NILE RODGERS IS in London to work with up to 100 young people to remix and re-release his 1978 mega-smash Le Freak. The Chic legend has teamed up with Rudimental and the Go Think Big initiative to recruit and produce the track with the winners. We caught up with the enduring dance man to discuss the campaign and the enduring appeal of that iconic disco jam. What do you want to achieve with this remix of Le Freak? Nile Rodgers: “I had been informed that Get Lucky had sold a million copies in the UK. Then I heard the sad story that there were a million kids that aren’t feeling too optimistic about their future and their position in the workforce. So I said, ‘Well this million kind of goes together in the music business. Let’s spiritually go after this million.’ So let me blue-sky it, we want to get a great remix, a new interpretation of the song. I’d love it if Rudimental gives me a hit with the song I wrote those zillions of years ago that’d be cool! In our campaign we like to call them Freaks, not just because of the song Freak Out, it describes that person who’s passionate, tenacious, and who won’t give up.”
Le Freak had a different title, originally, we understand… NR: “We were just writing, ‘Awww… fuck off!’ when the guy slammed the door in our face at Studio 54. We had knocked on the door as Grace Jones asked us to, and the guy slammed the door and said ‘Ehh fuck off!’ We went home and wrote, ‘Awww fuck off fuck Studio 54 fuck off.’ This was a couple of years before hip-hop so we couldn’t get that on the radio so we turned it to ‘Awww freak out.’”
How do you see the art of remixing now from when you used to do it by slicing the tape? NR: “When I started we had to be in a big professional recording studio, almost every kid with their cellphone has got tools that they can make a record with and they’re good tools. It’s daunting in that you have to be artistic and clever, but you do have the tools at your disposal!”
Go Think Big are recruiting up to 100 young people to take part in this remix challenge and every job role will be mentored by an industry professional. You'll also get the chance to take part in a performance at Indigo2. To apply visit www.GoThinkBig.co.uk/Freaks. Recruitment ends on September 8.