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Nile Rodgers on St Vincent friendship: “We’re listening to each other’s music”

"The fact she's doing what she's doing is really fascinating to me"

By Nick Reilly

Nile Rodgers and St Vincent perform live
Nile Rodgers and St Vincent perform live (Picture: Alamy)

Nile Rodgers has opened up on his burgeoning friendship with St Vincent, as well as hinting that the two musical heavyweights could team up for a collaboration in the future.

The Chic icon exclusively told Rolling Stone UK that he made contact with the ‘Daddy’s Home’ singer and acclaimed guitarist after one of his previous album engineers introduced him to the Grammy-winning star.

“When I hear modern music it doesn’t necessarily change my life or perspective, but every now and then it happens and when it does it’s pretty cool,” he said.

“And I’m a big fan of someone that I’ve known about for a long time but never delved into her music that much. That’s St Vincent. I remember my old assistant engineer worked on her first ever record so I heard about her years ago when he said ‘Man, I’m working with this really cool guitarist, St Vincent’.”

Despite the initial tip-off, Rodgers explained that his own work-load and numerous collaborations meant he only had the chance to listen to the singer, real name Annie Clark, for the first time several months ago.

“Of course at that time my time was flooded with whatever I was working on and somehow she was introduced into my life only a few months ago,” he explained.

“I started to go back and listen to the work she had done with my old engineer and she started sending me some new stuff. I was like ‘wow!’, that’s really cool.

“I would have never thought of using the guitar like that or composing like that and it was really interesting. It was very eclectic and she was using different ways of expressing herself, the fact that we’re vibing so much is interesting because just as guitarists we are very different.

“But then I can listen and hear similarities and I guess maybe all guitarists have that. It’s a strange instrument, ergonomically laid out in a way that forces us to do certain things. The fact she’s doing what she’s doing is really fascinating to me.”

Asked if he would collaborate with St Vincent, Nile added: “Yeah I probably would! Right now we’re just vibing, listening to each other’s music and talking. But that could easily develop into a musical relationship. Easily!”

Nile Rodgers plays the Fender Stratocaster Hitmaker
Nile Rodgers plays the Artist Signature Fender Stratocaster Hitmaker (Picture: Fender)

Rodgers was speaking to Rolling Stone UK to promote the launch of the Fender Hitmaker Stratocaster – allowing fans to buy a faithful recreation of the same guitar which he has used on iconic Chic hits and David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’.

“My guitar is really unique and I can never find another one. So the fact they’re making one to these exact specs was phenomenal to me! It’ll give me a sense of relief to know I can just go to a store and pick one up and say here we go, I got it!,” he explained.

“It’s weird to be so attached to a guitar and a certain feel that of course I could play any guitar, but there’s something about the comfort factor of putting my guitar on and it feels like my guitar.

“There’s no thinking, no nothing. You just pick it up and have your guitar. It’s interesting because I know most people play with heavier gauge strings than me, most people play with a thicker pick than I play with. It’ll be interesting to have my specs out in the world and see if guitarists like it.

“I know that most of the time when people pick up my guitar they go ‘Wow! This is pretty cool’. But lets see how the consumers feel.”