Daft Punk has had an immense influence on electronic music: Avicii has stated that he listened to Daft Punk before he knew what house music was. Deadmau5 got the idea to cover his face during performances from them. Skrillex has said that they “changed [his] life” in an interview with music review site Pitchfork. On Jan. 26 Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” won the Grammy award for album of the year — beating music stars Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore — among other prestigious awards. The group insists on performing every show wearing their trademark reflective masks. But who are these mysterious robots?
The French duo consists of longtime friends Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, who have been active in the music industry since 1993. Daft Punk has won Grammys intermittently since 1998, winning in 1999, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2012 and of course, 2014.
The two artists worked on their latest album in “a dark, windowless room for untold hours,” according to a 2008 interview with Rolling Stone. RAM is the group’s most critically successful album, with a review of 87 out of 100 on Metacritic.
When asked why they insist on covering their faces during performances, Homem-Christo answered simply: “We’re not performers, we’re not models — it would not be enjoyable for humanity to see our features. But the robots are exciting to people.”
Daft Punk won five Grammys this year, more than they have ever won in a single year. As always, they accepted their award wearing robot outfits and did not speak during any of their acceptance speeches. However, they were visibly touched while receiving the award of the night, hugging each other for upward of ten seconds.
The duo appeals to many with their ability to reach different genres.
“My favorite song of theirs is ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’,” sophomore Alys Olmstead said. “Their style of music has always been for the individual and I’m happy that that kind of music can still be appreciated by a wide variety of listeners. I’d love to see them in concert because I think the music would be great but also they would put on a really entertaining show.”
This year, Daft Punk was recognized for their album their unique sound that blended their classic sound with acclaimed vocalists like Pharrell Williams.
However, the group has always been pioneers of electronic music. Even though the duo has already released several critically acclaimed albums, the music world is still interested in seeing what new aspects Daft Punk will embody in their upcoming work.