After 28 years, the infamous Daft Punk has split up
February 22, 2021
Just earlier today, the French duo released an 8-minute video depicting the split and end of the world-wide known group, Daft Punk.
(Daft Punk, photo by David Black)
What started as a small Paris-based group in 1993 created by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, has become a household name with musical masterpieces that continue to be played in every corner of the world.
For the past 23 years, the world has been enamored by the idea of Daft Punk, a faceless duo who created funky, techno music with influences from R&B, house, synth, pop, hip hop, and more. They created a sound that would go on to be imitated for artist years to come.
Although they were together for 23 years they only released 4 albums, ‘Homework’ 1997, ‘Discovery’ 2001, ‘’Human After All’ 2005, ‘Random Access Memories’ 2013. Along with those albums came timeless hits ‘One More Time’, ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’, ‘Around the World', ’Da Funk’. Songs like ‘Get Lucky’ with Pharrell won the pair Record of the Year in 2014. Collaborations with the Weeknd on ‘Starboy’ earned them their first #1 song on the charts.
More on the video uploaded on their channel earlier today titled ‘Epilogue’. The video shows the pair walking together until the Bangalter falters behind. Eventually, Homem-Christo notices and walks back to his partner. Bangalter takes off his jacket, encrusted with a bedazzled ‘Daft Punk’ on the back, revealing a small button. Without the pair ever speaking a word through the video, Homem-Christo presses the button initiating a 1-minute countdown. Bangalter walks off into the distance as the sun sets and self-destructs. Leaving Homem Christo to walk the vast desert alone into the horizon.
The video also faded to a clip of silver and gold hands positioned as a triangle with the date 1993-2021 depicting the ends of the duo's victorious era.
It’s no secret that Daft Punk not only created the groundwork for genres like EDM and house music and for artists like Skrillex and Deadmau5. Their iconic robot helmet look that they began to showcase in 1999 gave way for imitation artists who would use their innovativeness later on.
Stereogum writes, “They leave behind a towering body of work wrapped up in some of the most instantly recognizable sonic and visual imprints in music history”.
As someone who grew up hearing their music constantly and being entranced by the supersonic, futuristic sound they delivered, it's melancholic to hear about their split. As with the way others feel, Daft Punk has always been a prominent figure and has always worked its way into everybody's music playlist. If you didn’t know the name Daft Punk (and who didn’t?), you definitely would know their music.
People on social media express their gratitude and grief for the duo. Comments under the 'Epilogue’ video included “THE greatest to EVER do it. Words can’t describe the inspiration & knowledge we gained from listening to the 2 robots over the years. Wishing them nothing but good energy & positivity for the future - Thank you for everything Guy & Thomas”, “Absolute legends. Your dedication to the craft above all else inspires us all. You'll always live on in our hearts.” and more.
Although the duo may have officially ended their endeavor together, their music will continue to be played, enjoyed, and cherished by many in cars, rooms, house parties, filled-out areas, and festivals.
Matching Face Mask, Record Breaking, and Boas live from the 2021 Grammy’s
March 23, 2021
Instead of a hall filled up with A list celebrities, musical legends, and intricate performances, this year the Grammys were quaint, socially distanced and the highest fashion was matching face masks and gowns.
(Harry Styles at the 20201 Grammy’s / Getty Images)
Hosted by Trevor Noah, the Grammys took place Sunday, March 14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Instead of the Grammys being filled with everybody and anyone, performers and winners were seen socially distanced at dinner tables waiting for their award or their performance.
The Grammys opened up with Harry Styles who sang his top hit ‘Watermelon Sugar’ from his 2019 sophomore album ‘Fine Line’. As a First-time Grammy nominee and first-time opener he made ‘Watermelon Sugar’ a groovy energetic performance. His performance showed the audience and the world that he deserved to be at the Grammys. He won best pop solo performance while sporting a variety of different colored boas.
