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Nile Rodgers: "I Lived on the New York Subway"

May 15, 2013 — by Andrew Burns

Nile Rodgers - currently enjoying success with Daft Punk - on his tough life on the streets before becoming a global star

Following his reserved collaboration with French megatrons Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers is suddenly a bit of a big deal again.

Disco-funk pioneer Rodgers, 60, is the riff-writing wonder behind Daft Punk’s all-conquering hit single Get Lucky and has stamped his mark all over the duo’s new album, ‘Random Access Memories’.

He found fame in bringing disco to the masses with Chic in the late-1970s and before going on to pen global hits for Madonna and Duran Duran – but it all didn’t start so well for the guitarist after he spent time sleeping rough on the streets of New York.

“I lived on the street and in the New York subway system,” he told The Big Issue. “We were called ‘tunnel rats’.

“Then I lived in a commune, I was a panhandler or what they call ‘spangers’, as in ‘spare changers’. But I always had a guitar. Being a wandering minstrel was how I earned money but also spiritual capital.

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GQ Magazine: The Q New Right Now

May 14, 2013 — by Jen Ortiz

The GQ+A: Nile Rodgers on Playing with Daft Punk

Nile Rodgers is bringing disco—the sound he defined with his icon-status group Chic back in the genre's heyday—back, with the help of two guys dressed as robots. Sort of. He's produced songs for serious industry names like Mick Jagger, Madonna, and David Bowie, but kids these days might best recognize Rodgers as the guy with the dreads playing guitar alongside Daft Punk while Pharrell croons on "Get Lucky." The first single off Daft Punk's Random Access Memories has a dance-y, disco sound—thanks, in large part, to Rodgers and his guitar—that has defined expectations for the twosome's new analog album. Rodgers went back to basics with the digital pair at the iconic Electric Lady Studios in New York City nearly a year ago, taking a decades-old approach to recording that's made a classic sound new again.

GQ rang up Rodgers at his Connecticut studio to hear more about the collaboration, the new album, and what he's learned from the helmeted duo.

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Nile Rodgers' Top Five Daft Punk Tracks

May 13, 2013 — by Lauren Martin

The CHIC frontman, 'Lucky guitarist and Daft Punk homeboy on his favourite robo-pops

As we were preparing our Daft Punk Day, a little-known track called "Get Lucky" was running through our heads. Behind the robots behind the masks, the guitarist playing the riff that propelled Daft Punk's comeback single to bona fide global smash is Nile Rodgers. One of the most successful songwriters of all time, the ex-Black Panther and Chic frontman is a hero to most, Daft Punk included. Happily, the feeling is mutual, as we discovered when we asked him about his favourite Daft Punk jams.

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Daft Punk: 'Get Lucky' Sums Up 'Celebratory' Spirit of New Album



French dance duo open up on new track in rare radio interview

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World's Most Successful G££tar


by Ellie Ross

IT’S the £1.3billion guitar that continues to earn its owner a fortune.

Funk legend Nile Rodgers is the genius behind disco giants Chic but has also produced and played on some of the biggest-selling albums of all time by artists including Madonna, David Bowie, Duran Duran and Diana Ross.

And on each track he has played his white 1959 Fender Stratocaster, known as The Hitmaker.

The total value of music to flow through the instrument was once valued at $2billion — that’s £1.3billion — and Rodgers has once again proved the instrument is a force to be reckoned with.

He and his trusty Fender provide the riff for Daft Punk’s anthem of the summer Get Lucky, which is top of the UK singles chart for the second week running. Last month the track hit No3, despite being available for just over 24 hours.

Then music site Spotify announced it had become the most streamed song over a 24-hour period in the UK and US in their five-year history.

Rodgers, 60, said he felt “wonderful” about the track’s success, adding: “For it to come together in this fashion is just great.”

Referring to when Chic stormed the charts with Le Freak, he added: “It’s like the summer of ’78 has been duplicated.” French duo Daft Punk wanted to write and record Get Lucky the old-fashioned way.

They went to Electric Lady — the studio designed for Jimi Hendrix in New York — and Rodgers’ Fender was plugged directly into the mixing board.

Rodgers said: “They chose to go the difficult route. They don’t believe in shortcuts. They allowed me just to write and play. Then we chipped away at it. By the end of the night — woah! It’s a smash.”

Rodgers has now sold more than 100MILLION records, having taught himself guitar as a teen to impress a girl.

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Get Lucky becomes biggest hit of Daft Punk’s career


by Lauren Kreisler

There’s just no stopping this track!

Daft Punk remain firmly locked at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart for a second week as sales of Get Lucky accelerate yet again, shifting a staggering 163,000 copies since last Sunday.

The disco-drenched Get Lucky featuring N.E.R.D’s Pharrell Williams and Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers not only extends its title of the fastest selling single of the year, but in just a little over two weeks the lead single from upcoming album Random Access Memories has notched up UK sales of 369,000, to become the biggest hit of the French duo’s career, overtaking 2000’s club smash One More Time.

