Nile Rodgers is the owner of one of the sharpest minds in music. Few have the same encyclopedic knowledge of music as the Chic Man, who apart from being a conductor was also at the forefront of defining what pop music would become throughout. throughout the 1980s. Rodgers was influential in shaping the careers of David Bowie, Prince and Madonna, but it was an English left-wing group that inspired him to form Chic.
Rodgers formed his first band after meeting bassist Bernard Edwards in 1970 while working as a touring musician for the Sesame Street show. The two formed rock band The Boys after they hit it off after performing as backing musicians for vocal group New York City, which had a hit single with ‘I’m Doin’ Fine Now ‘. The band took them on a tour and gave Rodgers a first glimpse of his future. Although the first group was short lived, Rodgers and Bernard went on to form a funk-rock band called The Big Apple Band, but struggled to take off as record companies thought it would be too hard to promote. black rock musicians.
A more successful rebranding would come in 1977, a time when they essentially changed their name to Chic, and the work Rodgers had done in previous years ultimately paid off for them as they instantly became a success. The influence of Chic will make David Bowie turn to dance with the help of Rodgers in 1983. Without the group breaking this ground of pioneer, who knows if it would have been possible for Prince to make reign his purple on the world.
The Big Apple Band began in 1972. The inspiration for Rodgers and Edwards forming the group, which would eventually take over the world as Chic, came after his travels as a session musician brought him to England. , where a concert would serve as life. changing event in his life. Both musicians were part of a rock band called The Boys at the time, but something was wrong and, after witnessing Roxy Music, Rodgers realized he had to change his production.
“I’ve made a lot of records in my life, and in a strange way, even though I’m an American, born in New York, the UK has had so much to do with developing my career,” Rodgers recount at the Q Awards in 2018. If it hadn’t been for this girl who took me to see this then unknown band called Roxy Music, I would never have imagined the concept of Chic.
“We were in a bunch of punk bands, and every time we got dressed in the morning, that was what we took on stage that night. I went to this club and saw this beautiful band called Roxy Music and they were wonderful.
“They were ready and dressed to take the stage. The audience was magnificent. I phoned and called my boy in New York. I said, ‘(Chic co-founder) Bernard (Edwards), we have to do the black version of this shit.’ It changed my life, and from that point on I met people like David Bowie, George Michael and Duran Duran.
Not only has Rodgers worked and inspired almost every artist in the sun, but he’s also partnered with Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music on numerous occasions over the last few dacians. The two have forged a solid working relationship, which began in 1984 on Ferry’s Boys girls record breaking and most recently in 2014 Rodgers jumped on the album Avonmore, with him and Johnny Marr playing guitar throughout the effort.
Although it took over half a decade of perseverance with The Big Apple Band and then Chic before Rodgers began to reap the rewards of his labor, he knew from the moment he saw Roxy Music that music traditional rock was holding him back. Seeing these young English people express themselves without restraint was a liberating experience that changed her life.