ICON: Nile Gregory Rodgers Jr. is an American record producer, songwriter, musician, composer, arranger and guitarist.
ICON: Nile Gregory Rodgers Jr. is an American record producer, songwriter, musician, composer, arranger and guitarist.

Get Lucky! Le Freak will bring all the chic hits

TO SAY that American musician and producer Nile Rodgers is a music icon is an understatement.

He is a living legend of music of the past 50 years.

Over the years Rodgers has written, produced and arranged some of the biggest songs of the past five decades, including the 2013 mega hit Get Lucky with Daft Punk and the remastering of Fantasy, the posthumous 2017 release by the late George Michael from a song released originally in 1987.

Speaking from his recording studios in Connecticut, USA, Rodgers said his Bluesfest Byron Bay 2018 show with Chic will be a list of classic hits that started with the 1978's Disco hit Le Freak.

"We start with the first song that I ever wrote for Chic, which was Everybody Dance (1977), and then I chronologically take you through my career.

"So we do Chic, we do Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, sometimes we do Duran Duran, and sometimes we do Madonna.

"Sometimes we do INXS and sometimes we do David Bowie.

"What's great is that we play it very true to the original arrangements, because that's what I do, I don't just write and produce the songs, but they are also my arrangements.

"I want to play my orchestrations the way they go.

"It's a pretty fun show."

Aged 65, Rodgers has just had cancer surgery and has confirmed he has "100% chance of recovery".

Rodgers said the finale of his show is usually a big party.

"We normally invite everyone to the stage and we have a big disco party," he said.

"I never have more fun than when we are on stage.

"Every year, I think, our show gets better, and our set list gets more and more exciting to me."

Asked if he may try playing some new music while in Australia, Rodgers said they will focus on the hits.

"We don't normally have that much time on stage," he said.

"We are handcuffed by the clock.

"Most of the time, I know the audience is seeing us for the first time, so I don't want to let people down and not have the best time they could have.

"When we are headlining, well, that's another story.

"I guarantee you, our show will be hit after hit."

There will be nine people on stage with Rodgers, as part of the current line up of Chic, which has been together for the past decade.

Chic also includes Jerry Barnes on bass, Kimberly Davis on vocals, Folami on vocals, Richard Hilton and Russell Graham on keyboards, Bill Holloman and Curt Ramm on horns and Ralph Rolle on drums and vocals.

Rodgers said they have been together for so long that the band is able to be flexible and have fun on stage.

"When you see a song list at my feet at a Chic show, you'll find about 25 songs on that list, and based on the way the crowd is reacting, I became like a DJ, I read the crowd and, although we are a totally live band, I call out a song and we can change and we can change the order and do whatever we want to do," he said.

"A lot of time you'll see me walking around telling everyone what's happening."

HIT FACTORY

Remember these Nile Rodgers hits?

1. Chic - Le Freak (1978)

2. Sister Sledge - Lost in Music (1979)

3. Diana Ross - I'm Coming Out (1980)

4. David Bowie - Let's Dance (1983)

5. Madonna - Like A Virgin (1984)

6. Duran Duran - The Reflex (1984)

7. The Power Station - Some Like It Hot (1985)

8. B-52s - Love Shack (1989)

9. Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams - Get Lucky (2013)

10. George Michael (posthumous) - Fantasy (2017)


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