Daft Punk as Anti-Celebrity Celebrity

Cookney, DJ ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0060-4969 Daft Punk as Anti-Celebrity Celebrity , in: Celebrity Studies Journal Conference, 28-30 June 2016, University of Amsterdam. (Submitted)

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While Western rockist notions of authenticity within music will negate electronic dance music (EDM) due to assumptions regarding its inherent artificiality, French EDM duo Daft Punk has negotiated fame through an alternative approach to the authentic. Rather than hiding the supposed artificiality of machine-made musics, the act’s celebration of robot-based guises has radically reinvented the music producer as an unashamedly automated composer. Yet these incarnations have performed a vital task of allowing Daft Punk to be active participants in the more visible areas of the music industry while also being both distanced from and critical of celebrity culture. As Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter has said: “The robot outfits […] bring us down to earth, to a really normal level. Having met celebrities and seeing how their everyday lives are affected, we have something that we share more in common with the audience than with other famous artists. I think we are closer to our fans when we are robots than we would be if we were just far-away stars (anon, 2012, online).”

This paper considers Daft Punk as anti-celebrity celebrity: a musical project that paradoxically maintains a high-profile celebrity status (as evidenced through their involvement in the 2015 Tidal launch alongside Madonna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna and Beyonce) yet perceives itself as occupying a status as not just ‘everyman’, but as anti-celebrity. However, this position, I argue, is influenced by the cited dominant Western rockist critique and ultimately indicates a position of inferiority.

Anon. (2012). “Return of the Cybermen.” http://www.mixmag.net/events/holidays/daft-punk (Accessed: 01/08/13).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Related URLs:
Depositing User: DJ Cookney
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2019 15:39
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:22
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/50761

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