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Nile Rodgers "thrilled" with Daft Punk number one hit

Nile Rodgers on collaborating with Daft Punk on number one hit Get Lucky.

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Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' Sets Record on Spotify

April 24, 2013 VIA

Daft Punk has set a record on Spotify.

The music service, which launched in 2008, says the French electronic duo's song "Get Lucky" had the biggest streaming day for a single track on Friday in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Spotify wouldn't release the number of streams.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" previously held the record for most streams in a day in the U.S. British band Bastille had the title in the United Kingdom with the song "Pompeii."

Daft Punk Releases Official 'Get Lucky' Single

Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" features rapper-producer Pharrell and influential producer/ guitarist Nile Rodgers. It's the first single from the group's fourth album, "Random Access Memories," due out May 21. Years of reports of the group's extensive collaborations for the new album -- from Rodgers and Williams to electronic pioneer Giorgio Moroder -- were confirmed with this week's release of the collection's track list, which also features the Strokes' Julian Casablancas, Paul Williams, Todd Edwards and Animal Collective's Panda Bear.

The album is the secretive act's first studio LP since 2005's "Human After All." Daft Punk has since released a live set, "Alive 2007," as well as the soundtrack to 2010's "TRON: Legacy." "Random Access Memories" is due May 21.

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Daft Punk's new single Get Lucky breaks Spotify record

April 23, 2013 VIA

Dance duo Daft Punk's first new single in eight years, Get Lucky, has broken Spotify streaming records.

The comeback, which features singer Pharrell Williams, had the biggest streaming day for a single track in the US and UK on the day of its release.

The Swedish online music site did not release the number of streams for the track which features on the DJs' new album, Random Access Memories.

Spotify's Will Hope said the album would be "the biggest" this year.

"There was never any doubt that the first original single from Daft Punk in years was going to be one of the biggest debut singles of 2013," the director of label relations said.

"We expect the album to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, on Spotify this year," he added.

Daft Punk broke the one-day streaming record previously held by British band Bastille's single Pompeii in the UK.

Thrift Shop, a single by Seattle-based rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis, held the record in the US.

Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers features alongside Williams on Daft Punk's new disco inspired track.

The duo whose real names are Thomas Bangalter and Guy De Homem-Christo, told Rolling Stone magazine they hired "top-notch session players" to perform on the album.

Random Access Memories is Daft Punk's first studio album since 2005's Human After All, though the band scored the Tron: Legacy soundtrack in 2010.

They won a Grammy in 2009 for their live album, Alive 2007.

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First listen: Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky'

April 19, 2013 VIA

It's been eight years since Daft Punk's last album, seven since its last brain-melting performance at Coachella, and less than a week since the band's advertisement for the forthcoming "Random Access Memories" sent Indio-goers into a collective swoon. So after all that anticipation, the real star of its return single is...Nile Rodgers of Chic?

That's no knock on the song. The disco maven Rodgers offers up some seriously tasty funk licks on "Get Lucky," the retro-futurist track and first full cut from the album to emerge in the wild (and as of now, iTunes). But it does suggest the degree to which Daft Punk is curating as much as crafting "Random Access Memories."

The now public list of Daft Punk's album collaborators -- Rodgers, Pharrell Williams (who sings on the track), house producer Todd Edwards, Animal Collective's Panda Bear, "Rainbow Connection" songwriter Paul Williams and a whole flock of '70s and '80s session ninjas -- is formidable, and was perhaps cause for some fears of musical outsourcing. But "Get Lucky," which sort of debuted in pieces in a few well-placed TV and Web advertisements, shows just how deftly the French duo put all those pieces together.

Remarkably, it still sounds entirely like Daft Punk, even though the duo give the prime cuts of this tune to others. Rodgers is famous for his steamy guitar sound, a clean Fender played high on the neck with exacting syncopation. That tone is the heart of "Get Lucky," and it's kind of a fulfillment of the circle of life in dance music. Chic is the kind of group whose music Daft Punk might have sampled in the late '90s, and now that they're global megastars, why not hire the man himself?

Vocally, Pharrell Williams gives one of his more restrained performances, and his high falsetto timbre falls right in line with past Daft Punk vocalists and melody-men like Romanthony and Edwards. The lyrics are a goofy incantation of how Pharrell is taking to outer space to get laid, which is an excellent summary of Daft Punk's mission with this tune - lusty feelings with a license to time-travel.

But the more interesting thing is what the song's collaborative alchemy says about how Daft Punk works. Early interviews suggest that for the band, "Random Access Memories" was all about live instrumentation and re-creating the big-budget glory days of the disco, funk and rock studio heyday. Now that everything on pop radio and clubland sounds like their early '00s work, that's a perfectly contrarian move that few other acts could even attempt today (recording budget reasons above all).

But in a way, Daft Punk here is thinking more like classic house DJs than it ever has. It's taking the distinct sounds of others and positioning them to set a mood and emotion all their own.

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