support of STF/album.

    Maybe I’m way over-reading into all this, I just want the album and release to be as good as we know it should be

  9. oh my god I’m SO GLAD i didnt get attacked for my opinion!! instead i got support! you guys sound like true fans and not just stans!

    Can someone give me a link to the leaked version?? i havent heard the entire thing start to finish, of course im gonna buy it on monday but i really wanna hear it

  10. Pharrell was suggesting more into the line of Gwen standing up against the pressure of interscope into molding her into the popstar they want her to be. Clearly, Gwen wants to come out with something more of a statement rather than playing it “safe. ” She is gambling with a new sound that as we can all see not everyone will appreciate. And for that I appreciate she her more as an artist because if this ship is to sink or swim, it will be on her on accord .

  11. The beauty about LAMB was that Gwen had a strong concept n time to focus into crafting the best tracks. And it shows because almost all the tracks had the potential to be singles. The problem this time around is her attempt to appease everyone so she’s trying to do everything the fashion, the voice, no doubt and another solo era. In effect, the quality of her music suffers. One can only wonder what would happen if she just took the time into crafting another solo record rather than rushing it but then again every album she came out with reflect who she is at that time. So I guess gone is the insecure little girl who just broke up with her boyfriend cuz now we have a happily married fashion mogul with three kids who wants to do everything 😉

  12. Cameron you nailed it. I think a lot of fans are fearing for this new era as well. STF doesn’t even have a radio add date which is not a good sign. Hopefully interscope will support gwen and STF. Also hoping we get some news about the actual album soon too…I doubt it will still be coming out in december.

  13. All these comments are great.
    I agree that the feminist thing is very forced. I actually like the song a lot.
    It’s a miracle because everything about it is kind of wrong. Not sure how it works, but it does for me. My only real problem is that the production does sound rushed. If only they put a little more time into it…

  14. I have a feeling leaving Interscope might be down the road if all of this isn’t successful. It’s time to cut the safety net and see what else is out there!

  15. I think things have been rushed simply because millions of viewers see G every week on the voice– Its very smart to stay current when you have this huge platform– I do think lyrics have been sacrificed. I never take gwens solo efforts too seriously its not like this is a new ND song 😉 I think STF is fun and anxious to hear how it sounds live.

  16. I hate to say this, but I think Pharrell is using Gwen and the whole feminism thing because of his song, Blurred Lines and the backlash it had with feminists. He needs to leave her alone and not speak on her behalf.

  17. I was trying to stop myself from commenting on this topic because I think some of you take things too seriously.
    I think that finally Gwen has given us a great song. I don’t think it sounds rushed at all. It is what it should be and for that I’m grateful cause I know she’s being herself, unlike Baby Don’t Lie where obviously she was molding herself to fit in. Just look at us, Gwen always succeed when her music is being discussed and split fans like this. That’s how I know how great STF is and it will be a hit for sure. Not a number 1 like Hollaback Girl, considering she’s 45 and all these young girls are releasing their shit, but it has potential to be in the top 20.

    About the term “feminism”, I think Pharrell means equality or somehow emancipation. I agree that he shouldn’t be throwing that term around cause it has a strong background and history not to mention politics involved. And we know how nowadays most people get offended over anything. That’s why I think Gwen hasn’t mentioned it yet and I don’t think she will.

    From what I got when I watched the (unedited) interview on Ellen (http://www.ellentube.com/media/Pharrell+on+His+Creative+Process/0_s2yq9uu8), it seems that Gwen has been through a hard phase. Probably more than just her label or her career. I see this song as a song of awakening, like the wake up call she needed to be THE Gwen Stefani we all know. I think that working with Pharrell again it kind of triggered that feeling on her and for that I’m thankful. I see this song more as “girl power”, though. I’d rather P used that term.

  18. By feminism, Pharrell was referring to Gwen being a strong women who, at 45, is becoming a pop star once again, besides being a Mum of 3, besides all her fashion projects besides being on The Voice… basically showing that you can do it all… be at the top like the typical Boss male expectation… I see Pharrell’s perspective, as he sees this as being Equality which is Feminism.. a woman being able to do it all just like men are assumed capable of being able to do many dominant things… it doesn’t mean that people are going to necessarily see all this though… the song really isn’t anything to do with feminism and it may have backlash as people may be like the song has no relevance to feminism at all… they wont be thinking about Gwen’s mass of side-projects and jobs, besides being a 45 year old mother of 3…….

  19. ^ Yeah sometimes I wonder how can she manage it all. Let’s see how it goes. I think people are too quick to judge anyway. All I thought about P was “Ok dude that’s a strong word there. Why insist on it?” But honestly I didn’t think much of it. Like I really don’t care, cause you can interpret lyrics in so many ways. Like I said before I see it more as a awakening song, like someone who’s remember who they are, and that they’re still worth it.

