Nile Rodgers reveals musical tidbits in RuPaul podcast

Nile Rodgers performing at CoachellaIn Episode 215 of What’s the Tee, RuPaul and Michelle Visage interview legendary musician and producer Nile Rodgers. (I adore their podcast, endlessly entertaining and informative.) Rodgers came to prominence during the disco era. He famously co-founded the band Chic, producing hits such as “Dance, Dance, Dance,” “Le Freak,” and “Good Times.” With Chic collaborator Bernard Edwards, Rodgers produced Sister Sledge and launched the disco anthem “We Are Family.” Hugely influential, Chic spawned numerous imitators. Hundreds of rap songs have sampled the band’s music.

During the 80s, Rodgers wrote songs for and/or produced a host of artist. He worked with Diana Ross, Deborah Harry, Madonna, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Thompson Twins, Laurie Anderson, Cyndi Lauper, and the B-52s. More recently, he had a huge hit with “Get Lucky,” working with Pharrell and Daft Punk. (See my post in which I include this song among the Top 10 Best Dance Songs of All Time.)

Nile Rodgers Reveals Musical Tidbits

In the podcast, Rodgers shares amusing tidbits about his music career. He talks about coming up with the idea for the Diana Ross hit “I’m Coming Out” when he found himself in the bathroom at a club surrounded by a handful of drag queens dressed as Diana Ross. He talks about temporarily slowing down a track to lower the pitch so Madonna could hit the high note, a Luther Vandross trick. Most tellingly, he and RuPaul note that disco never went away at the end of the 70s, despite the backlash. It just changed its name and address. Disco lived on in music by Madonna and others while morphing into what became the dominant dance music style by 1990, house music.

Listen to the Podcast

I definitely plan to check out Rodgers’ autobiography Le Freak. And I recommend listening to the entire podcast. Whether just talking amongst themselves or interviewing guests from disparate backgrounds, RuPaul and Michelle will lift your spirits and make you smile.

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