Thursday, October 6, 2022

Nile Rodgers on Impact of ‘Blurred Lines’ Case on the Music Business

nile rodgers

*There’s no doubt that the court case over the Robin Thicke hit “Blurred Lines” made waves around the music industry.

Nowadays, artists are probably weighing things heavily in terms of sampling and being “inspired” enough by previous works to create their own songs. So the question is, as The Huffington Post puts it, “has the “Blurred Lines” case forever altered the music business for musicians?”

For Nile Rodgers, the answer is no.

“This is what we do as musicians. We listen to other people’s music, we get inspired,” the legendary musician-producer told the Post earlier this week. “Sometimes we do direct interpolations. And in that case, if there’s a real legal argument there, they probably should have – meaning Pharrell, T.I., and Robin [Thicke] – probably should have copy written it as an interpolation. Because yes, the intro is close, but the intro is not the song.”

“If they didn’t have that intro you would not think that was a derivative of Marvin Gaye,” he added. “So that would’ve been the smart move instead. I don’t know why they didn’t do that,” he said.

Although Rodgers has a classic under his belt with Chic and production credits with a string of notable artists, don’t expect him to take any artists to task for sampling his catalog.

“My own personal way that I look at it is, is there an artist –- and I’m not being egotistical at all –- is there an artist whose music has been sampled, or there’s variations of it, more than my music? What if I sued everybody who made a record that sounded like one of my songs,” he said. “I’ll be in court my whole life [laughs].”

“The very first time Pharrell Williams set eyes on me I was sitting at the Grammys, and he was walking down the aisle -– and he and Justin Timberlake just had a big hit record with ‘Rock Your Body,’” Rodgers recalled. “I mean come on, if that’s not a derivative of ‘Good Times’… And he knew it right away. He looked at me and he bowed down.”

For more of Rodgers’ take on the impact of the “Blurred Lines” case as well as his inspiration for creating Chic’s classic hit “Good Times,” click here.

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