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Nile Rodgers talks making 'cool as s--t' music with Beck

‘In two days I’m going into the studio with Beck.’

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Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

Fans hoping Beck’s next album will continue the easy-going country vibes of 2014’s Morning Phase—which nabbed Album of the Year at the Grammys—might want to grab their dancing shoes instead. The rock and roll chameleon plays the inaugural edition of Nile Rodgers’ FOLD Festival next week in Riverhead, New York, and the production legend confirmed to EW that he and Beck have scheduled studio time to coincide with event.

“In two days I’m going into the studio with Beck,” Rodgers told EW by phone on Wednesday while discussing FOLD, which takes place Aug. 4 and 5. So what’ll the new tunes sound like? Rodgers didn’t want to divulge too much, but said the session’s goal is “just to get to a place where we’re satisfied as artists and we say to ourselves, ‘Wow, this is cool as s–t.'”

But there’s more to the story than a festival booking that also aligned with the schedules of both musicians. Rodgers tells the following story about how he connected with Beck at Elton John’s for-charity Oscars-viewing this year:

We basically met and made this decision at the red carpet at Elton John’s Oscar party. Something really interesting happened that night: Out of all the times that I’ve played with Elton John, which has been at least 20 times, I’ve never played with Elton John with Chic as the band. So he came onstage with us and played with us and it was so ridiculous. Beck witnessed that and he could feel the vibe.

Beck pulled me aside and whispered in my ear, “Wow man, I’ve been trying to reach out to your for the last five years, but I was a little bit nervous.” And I said, “Well, you know dude, I’ve been trying to reach out to you for the last six years, but I was a little bit nervous.” So we sorta laughed and from that moment on it was like, boom, we were down with each other. We had decided to record together and I said, “Well, the dates that we’re recording happen to coincide with FOLD, so will you play for FOLD?”

Rodgers also discussed FOLD’s stacked lineup—which includes Keith Urban, Pharrell, Janelle Monae and many more—along with Chic’s upcoming new album, which is their first in 23 years. Check back Thursday for the full interview.