Adjacent and following Styles’ performance, Billie Eilish performed her recent song ‘Everything I Wanted’ alongside her brother Finneas. Nominated for 3 Grammys this year, the 19-year-old took home the award for record of the year.
This year the Grammys focused on the current political issues that have taken place in the past year, by highlighting and praising Black artists and the Black Lives Matter movement. The academy has long been criticized for its lack of diversity in awarding and nominating musicians and artists of color. Additionally, not acknowledging artists who fans and the public both recognize as being more than deserving of a Grammy, some people have gone as for as labeling the Grammys and ‘The Scammys".
Some artists like Zayn Malik, former One direction member, went as far as to tweet about the inconsequential award show. He tweeted “F**k the Grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations.”
Even though there are errors in the Grammys and faults to be held by the recording academy, some historic record-breaking events did take place during Sunday night.
Megan thee Stallion exuberated excellence during her performance of ‘Body’ and ‘Savage’, as well as her performance of ‘WAP’ with Cardi B. She also made history by becoming the first female artist to win a Grammy for best rap song.
Other women who made history at the Grammys included Taylor Swift, who became the first female artist to win Album of the Year 3 times. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande became the first female duo to win best pop collaboration for their work on ‘Rain on Me’. Beyonce's daughter, Blue Ivy, became the second-youngest person to win a grammy. She was awarded the Grammy for best music video for her participation in ‘Brown Skin Girl’ by Beyonce.
Most notably, Beyonce set records and made history during the 63rd Grammys. Not only was she apart of Megan thee Stallions win for best rap song, but she also set a new record with her 28th win as the most awarded woman in Grammy history, surpassing Alison Krauss.
Other notable events of the evening were Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak unveiling for the first time live Silk Sonic. They performed ‘Leave The Door Open’ a silky smooth, 70’s reminiscent, R&B track.
This year's Grammys focused on music performances, Black excellence, and celebrating and uplifting the everyday business and community that were affected by the pandemic and Covid-19.
For a full list of all the Grammy winners, visit here.
La Flor Que Nunca Marchito: How Selena Continues to Influence the World, 26 years later
Since the ’90s, Selena has been a household name. Even 26 years later, her influence is still seen in pop culture, Spanish music, fashion, and the identities of Mexican Americans. Movies, shows, books, makeup, and clothes are still being created in memoriam of the late Queen of Tejano music.
Selena Quintanilla was not only an amazing singer, actress, designer, but she was also a kind-hearted, caring, and inspiring soul. For many Mexican-Americans, she was a symbol of success, familiarity, and greatness.
For me, Selena has influenced me more than one can imagine. Growing up, I listened to her songs and mimicked her iconic spins and dance moves on the kitchen floor. For me and many young Latina girls, she was a role model of someone who worked hard for her family and her passion.
I saw her as a big sister in more ways than one. Not only did she guide me mentally, spiritually, and morally, but her iconic fashion, humor, and personality were also something I venerated and admired. I looked to her to make sure I was doing the right thing and used her as a measure of how hard I was working.
What made Selena so relatable was that people saw themselves within her. No matter how famous she got, it was obvious that she still saw herself as any other average person. But to describe Selena as average was anything but correct.
The Queen of Tejano wasn’t always savvy in speaking Spanish, even messing up in interviews at times and having to learn how to phonetically sing her lyrics in the beginning. Seeing that even someone so successful with a Spanish musical career struggled with learning the language just like me, made me feel seen and represented.
For many, the only representation they saw in the media and society at the time was Selena. She was a pioneer for crossing the bridge, making Mexican and American music cultures mix. She often incorporated relevant music influences of her time into her Tejano songs and albums.
Opening her shows in a disco medley with popular American music including ‘I Will Survive’, ‘Funkytown’, ‘Last Dance’, ‘The Hustle, and ‘On The Radio’ garnered the attention of American fans. Captivating the hearts of Mexicans and Americans, one of Selena's dreams was creating an English album, which she had been in the process of creating at the time of her death.
The last time the world would hear new lyrics and notes from the Queen of Tejano music came four months after her death when ‘Dreaming of You’, her crossover album was released posthumously.
