She used to be a junior Olympic ski racer. She was an American Idol contestant. And now she’s a viral pop singer who has, on the strength of two EPs filled with a magnetic hybrid of elated funk and soulful pop, won over a score of fans (affectionately referred to as “Remjobs”), including diverse guitar-slinger elders like John Mayer, Nile Rodgers and Beck.
The 25-year-old Los Angeles musician’s debut album, “Juno,” is a collage of sounds, emotions and cultural detritus filtered through her own unique energy.
Chic was a group led by bass player Bernard Edwards and guitarist Nile Rodgers. Both were very successful writers and producers, combining to work on hits for Sister Sledge and Diana Ross.
It was New Year’s Eve, 1977, and they were invited to Studio 54, a very popular club in New York Cit. A singer named Grace Jones wanted Rodgers and Edwards to do some production work for her, and asked them to come down to the club as her guest. When they got there, they were not on the list, and couldn’t convince the doorman that they were the group Chic. All dressed up and nowhere to go on New Year’s Eve, they left and started writing this song as a reply to the doorman. They called it “F–k Off,” but when they decided to record it, Edwards wasn’t comfortable with the cursing, so they tried it as “Freak Off.” That title sounded lame, but when they made the opening lines “aaaahh Freak Out!” instead of “aaaahh F–k Off!”, they came up with a better title: “La Freak.”
“Rapper’s Delight” is perhaps the longest hip-hop track ever made but is also the first commercially successful single in the hip-hop world. Sung by the Sugarhill Gang, a hip-hop group from New Jersey consisting of three men: Michael “Wonder Mike” Wright, Guy “Master Gee” O’Brien and Henry “Hen Dogg” Williams.
The track lasts for 14 minutes and 34 seconds long. It samples the beat from 70’s group “CHIC”’s infamous track “Good Times”. CHIC’s Nile Rodgers actually threatened legal action when he heard an early version of “Rapper’s Delight” (which consisted of bassist Bernard Edwards bass line in “Good Times”) in a nightclub in New York, the DJ telling him that he had bought the record that day. Both Rodgers and Edwards are now marked as co-writers in the track. A large portion of the track also uses stanzas from Grandmaster Caz (Curtis Fisher), who didn’t get any credit or money for the song’s success at the time, and Caz admits to the song sending him to sleep the first time he heard it.
Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” is a nod to disco from a French electronic duo known for kitschy robot costumes, machinelike vocals and computer-generated beats. It is the first Top 10 pop hit for the musicians, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, and it has thrust their sci-fi brand of dance music upon a wider audience, even propelling their fourth studio album, “Random Access Memories” (Daft Life/Columbia) to No. 1 on the Billboard album charts.
Nile Rodgers, the guitarist and songwriter for Chic, wrote the underlying riff and plays guitar and Pharrel Williams sings.
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