Daft Punk: Pleasing Listeners Around the World


Photo Credit: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4tZwfgrHOc3mvqYlEYSvVi

On February 22, 2021 the French electronic pop duo Daft Punk called it quits after 28 years of making music together. Ever since the band started in 1993, their music has inspired and influenced many artists who are now well-known in the electronic music industry. The duo consists of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homen-Cristo. One can argue that their music skyrocketed the new music craze of EDM (electronic dance music). Different from the other types of music, EDM encompasses styles ranging from beat-less ambient music to 200 beats per minute that is fast paced. Daft Punk’s music is more easily listening and can be compared to modern day disco.

The duo first met each other in secondary school in Paris and quickly became friends. They joined a band named Darlin’ and interestingly enough got the name Daft Punk from a British Music critic who called one of Darlin’s songs “daft punky trash”. They took that criticism and ran with it. In 1997, they released their debut album Homework and it quickly became a success. Their first hit singles “Around the World” and “Da Funk” were overnight successes. “Around the World” featured looping and catchy vocals that made the song Daft Punk’s biggest hit at that point and totally resonates with this new music craze. The duo always stood out in a crowd. They presented themselves with futuristic robot masks concealing their identity. It is a notorious act for some famous music artists to not show their face.

Their music has influenced not only artists in the electronic genre but also many other genres as well. Most notably, rapper Kanye West took a liking to one of Daft Punk’s hit songs. In his song “Stronger” West used  similar samples of the duo’s hit song “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” from their second studio album Discovery which released in 2001. In 2007, the duo released their third studio album Alive and two years later they won their first Grammy award. The electronic genre has been growing over recent years, artists like Skrillex and DeadMau5 were heavily influenced by the duo, making their music similar while putting their own ideas in as well. Both artists are known for being pioneers in the “dubstep” genre.

As Daft Punk’s fame increased, their talent was not only utilized for their own personal gain. In 2010 Daft Punk collaborated with Disney and produced the entire soundtrack for Tron Legacy, a sure-fire sequel to the 1982 film Tron. Daft Punk’s success reached an all time high in 2013 when they released their last studio album Random Access Memories . The album was different from previous ones. Most songs featured artists from all around like Julian Casablancas and Pharrell Williams. On the album, their song “Get Lucky” featuring Pharrell Williams and guitarist Nile Rodgers is the duo’s biggest hit to this date. It has over half a billion streams on Spotify. In 2014, Daft Punk took home five Grammy awards including Album of the Year.

In recent years before their retirement, the duo has been featured in the Weekend’s hit songs “Starboy” and “I Feel it Coming”, but none of their own music has been released. Their music will be missed dearly by fans and many other artists in the music industry. The duo has influenced and arguably pioneered the electronic genre in so many ways.