Pharrell Williams Discusses Making “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk

Before French electronic duo Daft Punk put out their fourth studio album Random Access Memories in May 2013, they decided to use the song “Get Lucky” as the LP’s promotional single. Releasing on April 19 of that year, “Get Lucky” saw Daft Punk welcome icons like Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers on the track, years after they first met Rodgers at the listening party for their 1997 debut album Homework.

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Upon release, the song landed at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to its infectious We’re up all night to get lucky hook. Additionally, the song took home two Grammy Awards in 2014, winning trophies in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Record of the Year categories.

On Wednesday (October 11), Daft Punk released the sixth episode of their Memory Tapes YouTube series, which has been revisiting the creation of Random Access Memories. For this episode, they interview Williams, whose contribution to “Get Lucky” helped it reach incredible heights.

[RELATED: Daft Punk Announces ‘Random Access Memories’ 10th Anniversary Edition]

When speaking about the song, Williams admitted he thought he would only get writing credits, believing his portion was meant to be sung by somebody else.

“When they brought me in to write on the album, I thought I was just writing for someone else,” he said. “So, in my mind, I’m like, ‘Oh, okay, I’m writing this for someone. Okay, I think this is Michael-esque…’ It’s all feeling.”

Then, when touching on the actual writing and recording process, for what he thought would be a reference track, he emphasized how tedious and strenuous Daft Punk’s approach was.

“Now I understand the value of taking the time to iron it out, it could be perfection,” he continued. “That’s the difference between a human and a robot.”

Ultimately, it took him a full year to find out his vocals were going to be the ones used for the song. This also went for “Lose Yourself to Dance,” another collaboration between Williams and Daft Punk that landed on Random Access Memories.

“By the time the song was done, I didn’t know who was gon’ end up singing it,” he said. “I didn’t hear it for a year, I forgot what the song sounded like—both of them.”

Ten years later, “Get Lucky” is still a track played constantly on the radio, at parties, and in dance clubs worldwide, which certainly backs up Williams’ assertion about attention to detail.

Check out the sixth episode of Memory Tapes below.

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Urban One Honors

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