There are so many things in life that make us feel joyful – a child’s laughter, young love, fun with great friends, good food, great weather, and, of course, music – the language that speaks all languages. For Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Hoemm-Christo they know this to be especially true, as the French duo’s music has extended well beyond the limits of their native tongue and out into the world. Although few know them by their real names, and even less by face, they are collectively known by their iconic robotic façade and their name, Daft Punk.
Having been on the electronic music scene’s radar since the late 90s, Daft Punk is widely regarded as one of the most recognizable, influential and significant contributors to the genre. Yet the pair are barely, physically identifiable, having chosen to let their masked appearance be a public avatar in order to avoid ego based celebrity stardom, protect their humble and soft spoken private lives, and let their music be the true focus of their success.
From their 1997 debut album, Homework, a house music album that was in response to France’s underground dance scene at the time, to their admitted influence of 80s sci-fi scores in the electro-orchestral soundtrack for the film Tron Legacy, Daft Punk’s individuality and versatility has certainly carved their way into the music pages of Pop Culture. Most recently, Random Access Memories, their fourth studio album, that has evolved into a funk infused electronic production, and is the latest notch on their creative belt and is receiving a tremendous amount of attention.
As their previous albums have been influenced by a time and space in history, so, too, is Random Access Memories – inspired by the warm and nostalgic feelings evoked by the sounds of 1970s West Coast groups such as Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and The Doobie Brothers.
So, in order to create something a little different from their previous sound, the duo reached out to collaborate with an eclectic group artists such as US house producer Todd Edwards, Animal Collective’s Panda Bear, synthesizer icon Giorgio Moroder, Chilly Gonzales, and Paul Williams. But it was the collaboration with guitar legend Nile Rodgers (Chic) and Pharrell Williams that has taken the world by a disco and sun-filled storm with ‘Get Lucky’.
With the full album set to be released on May 21st, a radio version of ‘Get Lucky’ was released on April 19th and became Daft Punk’s first UK No. 1 single. ‘Get Lucky’ was lucky just to have Nile Rodgers on this record as his classic and funky guitar riffs have created hits for Chic, David Bowie, Duran Duran and Madonna. With a combination of Rodgers’ soulful riffs, Daft Punk’s warm and bouncing bassline and robotic backup vocals, and Pharrell’s catchy layered vocals spanning the speakers, ‘Get Lucky’ captures the feelings of summer and life’s exciting possibilities. Although the lyrics may be suggestive, Williams describes ‘getting lucky’ as when you meet someone and it just clicks.
For me, it’s the rhythm of the track, the funky pattern of the bassline, the wiggle of the guitar, and Pharrell’s vocals that create that joyous summer mood – one with radiant late afternoon sunshine and a life of positive possibilities.
In an interview with The Creators Project, Chilly Gonzales spoke of Daft Punk being artists who “love joyful challenges” and he feels that the collaborative undertaking with various artists on this album gave them great joy.
Although it is our birthright to follow the curious inner nudging of our soul, not everyone follows their bliss…but luckily some do.
During these current times of earthly challenge, music is there to break through the socio-political-economic-religious barriers and help us through our darkest hour – so seek out music that moves you and let it accompany you along the path of joy.
“We’ve come too far
To give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar
And our cups to the stars”
“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk
Adam Nathan is the Principal and Creative Director of Jellyfunk – a borderless creative boutique outfit of design and music. He was heavily entrenched in the global underground dance music scene as a DJ and a founding partner of Juno nominated Release Records until his departure from the company in 2004. He felt creatively and emotionally stifled and a break from the scene was what was needed as he had many questions about himself, the Universe, and life, in general. His path led him through a multitude of experiences, teachings, people and places, and all roads led to today. The appetite for knowledge and truth hasn’t left him and neither has music. His own forthcoming imprint Jellyfunk Records will be what he would like to see more of – quality and uplifting funky music that gets you moving.