Disco stalwart Chic's guitarist wonders if his iconic band will finally be inducted into Hall of Fame

Hit-maker Nile Rodgers plays on every record that he co-produces with other artists.
Hit-maker Nile Rodgers plays on every record that he co-produces with other artists. PHOTO: NILE RODGERS PRODUCTIONS

The American disco-era band have been nominated 10 times for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, but have not won the privilege yet

Grammy-winning producer and hit-maker Nile Rodgers' band Chic have been nominated 10 times for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, but without success so far.

The 63-year-old says: "This has happened 10 times already, it's like deja vu."

Chic received their 10th nomination last month. The results will be announced next year and if they do not make it to the Hall of Fame this time, they will become the most nominated act in the history of the hall not to be inducted.

"The first time was exciting but now, after 10 times of not winning, I wonder why," he tells Life in a telephone interview ahead of Chic's gig here on Saturday at the Neon Lights music and arts festival.

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Then he quips: "I didn't get into music to get into the Hall of Fame. When I started playing music, there was no Hall of Fame."

In fact, disco-era stalwarts Chic have been burning up the dance floor since 1976, before the Hall of Fame started in 1986, with hits such as Le Freak and Good Times.

"I have many more hit records than most people in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame," he says. "I make music because I love music. I make music for my heart and for people."

Formed by Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards, Chic have changed their line-up many times in their four-decade history.

Meanwhile, Rodgers has not been sitting on his laurels as a retro act. He has producing credits on hit albums such as Madonna's Like A Virgin (1984) and Duran Duran's Notorious (1986), and his collaboration with French house music duo Daft Punk, Get Lucky, won Record of the Year at the Grammys last year. Rodgers, who has made a career of collaborating with other artists, says he feels like a part of each act he produces albums with.

"Every record that I co-produce, I play on it as well," he says. "That's the thing that makes me more connected to the artist. Even though it's his name on the record, I feel like it's us against the world. If we don't get it right, we sink or swim together."

In the past three months, he has released tracks with Duran Duran (Pressure Off, also features Janelle Monae) and Australian DJ twins Nervo (The Other Boys, which also features Kylie Minogue and Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears).

His reworking of Chic's 1978 hit I Want Your Love with Lady Gaga on vocals was the soundtrack for designer Tom Ford's Spring/ Summer 2016 show last month.

Rodgers, who is married and has no children, clearly adores Gaga, saying: "I wish she wasn't getting married, I'd propose."

His other projects include a "trilogy" of songs with EDM producer Nicky Romero; a Hugh Jackman theatre production that starts a five-city tour of Australia from Nov 24; and a collaboration with Australian country music star Keith Urban. There seems to be no stopping Rodgers, a prostate cancer survivor who has been cancer-free for five years.

He says: "I'll do this till I can't do it anymore. The day that I can't pick up a guitar and play it, I'll say okay, I guess it's time to retire."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2015, with the headline 'Chic still not in Hall of Fame'. Print Edition | Subscribe