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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Nov-18 > NILE COUNSEL


Few musicians have successfully navigated popular culture with the skill and bravado of Nile Rodgers. The guitarist’s pioneering band Chic first galloped onto the UK charts in 1977 with Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) and since then, his output has generated over £600 million in record sales. After graduating from disco, he became the go-to hitmaker for David Bowie, Duran Duran, Madonna, Debbie Harry, Sister Sledge, Grace Jones, Daft Punk… the list goes on and on. Classic Pop caught up with Nile at his new residence – the legendary Abbey Road Studios, where he was recently appointed Chief Creative Advisor. London may have become his spiritual and creative home, but his latest Chic LP, It’s About Time, reveals he’s also on a mission to save the entire planet from self destruction… one club at a time.

The Good Times are most definitely back for dance music’s ultimate hitmaker. “Everybody will be worldfamous for 15 minutes,” proclaimed Andy Warhol many moons ago – but Nile Rodgers has surely tipped the hour mark, and then some. He survived the ‘Disco Sucks’ movement, the 80s backlash, drug overdoses, a major post-millennial chart comedown and, more seriously, cancer. But the producer’s status grew immeasurably when he sprinkled fairydust over Daft Punk’s Get Lucky in 2013, and he has been a ubiquitous presence at music-industry happenings ever since. Even so, a new album under the Chic mantle was a long time coming. Back in 2015, It’s About Time came close to fruition, preceded by its nostalgic lead single, I’ll Be There. But three years on and “it’s a whole different thing”, demurs Nile, clearly only focused on the new and improved version of It’s About Time. “This album is the most self-indulgent record I’ve ever made in my life, except for maybe [debut 1983 solo LP] Land Of The Good Groove. It’s the first Chic album in 26 years; I had plenty of stuff I wanted to say. The only reason why I didn’t continue after I’ll Be There is because that record was a big tribute to all the artists who made my life so special. I was thanking Bowie, Michael, then Prince, but these artists started dying and it just didn’t feel right. I realised that particular world I was writing about had changed, that time was gone and I’ve got to be making records in this world for a new Chic experience.”

So Nile passed his glitterball forward to the next generation of pop stars, and threw in a little social commentary as well. “This world is peculiar to me now, we are hanging on by our fingernails… How did we get here? The one thing that is absolutely fucking consistent is we’re still going to need music. So I had this idea to start my album out with this apocalyptic scenario; I created a holistic interpretation of how I see the world.”

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About Classic Pop

Issue 46 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue we have an exclusive chat with the new line-up of Spandau Ballet – their first major group interview as they relaunch themselves with new frontman Ross William Wild. We also have a must-read interview with Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet who look back on their fractious past life in Yazoo. The legends just keep on coming, too, as we speak to Nile Rodgers about his 40 years of classic tracks as a billion-dollar hitmaker and Chic's hotly-anticipated new album, It's About Time. Elsewhere, we look back at the 80s heyday of Top Of The Pops through the eyes of those who were there – DJ Janice Long and a whole host of TV insiders. Our classic album is the Stone Roses' imperious debut and we also meet Stephen Hague, the producer behind hits by Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Robbie Williams and many more besides. Need a buyer's guide to Michael Jackson? We look at the King of Pop's complete career in our Lowdown feature. As we delve into David Bowie's 80s boxset Loving The Alien, Classic Pop catches up with his closest collaborators who tell us how the legend's most divisive decade made him a global star. New albums from Boy George And Culture Club, Chic, Robyn, and The Prodigy get the once-over alongside reissues including OMD, Bronski Beat, Ultravox, The Police and Massive Attack. We also review Soft Cell's celebratory farewell O2 show plus Kylie Minogue's Golden Tour and more.. Enjoy the issue! Steve