  20. Gwen & nodoubt will never leave Interscope & they know what they are doing they have the best team. I have a few friends that work for the label and have been for so many years. They call Gwen the queen of Interscope she gets what’s she wants when she wants. Nodoubt & Gwen have been at the label for 25 years and the label makes sure everyone respects and knows that. GWENS new album is gunna be a success they will make sure of that & they have some amazing plans coming up. All this negative feedback from this site is so sad cuz it’s a fan site and its more like no one has faith in anything that Gwen or ND Does anymore. It’s always bad feedback and negative responses like no one can just be happy we’re getting more gwen & more ND. This won’t last forever so enjoy it or shut up and get off this site. They work hard too give us all this news everyday lets at least post positive things in return. Go too Perez Hilton and talk shit and give your opinions that couldn’t be further from the truth. BYE!

  21. ^ Amen, Hoza! Thanks for your post. I speak for myself but I always try to see the best in things. I also tend to analyse things but I try to stay optimistic. This new era has barely begun but some people are too quick to judge.

  22. Hm I can only speak for myself, but I found all the comments on this thread very reasonable and nicely articulated. I enjoyed reading all of them, because I agree with so many things being said. Not the usual hate from the usual suspects. Just sincere fans honestly discussing recent events and an album campaign that – so far – is far from being perfectly planned. Just because some people refuse to see things through rose-colored glasses, that doesn’t mean they’re being negative. Being honest and rational doesn’t make you a hater. Of course I’m glad that Gwen/ND are still making music after all those years, but that doesn’t mean I have to “enjoy or shut up”.

  23. Hoza aka Jimmy

    P&S flopped

    Looking Hot was the worst selling single of any artist to have had xfactor exposure

    Gwen gets what she wants, but she didn’t get p&s as a single. She also didn’t get a fourth single from the album, which ND wanted.

    So many bands have left Interscope because it’s so fabulous: NIN, Garbage, Blink 182, 50 Cent, even Bush etc

    Name me an artist on Interscope who hasn’t feuded with them? MIA almost leaked her own album… Etc etc yawn.

  24. LuckGwen
    Since you want some info on P&S then here it is. Looking hot was going too be a big single for ND with promotion and all but the reason that never happened was because ND pulled the plug on it along with there old manager. Interscope never wanted them too pull down the video either they were going too promote it as a fashion video too go against the bad press it got from the Cowboys and Indians theme as gwen was wearing so many great unique pieces but ND felt like they don’t want too be attached from any negative press so they pulled it down. With doing so they didn’t want too promote LH and that’s what started them deciding too go back to the studio instead of touring. Interscope wanted them too record a few more songs and maybe have a re-release but again they didn’t do it they recorded a few things and that was it they stopped there decision.

  25. LuckGwen
    No one ever said Interscope was so fabulous & M.I.A. Almost leaked her album because she doesn’t like too listen too anyone she hates waiting and wanted what she wanted how do I know this cause she’s a friend of mine who I worked with since 2008. That’s why I know so much about Interscope and ND info. I’ve worked with plenty of artists in the label I know the real deal not just the rumors I’ve been right there in the filed. im not saying I know it all but I do know the truth about what goes on with record labels and artists I deal with them all the time in my job.

  26. Yes, I know Hoza is not Jimmy, he is Jose. I was just joking as he must be the only person in the world to believe that interscope do a good job. Hoza, you’re wrong, look at Mia’s other label, XL, who do a proper job with half the staff. I’m sorry but you are just being bias. think about how much Interscope has made from ND over the years. ND deserve better than this

  27. Thanks for sharing all this inside information Hoza (in case all of this is true. Technically anybody can say anything on the internet, no offense).

    But you have to admit that so far things are not really going as planned with Gwen’s new solo era. If she was some kind of “queen” on Interscope, who gets what she wants, then why didn’t Interscope have her STF as first single? Or P&S?

    And what about all these other weird things, nobody really can explain? Like the BDL performance on The Voice that got cancelled, and the Fiat ad BDL was supposed to be in? What about Gwen and Pharrell “leaking” STF when BDL was still brand new? I don’t think things are going that smoothly between Gwen and Interscope at this point… I don’t think there is a feud, but obviously there are some different opinions on how things should be done.

  28. I agree with YYY, all actions related to the recent promotion for her single and her attitude towards the same show that artist and label are not on the same page. Truth be told, ND and Gwen are still big names, but as far as sales go, they haven’t scored a hit for a while (maybe because they withdrew from the music scene) and it really looks like they are not a priority within Interscope. I do agree that after new management, maybe a new label would be the way to go.

  29. Wouldnt it be great to have a tell all book from Gwen one day? I would love to know what she is/was really going through all these years, the good and the not so good. She is so professional and doesn’t want to show ungratitude because she knows she is so blessed with so much.

