Nile Rodgers has revealed that he envied David Bowie for “never worrying” about which race would listen to his music, while saying that black artists “have to stay in one lane”.
Amid the current conversations surrounding racial injustice and inequality, the Chic star was asked by Metro about how the music industry has changed for black musicians over time.
“A lot of artists have become wealthier and more famous quicker, but still black artists are basically…basically you have to drive in one lane and that is something I have always tried to fight,” Rodgers replied.
“But it’s very difficult because if you’re pigeon-holed and you have to respond a certain way to be part of the current zeitgeist – that’s very difficult.”
Recalling the time he spent working with Bowie, he went on to say that the late artist “told me he never thinks about that”.
“[Bowie] said, ‘I just think about what I’m feeling and what I’m seeing. I never worry about which audience is going to like it’, and I remember saying, ‘Jesus, it must be amazing to be white’,” he explained.
“He got it, he wasn’t offended at all. He understood it completely.”
Rodgers served as the co-producer of Bowie’s 1983 album ‘Let’s Dance’, as well as 1993’s ‘Black Tie White Noise.’
Meanwhile, David Bowie’s ‘Ouvrez Le Chien (Live Dallas 95)’ live album was recently released for the first time. It was recorded during a performance at the Starplex Amphitheatre in Dallas, Texas, October 13 1995.