How to make it in the Music Business

BBC Four


Nile reveals the moment when, as a teenager, he first picked up a guitar, and why he has never looked back. He tells how his musical talent led him to become a highly successful session musician beforefollowing his dream to write his own music with Bernard Edwards for Chic.

Nile tells the story of how he and Bernard, young and broke, surreptitiously sneaked into a recording studio at night to record what became Chic’s first hit, Everybody Dance. Nile plays this song for us and we see him and Chic in concert playing it too – along with lots of their greatest hits.

The film uncovers the source of inspiration for many of Nile’s songs – being turned away from Studio 54 led him to write Le Freak, while others, including Lost in Music, have their roots in Nile’s troubled and difficult childhood, and how he hears music all the time – a subject he speaks about candidly.

Top producer Mark Ronson and Duran Duran keyboard player Nick Rhodes describe Nile’s use of complex chord patterns and his unique guitar-playing style. While Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge reveals the joyous and exacting way Nile worked with them to produce their internationally successful album We Are Family and the hit single He’s the Greatest Dancer.

Throughout the film Nile demonstrates, in a series of short masterclasses, how he writes and develops his music.

Nile is an astonishing storyteller and his contributions are both searingly honest and inspiring throughout the film.