Pharrell Williams Reminisces About Working With Daft Punk

Pharrell Williams, in a recent episode of Daft Punk’s ‘Memory Tapes’ video series that celebrates the 10th anniversary of their iconic album ‘Random Access Memories,’ took a trip down memory lane. Pharrell reminisced about his legendary collaboration with the iconic French duo and how it led to the creation of the chart-topping hit ‘Get Lucky.’

His journey with Daft Punk began when The Neptunes, a group he was part of, met Busy P, who offered them the opportunity to remix Daft Punk’s ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’ back in 2001. Little did Pharrell know that this remix would serve as the initial connection that would eventually lead to his involvement in ‘Random Access Memories.’

Image Courtesy: Rolling Stone

Speaking about his contributions to the album, Pharrell initially believed he would only be a songwriter for ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Lose Yourself To Dance.’ But he was in for a pleasant surprise when he discovered that the vocals he had recorded for these tracks were not just demos but the final versions. He recalled, “I didn’t know who was gonna end up singing it. I left the studio thinking, ‘Okay, can’t wait to see who sings and what it sounds like.'”

The ‘Memory Tapes’ video provided a rare glimpse of Daft Punk revealing the completed versions of ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Lose Yourself To Dance,’ both featuring Pharrell’s vocals. Pharrell was in awe, saying, “Wow. That’s amazing. I’m so humbled and honoured to be a part of that.”

Image Courtesy: Billboard 

‘Get Lucky’ was undoubtedly a monumental success, spending five consecutive weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning two Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year. The ‘Happy’ singer shed light on the meticulous recording process and the value of perfection in the eyes of Daft Punk. He noted that they urged him to re-record certain sections multiple times, highlighting the distinction between a human touch and robotic precision.

Pharrell also shared that the path to ‘Get Lucky’ was longer than anticipated. He confessed, “By the time the song was done, I didn’t know who was gonna end up singing it. I didn’t hear it for a year, so I forgot what the song sounded like, both of them.” The reference to ‘both’ here pertains to his involvement in ‘Lose Yourself to Dance,’ another hit track on ‘Random Access Memories.’

Image Courtesy: The Hollywood Reporter 

The episode goes into detail about Pharrell’s reflections on his experience working with Daft Punk and the lessons he gleaned from the collaboration. He expressed a sense of humility, acknowledging the vastness of the universe and humanity’s place within it. In his words, “We must remember, we are part of the universe; we don’t run the universe.”

-Britney Jones