The Future Is Now: Giorgio Moroder Predicted Today's Pop Music 40 Years Ago

The iconic producer introduced electronic music to pop radio and soundtracked your favorite ’80s movies. At age 75, he’s back and finally feeling the love.


Synthesizers pump through the heart of contemporary pop music, but in the early ’70s, machine-made music seemed like a sci-fi fantasy. That is, until 1976, when disco queen Donna Summer recorded her single “I Feel Love,” a worldwide smash hit composed by producer Giorgio Moroder using Moog synths. It was disco that sounded like it was from the future. Today, it’s seen as the big bang of modern music: the birth of synthpop, EDM, and all of today’s electro-infused genres.

Before evolving the global disco scene, the Italian-born Moroder made his name in German pop music. After his breakthrough, he moved to Hollywood and scored some of the biggest films of the 1980s, including Scarface, Flashdance, Top Gun, and The Never Ending Story, racking up Oscars like Meryl Streep along the way. Moroder’s innovation opened the door for a generation of electronic producers and pop impresarios—from Trent Reznor to Pharrell Williams—to score major Hollywood films.

After retiring from public life in the early ’90s, Moroder reemerged in 2013 on Daft Punk’s Grammy-winning album Random Access Memories, where the group acknowledged him as a major influence on the song “Giorgio by Moroder.” Since then, he’s been DJing stadiums and clubs around the world while recording Déjà Vu, his first album in 30 years, with an all-star cast of collaborators, including Britney Spears, Sia, Charli XCX, and Kylie Minogue. With plans to work on Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey’s next albums, it’s clear that Moroder still has a finger on the pulse and an eye on the horizon.

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