Pharrell Williams thought his days as an artist were over.

The 'Happy' hitmaker, who has collaborated with Daft Punk and Robin Thicke, will release his second album on March 4, but he didn't think he would put out another record after 'In My Mind' eight years ago and is surprised by his recent solo success.

He told The Sun newspaper: ''It's crazy, I didn't expect any of this. I just wanted to make something that was feelgood and celebratory - something which I felt was visceral and real.''

The 40-year-old singer, who has written and produced for Miley Cyrus, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, to name but a few, admits making his first solo album was a ''dreadful experience''.

He admitted: ''It was too much. I wasn't thinking about life in right way. I thought my days as an artist were over. I was happy guesting or producing work and that suited me fine.

''But then Daft Punk and last year happened and it just blew me away and now I'm in an appreciative place and it means more. Working with Daft Punk has been a huge part of the journey to where I am today.

''We got talking and I'm just curious about music, full-stop, and curious about Daft Punk. I said to them, 'If you just want me to play tambourine, I'll do it' - and that was it.''

The star, who has a five-year-old sing, Rocket, with wife Helen Lasichanh, says he has also given up on rapping after his days with N.E.R.D, which he fronted with Chad Hugo and Shay Harley.

He explained: ''I didn't like what I was saying. I wasn't comfortable with that. I'm a 40-year-old father now and my life has changed.''