Even in death, Selena continued to cross barriers and break records. Her last album debuted at the top of the Billboard top 200 and was the best-selling Latin album for the next two decades. Her success showed just how big and full of potential the market of audiences and fans of Latin music in America was. She paved the way for all the great Spanish artists to come.
Through her music, I learned more Spanish and connected with my culture, something many other Mexican Americans can relate to. She's become a bridge connecting generations of Mexican Americans, a conversation starter for parents and kids recounting stories of seeing Selena in concert.
Even now listening to her last concert brings tears to my eyes. Knowing the heinous crimes that were committed that made such a talented and beautiful person leave this earth too soon fills me with anger. Seeing how her husband and family and the music industry are left empty without her makes me hurt with grief.
There was and will only ever be one Selena. Her work ethic, warm smile, hearty laugh, and fierce performance skills can never be recreated. It goes without saying that if Selena was here now she would’ve been even more of a worldwide superstar than she is. Who knows? She’s dominated the world even in death, there is no telling what she would’ve been capable of doing now.
Selena, the world is still dreaming of you.
From Record Breaking Sales, New Releases, and Passing; What Happened in Music this Week
April 19, 2021
A number of events occurred in the past weeks for music, from tours being announced (and sold out), albums being announced and released, and musical legends passing.
At the beginning of April, Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated new version of her 2008 album ‘Fearless’. oming after a long battle to own the masters of her songs after Scooter Braun obtained the rights to them through purchasing the label Taylor was under.
The original album reached the number 1 spot in November 2008, and the new version also debuted at number 1 on Billboard’s top 200, making this Taylors' ninth time at the number one spot, and third time in a year after releasing back-to-back albums ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’.Fans got to relish and relive listening to the album for the first time once again and also got to listen to 6 new unreleased songs.
Olivia Rodrigo, a singer who has had her own share of number one songs, and a big fan of Taylor (who has taken her under her wing) also had big news for her music this month.
Since her successful song ‘Drivers License’ reached number 1 on Billboard top 100 and stayed on top for 8 weeks, and her second successful single ‘Deja Vu’ also getting a spot on the chart, she announced her new album. It serves as an 11 track disc featuring the aforementioned songs, titled ‘Sour’ set to release May 21.
Another star who people have been steadily waiting for news from also shocked and sent fans into a frenzy this month. Bad Bunny uploaded a video to his Instagram announcing a 2022 tour.
The 35 city tour across North America, titled fittingly to match with the Puerto Rican’s most recent album ‘El Último Tour Del Mundo 2022’, went on sale April 15. With fans crashing the Ticketmaster site, it became the website's fastest-selling tour since 2018.
Tickets reached shocking prices,with tickets surpassing 5,000 dollars, new dates were added and major cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Miami were sold out. The tour begins February 9 and is projected to make more than $60 million.
On April 9, rapper DMX passed away in his home after being hospitalized days prior. The rap world mourned his loss, and multiple celebrities, fellow musicians, and fans shared their experience and blissful memories of the rapper.
He passed at 50 and is survived by his 15 children and mother. His successful career included a 1999 multi-platinum album ‘...And Then There Was X’, and a film career starring in ‘Romeo Must Die’, ’Exit Wounds’ and more. Signed to Def jam, his most recent music was in 2017 with his single ‘Bain Iz Back’.
Most recently, Rolling Loud announced their 2021 festival as well as the lineup, including artists Megan Thee Stallion, Post Malone, and recently released Bobby Shmurda.
Set to take place on July 23-25 in Miami, Florida at the Hard Rock Stadium, it comes as a new hope for live concerts and festivals returns with the release and distribution of the covid vaccine.
Music lovers, concert go-ers, and everybody in between are all looking forward to a concert-filled musical year that's to come, as the end of the pandemic seems to be nearing. After postponed albums, canceled tours, and a new surge of musical creativity, we can’t wait to see what 2022 and beyond has to bring for new music culture.