Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Me and Mr "Le Freak": Nile Rodgers

Firstly I want to thank the Songwriters Hall of Fame for such an astounding Master session last night at NYU. Secondly a huge thank you to my friend Regi who told me about the event.
There I was able to meet "Le Freak" himself, Mr. Nile Rodgers.

Nile Rodgers
Many of you might not be familiar with the name, but I am almost certain you know his "remarkable body of work", as the Songwriters Hall of Fame has so accurately noted.
Songs like the infamous "Le Freak", "We Are Family", "Like A Virgin" and "I'm Coming Out" (you cannot read that title without breaking out into song!) are all accredited to the incredibly talented Nile Rodgers.

Phil Galdston (who has an extensive body of work himself) interviewed Nile and it was an absolute treat!

Phil Galdston
Nile is easy-going, has a great sense of humor, an extreme down-to-earth, very humane quality for someone who's worked with the "crème de la crème" (as he wittingly referenced how his band came up with the name "Chic"). Nile has worked with Madonna, Sister Sledge, Duran Duran, Diana Ross and so many more.
Despite his colorful life story, as ALL successful people do, Nile beat the odds. He grew up in a time where racism had no undertones, his parents were drug addicts, he moved around a lot, yet he is a phenomenal musician, an international success and a living legend; a true inspiration to songwriters like myself and pretty much ANYONE who has the will to succeed.

Phil Galdston and Nile Rodgers during the interview

Talk about knowing your instrument!

Nile told us a very funny story about the song "Le Freak". Apparently some people think the song is "Aaaaaaaaaafrica, L'Afrique, so chic" but it's actually "Ahhhhhhhhh Freak Out, Le Freak, c'est chic" it's a big hit to Africans and needless to say Nile is a big hit there as well! lol

Nile regaling how "I'm Coming Out" became a major success for Ms Diana Ross

Some familiar faces were there as well, actor Delroy Lindo, who instinctively leaned over a little when taking this pic with me, and wasn't ostentatious about his powerful 6 foot plus frame!

Nile asking about my name (which is from the Barry Manilow hit)...
 and me explaining that it's only awkward when your OBGYN sings it to you...during the exam!

Pictured with the multi-talented Nile Rodgers, hoping that some of his genius would rub off on me!

Nile is a songwriter, an arranger, producer, composer, musical professional in every sense of the word, and most recently author. Nile has written "Le Freak"; a few pages in and I didn't want to put the book down! It is as captivating as the man himself! Anyway, hopefully you'll get your hands on a copy and read about one of the most brilliant musical forces of our time.

1 comment:

R A Alvarez said...

Hi Mandy,
I actually remember the song back in the seventies!
I like the write-up on Mr. Nile Rodgers;I heard he was down-to-earth and easy going.
I have tried to reach out to him on his Planet C blog, but he never reaches back. Somethings are just not meant to be, somehow I do not take it personal. I once thought he did not like black people because of his experiences but you taught me different.
Wishing all the best success in the world!