  30. ^ That’s something I’d like to. I hope the band or Gwen sit down for a candid interview and talk about everything. Gwen isn’t the kind of woman / celeb who likes confrontation so I don’t know…

  31. YYY your welcome and no offense taken. its all truth I wouldn’t of said anything if it wasn’t.

    As far as I know with GWENS solo stuff is that they have a huge plan and there trying too rush it but also get it right. There new manager is really doing some big things and setting them in a good path. People from the label told me they have so much in 2015 for gwen & ND. It is weird what’s going on with GWENS promo but it happens too everyone. I work with Iggy and Becky g and they gonthrough the same thing with labels and singles and promo it’s nothing new. Its all a plan with managers,labels, a&r, and so many other people it’s crazy. I’m just positive that it’s gunna be good they know what there doing.

  32. I’m sure Gwen and ND have some really interesting and probably also quite shocking stories to share after all those years. I’d love them to share them one day, but I don’t know if this will ever happen. I was really surprised that they shared so many inside stories during The Singles era in the booklets. Like they one about how they forced Interscope to record the fast version of Excuse Me Mr.

  33. Luck Gwen
    I’ve been in the industry for years and work with Interscope and universal and Sony all the time. I’ve toured with artists on the label. MIA is my friend I know what she went through I was there through a lot of it. I’m not saying anything i know isn’t true. I’m trying too let fans know that have faith in ND/GWEN and that Gwen & ND have a lot of say so in what there doing they have the final decision at the end of the day. New management is on board and there planning some cool stuff for them. I also know all the bad stuff that comes with a label and having one it’s a lot of people involved to make one decesion but artsit like ND have choices there accomplished. Just like everything There is bumps in the road and things have to change but they know what they doing.

  34. ^^^ That is a much better way of communicating your thoughts instead of what you did earlier by telling fans to shut up and leave.

    I appreciate the feedback on Interscope even though I am skeptical like YYY. The failure of P&S is shared among the band, Interscope and their management. They all made mistakes and many of us are on high alert during this new era because we don’t want it to happen again.

  35. I think some fans tend to overanalyse things most of the time. My advice to anyone reading is to sit back, relax and enjoy these little things as they come. When you notice this era will be over and you won’t have enjoyed it at all. Nowadays artists release a couple of singles, the album and move on. I know things could have been handled way better, but hey, it’s better than nothing.

    And btw their ≠ there; to ≠ too

    (Sorry I just had to) 😝

  36. Lets say everything HOZA is true about his “inside interscope scoop” —-i myself work and have many many friends in the industry as well and EVERYONE has there own opinion and interpretation of what happens at the job. the music industry is FULL of drama and he says she says! FULL OF IT! for him to say “look hot” was gonna be a big single—— it had ALL the promo and exposure for it to be even if there wouldve never been a video for it. the public didnt like it, it wasnt a good song. BOTTOM LINE

  37. and i dont understand why hed be commenting away on a fan site if he had such an exclusive position, its kinda funny to me. like i said i work around the industry but i dont claim to have such an inside job or scoop lol

  38. Amanda G
    Well I wasnt trying too offend anyone never my intention but I can see that it came off that way my bad. But I just enjoy coming on here and seeing all new info on this next era. I trust this new team is gunna do some really fun stuff for all us fans too enjoy and like always we will support it and have fun.

    Bob
    I never said I had an exclusive position I said i work with the label a lot. I’m around the artists and what they go through. I Can send you a link too my body of work if you like too see. Also I’m only talking about that P&S stuff because it’s old news and wanted too share some real info too ND fans about what happened not an assumption of what happened. Why would I lie? LOL

    another thing I never said LHOT was going too be a big hit I said it was going to be a big single for ND with Promotion for it but after the drama with the video it all fell through. You can believe me if you want or not but it’s all good too me. I’m sharing some info on the site so fans can read n know about that PS era.

  39. NDLOVER lol don’t come for my grammar mistakes 😂 I’m the king of making those mistakes. But the too & to thing happens cuz of my dumb iphone6 it changes it all the time. I can’t even spell anything that starts with KA because it spells kardashians 😒
    Also Im the king of run on sentences but really it’s typing on phones so much and not writing on paper anymore that really messed me up.

    Last thing AMEN to your last post 😁

  40. @Hoza Is this solo project a big priority for Gwen and Interscope or is it more like a quick release and back to no doubt she goes? Cuz before with lamb there seem to be a lot more promo and anticipation prior to the release of LAMB. She was in all sorts of fashion magazines and there seem to be a solid concept. Right now, it seems like she is so dependent on the Voice for promo and their making it up as they go. Which is fine because i could tell, there a pressure for her to come back to No Doubt right away after what happened to Push and Shove.

  41. @RAY
    As for the new gwen album all I know is that it is going too be a big project with press and Promo but she has too finish the album first and that’s what’s the focus. I have a few friends on the label that said they have all the best people on her project but it’s really secretive. Her new manager is also known too make big moves rela quick and really successful like example the voice so I’m sure he will do more like that. If I learn anything new I will def let the site know 😁

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