Nile Rodgers has spoken to Music Week about It's About Time, the first Chic album in more than 25 years.
The long-delayed LP, which comes out today via Virgin EMI, includes a host of featured artists such as Elton John, Lady Gaga, Emeli Sandé, Craig David, Stefflon Don, Hailee Steinfeld and LunchMoney Lewis.
“I’m making this record for every single person in the world and I believe that most artists do the same thing – we want to be heard," said Rodgers, who is also Abbey Road Studios' chief creative advisor. "I want it to be as big as it can possibly be. I’d love it to be No.1."
The follow-up to 1992's Chic-ism was originally scheduled for a 2015 release.
"I had this whole concept of how I was going to use bits and pieces of records I had worked on in the past," said the Songwriters Hall Of Fame chairman. "It would basically be a collage of artists and people that I love, in various moments, performing songs with me. Then people started passing away – Bowie, then Prince, which was an incredible shock. The last thing I wanted people to feel was that I’d be capitalising on their death, so I thought, ‘I have to do a new thing.’
"What I’ve wound up with now is a record that I absolutely am enamoured with. It’s just so damn catchy, every song.”
Rodgers' manager, Hipgnosis Music's Merck Mercuriadis, said: “Whenever you have an artist that’s had that kind of success, it’s sometimes better to not make new music. But I was very keen for the world to re-evaluate Nile.
"One of the things that convinced me that this was the right moment for that was that, when I came into this business, 90% of the artists we signed wrote their own songs and had a very good idea of who they were and who they might become – they were self-contained. Today, 90% of the artists being signed are not self-contained; the one album on the American charts last year that was written solely by the artist was by Bob Dylan. In many ways, the industry has caught up with what Nile has always done.
“The album is, in many ways, a summation of Nile’s working process. Instead of just making songs with a group of people, we have Mura Masa, Nao, Kasha, Anderson Paak, Elton John, Debbie Harry, Haim and Lady Gaga, all rolling through. It’s taking what Nile has done for everyone else and doing it for himself."
Subscribers can click here to read the full Music Week cover feature with Rodgers, Mercuriadis and Virgin EMI boss Ted Cockle.