As a producer his work is equally epic. The recipient of two Grammy Awards, Nile Rodgers production credits are undeniable:
・’We Are Family’ - Sister Sledge
・’Diana’ - Diana Ross
・’Let's Dance’ - David Bowie
・’Like a Virgin’ - Madonna
・’Original Sin’ - INXS
Nile Rodgers has also worked with Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, Brian Ferry, Eric Clapton, Duran Duran, the B-52's, Sting, Mick Jagger, Paula Abdul, Joss Stone and Britney Spears.
In between rolling out the chart-toppers, Nile also finds time for a playful side. He has worked on Sesame Street, the Beavis and Butthead Experience, and scored films such as Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop III. Nile is also a big videogame fan, producing the soundtrack to Halo 2: Original Soundtrack Vol 1.
His partial discography will test your scrolling abilities. Even when not directly involved in the production, Rodgers influence is ubiquitous. The Harry Fox licensing and collection agency recently stated that Nile Rogers is the most sampled artist of all time.
RA caught up with the legend before he jetted off to Barcelona…
How many times have you been to Sonar?
This will be our first time.
Do you have a favourite festival memory?
Ask me five minutes after we come off stage and I catch my breath.
For many Europeans Sonar is the start of summer, does the warmer weather affect your sound at all?
The truth is Chic played outdoors two weeks before the Winter Olympics kicked off and it was still funky. If the music is hot and the vibe is right the people can feel it. When the people are feeling it that's all that matters because we always feel it.
For people not used to a Spanish lifestyle, a siesta is not part of their usual day. How do you approach the afternoon break?
I never have a break in my day. I am working everyday about 19 hours straight.
Sonar is very interested in new frontiers, not just technology but art, music and social trends as well. What do you think have been some of the biggest developments of the last year?
The people of the world starting to understand that we need to work together to affect change on a global level. Voice over IP buildouts, high definition videogames, Macs with Intel processors running Windows apps, and how music plays a bigger part in our daily lives than ever before because it's the backdrop for almost everything we do.
Chic were responsible for some of the biggest hits of the seventies. You've played live only sporadically over the last ten years. What has prompted this latest reunion? How does it feel to get together with the band again?
Chic is the fantasy space where I go to live out my musical dreams. Before Bernard Edwards died, he and I realized we needed Chic to always be there for us to "live" these dreams.
Is their a particular tune you are looking forward to playing at Sonar?
I think my favourite song to play live is "Good Times/A Rapper's Delight". It represents the beginning and the end of two important eras in music history to me.
Sonar is a celebration of the electronic side of music especially as it relates to dance. Tell us about how electronics figure in the live Chic sound and also what you think of electronic dance music?
I love electronic dance music. I always have. When we wrote ‘I Want Your Love’ it was our way to play tribute to the rhythms of electronic music that was just starting to happen in the seventies. I am honoured that Sonar is having "Classic Dance" in the form of Chic as it is the forerunner of electronic and is also the basis of many records via sampling.
Who are you looking forward to seeing on this years programme?
Everybody that I can see for the short period that we are there. I am very excited to feel the vibe of the other acts because Sonar is becoming legendary in the world of dance.
Do you have anything planned for the rest of summer?
Yes. Chic is doing dates around Europe and the States. It is best to check my website to get the info. We don't do many gigs because I have so much going on. When you go to the website you will understand.
CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers play Sonar Club on Friday 16 June
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