The Click: Nile Rodgers
I knew that music was going to be a part of my life from the moment I became self aware, but I really believe the moment that had the greatest impression upon me is when I was a young jazz guitarist.
One day my tutor noticed that my personality was different; I wasn’t the happy-go-lucky person I usually was when I would take my lessons. On this particular day, I was sort of sad. He asked me why and I told him it was because I had to play bullshit pop music at a gig that night. He said, ‘Bullshit pop music? What do you mean by bullshit pop music?’
I showed him the list of songs that I was playing that night, and at the top of the list was a song called Sugar Sugar by a group called the Archies. Sugar Sugar had been No. 1 for three, four weeks now, but I didn’t like this corny pop song. He replied, ‘So let me just make sure I understand you properly. Those millions of people who bought that record, and made it go number one for all those weeks, they’re wrong. But you, you’re right.’ I never thought about it like that. He said, ‘Let me explain something to you. Any record that makes it into the Top 40 is a great composition.’ I thought, great composition? You call Sugar, Sugar a great composition? He said absolutely – because it speaks to the souls of a million strangers.
Two weeks later, I wrote a song that goes, “everybody dance, doo doo doo doo, clap your hands”. I sat home and pondered the concept of speaking to the people’s souls who don’t know me. I’m naturally curious about people. What were you doing before? How did you become who you are? And what’s interesting is that now I have a life, that anywhere I go in the world, I know that I’ve written a piece of music that’s touched a number of people, not just one.