Madonna was maybe the most mag­i­cal per­son I’ve ever come into con­tact with. We were as close as two peo­ple could be with­out be­ing lovers

GT (UK) - - MUSIC -

setlist now – the bril­liantly catchy I’ll Be There, the re­sult of the dis­cov­ery of some long-lost master tapes – and a new al­bum on the way.

We may also get to see Nile and Kylie on stage to­gether this month. Chic are shar­ing the bill with Miss Minogue and Grace Jones in Hyde Park on 21 June and Nile tells GT he’s col­lab­o­rat­ing with Kylie on a one-off song, then won­ders if he should’ve let that slip. Ditto plans to work with Mi­ley Cyrus. “I’m not sure what I should and should not be say­ing,” he ad­mits, “but you caught me early in the morn­ing.”

The new Chic al­bum prom­ises to be both cel­e­bra­tory and for­ward- look­ing, with songs fash­ioned around the old tapes re­main­ing true to the disco vibe, and new tracks with a more con­tem­po­rary flavour. Nile’s sig­na­ture guitar sound is the through-line on prac­ti­cally ev­ery­thing he’s worked on, from those disco clas­sics through to Get Lucky, and he never tires of play­ing the old songs live. “They’re dif­fer­ent ev­ery night. A huge amount of cur­rent artists play to se­cret back­ing tapes and their shows are synched to videos and all that kind of stuff, so ev­ery­thing comes out the same ev­ery night. But we play ev­ery­thing live.”

Per­sonal high­lights? Well, he es­pe­cially loved work­ing with Madonna on her Like a Vir­gin al­bum. “Some peo­ple say that’s the last great Chic al­bum be­cause I con­vinced Madonna to let my band play on the record.” Madge was just gain­ing trac­tion when they went into the stu­dio to­gether and Nile knew he was in the pres­ence of a megas­tar. “She was maybe the most mag­i­cal per­son I’ve ever come into con­tact with,” he re­mem­bers. “We were as close as two peo­ple could be with­out be­ing lovers.”

Still, there was one ma­jor clash when Madge over­stepped the mark by telling one of the as­sis­tants he couldn’t go to the bath­room. “I thought that was a lit­tle too heavy­handed on her part so I said, ‘I can’t work with you if you’re gonna act like that,’ and I headed out to the el­e­va­tor. She opened the door and said, ‘Nile, does this mean you don’t love me any­more?’ It was so funny and so cute.”

Like Madonna, Nile is a per­fec­tion­ist. “Ev­ery­thing I work on I do with my full heart and any­one who’s worked with me knows that. In fact, I just got a let­ter from Sam Smith and it made me re­alise how much I love the peo­ple I work with. They know I have their best in­ter­ests at heart.”

Nile and Sam were united on the 2013 Dis­clo­sure sin­gle To­gether, be­fore the Brit singer be­came the sen­sa­tion he is to­day. “So when I walked in that room I didn’t know who he was, but I treated him with love and re­spect and we just adored each other right away.”

Any plans to hook up with Sam again? “I’d sure love to. He has one of the most mag­i­cal, dis­tinct voices I’ve ever heard.” Nile laughs. “But I think he’s a bit busy at the mo­ment.”

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