Despite Daft Punk’s rumored appearance at the Coachella Festival this weekend that never materialized, the French dance duo is still making headlines. Although they weren’t spotted in at the desert festival in person, they debuted a preview trailer of their highly anticipated album Random Access Memories on a main-stage screen as well as in a commercial during “Saturday Night Live,” and on Monday a video was released in which Pharrell Williams opened up about his contributions to the new album.
In this installment of Vice and Intel’s Creators Project, Pharrell says that Daft Punk’s music is “kind of like the mid-'70s early '80s of a different universe and dimension, not of this one.” He explains that he was attracted to the track, “Get Lucky” -- on which he sings and which also features legendary producer Nile Rodgers on guitar -- because it harkens back to a time when people were excited by the “liveliness of music.”
“People lost respect for the groove—everything is so synthetic it’s just missing the gut,” Pharrell says of much of today’s music. This is not the case on “Get Lucky,” says the producer. “This music represents the freedom of all human beings…this is for the globe.”
In the video, Pharrell recounts how he ended up working with Daft Punk after a chance encounter with “the robots” at a party thrown by Madonna. “If you just want me to play a tambourine I’ll do it,” he told the duo.
Shortly afterwards, Daft Punk invited Pharrell to their native Paris, where he told them that his current work was being influenced by Rodgers. As it happened, Rodgers, who’s known for his unique guitar rhythms and for shaping the sound of disco, played guitar on the track that Daft Punk was working on. “It was crazy -- on two sides of the Atlantic, we were both in the same place,” says Pharrell.
They asked Pharrell to write lyrics for the tune, and the result was “Get Lucky,” the new single from the forthcoming album, which is due out May 21.
The Grammy-winning rapper seems enamored with the French duo, and their ability to create music that’s simultaneously modern and retro. “They’re not bound by time and space,” he says.