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Information Diet: Pharrell Williams

The musician, producer, entrepreneur, and branding maven finds time for Angry Birds and Anderson Cooper

Sean Gardner/WireImage for MillerCoors

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What’s the first information you consume in the morning?
I check through my mobile devices and respond to emails and text messages. I browse websites like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, The Economist, Miami Herald, and music and fashion trades.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?
Definitely CNN, American Morning. I also watch Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer later in the day.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train, or bus?
New ideas or thinking about the projects and music that I’m currently working on. And I listen to the radio—a lot of the classic stations, like Majic 102.7 [in Miami].

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?
I’m super busy and I travel a lot, so I would say I’m on an airtime-restricted diet—that’s why quality media and curation matter to me.

When you do watch TV, how do you do it—TV, laptop, or tablet?
I’m usually working at the studio or running from meeting to meeting, so I use all three platforms regularly. When I watch TV, it’s usually cartoons like The Smurfs, SpongeBob SquarePants, or the Boomerang network, and any of the Discovery Channel properties. YouTube is also great, and I watch it all the time. But I filter it through different channels or friends’ recommendations.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter, or fast until morning?
I’m not on Twitter...yet. [Editor's note: Williams has since joined Twitter. He is @4real4rell.] I’d say that I usually bite into a book—either a biography or something science-based. I’m also really into holistic [health] books.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?
I’m always hungry for knowledge. Because I travel so often, I’m always reading a book or a magazine on the plane. And when I’m at home, the Web’s infinite possibilities allow me to quench my curiosities.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.
Angry Birds on the iPad when I have some free time.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?
Probably Mario Kart on the Wii.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?
Curation matters. I don’t like to waste time watching or reading stuff that may be subpar or just plain bad—that’s why I got involved with Karmaloop TV, because it’s succinct, bite-sized, concentrated, progressive popular culture. I would tell anyone trying to cut out the fat to find the sources you trust and go back to them. If you look to the people and brands that you admire, you can’t go wrong.