Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nile Rodgers: My Conversation With The Man Behind The Music

by Cyrus Webb

We all have been affected one way or another by music.

It might be a song that takes us back to a certain place in our lives or summons us the emotions of a certain experience. Either way we know what it's like to either hear a melody or sing the word and be transported to a plance where it seems as the it is a song just for us. Music legend Nile Rodgers knows what it's like to produce that kind of music, and to have individuals literally around the world singing, dancing and enjoying that moment in life.

That is what his life has been about: creating something that will not just affect his generation but generations to come. He chronicles his personal ups and downs and the music that was there through it all in the book LE FREAK.

The opportunity to interview Mr. Rodgers was one that was not just humbling but a real privilege as well. You see I had read the book a couple of months before the actual release thanks to Amazon's Vine Program, and after finishing it I knew that a conversation with him would not just be a big get for Conversations LIVE but an inspiring one for those who would hear it.

I was not disappointed on either front.

On the day of the interview he was not only pleasant but in some ways always almost as amazed at his success as others were. With everything on the table for discussion, it was an opportunity I will always remember.

NILE ON SUCCESS AND THE POWER OF MUSIC: "Success unfortunately or fortunately is judged by the amount of money you generate which translates into the amount of listeners you touch. Music is such a unique artform where the people don't have to have bought it to be influenced by it. People can just hear it wherever they go. More often than not it lives on forever. I've been able to create something that absolutely changed my life. It's amazing to have done something that has had an affect on other people. It is its own reward. I don't think of music that way when I'm creating it, but the fact that people digest it and it becomes a part of their reality is humbling."

Niles Rodgers has written and produced songs that defined that the lives of people all around the globe including “Le Freak,” “Good Times,” “We Are Family,” “Like a Virgin,” “Modern Love,” “I’m Coming Out,” “The Reflex,” “Rapper’s Delight" and others. He has transformed the way music is listened to and in the process sold millions of records along the way.

NILE ON FAMILY, DRUGS AND LESSONS LEARNED: "My father gave me his kindness, openmindedness and music. My father was an addict but a working musician. He was a kind, loving and open person. For me music was more than just a way out of a desperate lifestyle. My mother had me when she was 13 years old. My family was loving and caring, but drug addiction permeated my entire clan. My mom became an addict. Music gave me something I could focus on, something I could practice. Music is a solitary life until you are able to share with others. Music gave me a sense of achievement. I knew at a certain point in time that this was going to be my profession."

NILE ON PASSION: "For me the gift is really the pleasure that is in the doing of the music. I happened to be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing. I always loved making music, even when I wasn't getting paid. When I made it, the basic love of music was still there. I have produced and wrote massive hits. All of it came from my wanting to get up and go to work. My worth ethic is exactly the same for Madonna as an unknown. The one thing that is absolute is the love and passion for doing my job."

By using his gift he has brought the world to their feet and even through the dramatic revelations of the book we see him continuing even today. There are few people who have the charisma, skill and ability to do what Nile Rodgers has accomplished. What I learned through the conversation, though, is that it's not about being him. It's about making sure that you are being all that you can be in whatever you are doing.

Nile Rodgers' autobiography LE FREAK is available on and everywhere that books are sold. Find out more information about his current tour and events by visiting

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