The 73-year-old EDM pioneer discusses how the robots re-energized his career
Producer Giorgio Moroder, who helped invent disco in the 1970s with Donna Summer (“I Feel Love,” “Love to Love You Baby”) before conjuring the ’80s synth sound of film soundtracks (“Scarface,” “American Gigolo,” “Flashdance”), disappeared from pop culture for two decades. Catapulted back into the spotlight with an unexpected starring role on Daft Punk’s 2013 megahit release 'Random Access Memories'—a four-time Grammy Award winner, including album of the year—the 73-year-old is basking in EDM’s ecstatic embrace, working on a new record, remixing ascending acts like Haim to blogosphere acclaim and DJ’ing before jubilant international crowds of tens of thousands easily young enough to be his grandkids. Billboard asked Moroder to reflect on his remarkable re-emergence.
Until recently I was mostly playing a lot of golf. I picked it up while living in a small city in the Dolomites [in Italy]. One day I was putting on a hill in Zurich, and a few hundred yards away Diana Ross was doing a sound test at an arena for a performance that night of “Take My Breath Away,” my song with her. That was a very nice game, an incredible feeling. But now I’m too busy for that. Things have come around for me again. It started with the Daft Punk song “Giorgio by Moroder,” from their new album. I didn’t have any idea what they would have me do when they called me in to their studio on La Cienega [in Hollywood], around the time they were working on 'Tron.' My agent was talking to their manager, Paul Hahn. Paul said, “Why don’t we set up a lunch?” I went there; they showed me their synthesizers.
I brought my son. At the time he was 22. Kids: They are not too easy to impress. Growing up, he was heavy, heavy into Korn and Linkin Park, and I didn’t do too much in the last 20 years. But he loves the Dafts so much. For him, I grew in his esteem enormously.