This year’s IMS was very diverse with a great roster of Artists to appear and perform. To name just a few it was the likes of Giorgio Moroder, Will.i.am, The Japanese Popstars, Azari & III plus the ones i will forget here. But who impressed me by far the most, and i know i am not alone with this opinion, was the panel with Nile Rodgers, one part of Chic. Together with Bernard Edwards who died in 1996 he could be called the inventor of the ‘boum boum boum boum’ 4tothefloor and all that came with it.
It was such a pleasure listening to his words, he is still so young at heart and the stories he told were simply hilarious. Imagine back in the 1970’s, when the United States were still divided in Black and White, where those two guys had to make a record with around 35.000 bucks while other white formations got ten times more just because of the color of their skin… Something that nowadays would be simply impossible.
It was a time when DJs started spinning records, exploring the first mixes and looking for music to please the crowds, no matter where this music came from. Those two guys were scouted very young and had absolutely no idea of how this business works, they just had their incredible talent and were unstoppable, even being black was no reason to not succeed. So they went into the clubs with one copy of their tracks and gave it to the DJs to see the reaction of the crowd, very similar to what nowadays every producer can do with a pre-master of his track.
Apart from Chic, Nile with his love for this music and his natural spirit very soon converted into one of the most sought-after producers making him the creative force behind Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Robert Plant, Madonna and many more.
One particular story shows exactly how big their talent was and that creativity has no borders. It was back in the golden days of Studio 54 in New York where they got invited by Grace Jones telling them to go to the back door and by saying ‘We are close friends of Grace’ they could get in. Said and done – but sadly the doorman responded a simple ‘fuck off’ and shut the door in front of them. Completely disappointed about this reaction both went back to their studio which was just around the corner trying to convert their rage into a track that would later write music history. They started to jam and soon had some riffs and a melody to a track they called ‘Fuck off – the Studio 54 – Fuck off………’
Bernard immediately realized that this track was something very special but they just could not call it ‘Fuck off – Studio 54’ so they twisted it to Freak Out and ‘Le Freak’ was born, the most single selling song ever produced by Atlantic Records – and the beginning of stardom…. On top they included the Studio 54 in the lyrics by praising it instead of insulting – showing real character and giving them highest credits all over the scene.
The panel was far too short to reflect all that this great artist has to say, but we could learn a few very essential things about being a musician. Always follow your dream, your intuition, tell the truth in your music because only like this you will be able to get the most out of it. And one last advice he gave to us by saying ‘The driving force behind many good producers and artists is one of the seven sins – jealousy – because jealousy can make you stronger, if you hear something that another musician can play and you want it you must be able to do it yourself.’ This does not mean copying but adapting it to your own style – enriching it in order to become a better musician.
Thanx to Nile Rodgers for widening my horizon and all the IMS crew for showing once more that Ibiza is at the forefront of EDM for some very good reasons with the IMS being one of them.
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