Nile Rodgers’ is a name that many out there won’t be too aware of, but his musical signature is scrawled all across the world of pop in the late twentieth century.
Now the guitarist and composer is finally getting the recognition that he deserves, with BBC Four showing a fantastic documentary profiling Rodgers that should help many finally put a name and a face to some of the most iconic guitar riffs of the last few decades.
Rodgers started his musical journey as a part of New York disco group CHIC, a band that might not be known to many, but was crucial to the evolution of the entire disco world.
As a part of CHIC, he was responsible for some genre defining tracks, including ‘Le Freak’, ‘Everybody Dance’ and ‘Good Times’. That ‘Le Freak’ is still Atlantic Record’s only triple platinum selling singleis achievement enough to put Rodgers in the history books, but he was far from done.
Away from CHIC, he became the producer and writer that everyone wanted to work with. After helping create the iconic song ‘We Are Family’ for Sister Sledge, he could do no wrong. From turning around Diana Ross’s career with hits like ‘Upside Down’ and ‘I’m Coming Out’ to CHIC providing the baseline for ‘Rappers Delight’ he was a messily influential part of soul, RnB and rap.
He wasn’t done there though, and midway through the eighties, the helped transform the world of pop music by not only teaming up with David Bowie to produce his album ‘Let’s Dance’ but also working with Duran Duran on several hits and then moving on to helping Madonna craft her amazing album ‘Like A Virgin’.
To put it bluntly, getting Nile Rodgers on board was almost enough to guarantee you a hit.
His music hasn’t just been restricted to the charts though, with Rodgers putting his musical stamp on the entire entertainment world. Creating and composing soundtracks for movies for more than two decades, Rodgers has worked on soundtracks for films like Thelma and Louise, Coming To America, the Beverly Hills Cop sequels and even The Flintstones.
Over the last decade he’s also gotten heavily involved in the world of video games, being a part of some of the biggest franchises in that world including the Halo, Resident Evil and Borderlands games.
At the age of sixty and battling cancer, that Nile Rodgers still not only performs but actively goes about creating new and interesting music is a real testament to the man both on an artistic and personal level.
Now, a whole new group of music fans are going to get to know the genius of Rodgers, with the guitarist now working with French electro magicians Daft Punk on their new album Random Access Memories. We really can’t wait to hear what the two can conjure up when they’re locked in a studio together.
Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker is on tonight on BBC Four at 9pm.