Tuesday 15 November 2011

Ian Rogers interview with David Hyman, founder and CEO of MOG.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq9mJGdehis&feature=player_embedded - skip forward to 22 mins for a utopian vision of music licensing that nearly came true.

Then skip forward to 35 minutes for his defence of streaming services in the face of minute royalty payments: "The average iTunes consumers is spending $40 a year on music, so just over $3 a month and out of that, the labels are probably getting 60-70%. Every time somebody subscribes to MOG, if they take our mobile option it's $10 a month, and the same percentage is going back to the labels - 60-70% - and that's much better than $3. The key question is how to we get scale." (And the answer is they'd like MOG to be bundled into your cable bill or ISP or mobile bill. If it could be bundled then the labels would probably allow all you can eat for $2 or $3 per month and the scale would be huge.)

Thursday 10 November 2011

Nile Rodgers interviewed by Peter Paphides at Waterstone's, Piccadilly, London

Nile Rodgers launched his autobiography with a gripping talk at Waterstone's. Choice quotes and anecdotes...

In the early '70s, Nile saw Roxy Music play at the Roxy in London. "It was a totally immersive artistic experience - the crowd were fly, the band were fly, the music was textual, they were saying 'come into my world'." So Nile was inspired to try and create the black version of Roxy Music - and that was Chic.

But Nile said he always has to "swim upstream" and so it was at times with Chic. The UK label didn't want to release the first Chic album because it only had seven songs on it (albeit very long songs).

Likewise as a producer of other artists - Upside Down by Diana Ross was not well received at first, which was upsetting for Nile and Bernard Edwards because "Diana Ross was the first big star we ever worked with and we took it very seriously." They interviewed her for several days. "This was the first time in her life somebody cared about who she was; what she was - everyone previously had treated her the way we had treated Sister Sledge - they got her in and said 'Sing this'. We (took a more personal approach) because we felt we'd misrepresented Sister Sledge because we hadn't met them before they came in to sing We Are Family."

Nile wondered if He's The Greatest Dancer might have been the first song to mention brands in a big way.

Madonna played him all the songs that would go on Like A Virgin and said "Nile, if you don't love all these songs, I can't work with you". Nile replied "I don't love them all now but I will by the time we're finished".

David Bowie's phenomenally successful Let's Dance album was recorded, start to finish, including mixing, in 17 days.

Nile also said he's never had a manager. "Many artists I work with, I don't seem to do their follow-up records and that's because I don't put anyone above anyone else - if they want me, they have to wait".

Pete Paphides: "What did (an American radio station) take exception to on Carly Simon Why?"
Nile: "As Bernard would say 'Shit, you're white, you tell me'."

Nile's favourite tracks that have sampled Chic:
Alcazar - Crying at the Discoteque
Will Smith - Gettin' Jiggy With It
Notorious BIG - Mo Money Mo Problems
But his favourite of all is Rapper's Delight.

"When I wrote I Want Your Love it's because I was so mesmerised by Giorgio Moroder, and I had no idea there was such thing as a sequencer, so I thought he was playing like that." Nile has always believed in trying to play things rather than sequencing them.

"You should get a (record) deal in accordance with what you've accomplished, not because of what your attorney's other clients have accomplished."

On American Idol et al: "I think it's a little bit unfair to make an artist prove themselves, sink or swim, every day because everyone knows you can have a bad show one day."

Nonetheless, he enjoyed working with Adam Lambert recently.

Nile said of Madonna's iconic performance of on the first MTV Music Video Awards that she was supposed to do Holiday but she flipped it and did Like A Virgin, which no-one in the audience had heard at the time. "She went out on a limb and forced the record company to release that song."