Lead image: Britt Loyd
Nile Rodgers will curate Meltdown 2019, Southbank Centre has revealed.
The three-time Grammy Award-winning American composer, producer and guitarist will take over Southbank Centre from 3-11 August 2019 with his hand-picked line-up of music, art and free events.
From co-founding disco pioneers CHIC with Bernard Edwards to his success as a songwriter and producer, Rodgers – a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee – has contributed to records that have cumulatively sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide.
The music legend will employ his unique creative vision to curate festivities across the Royal Festival Hall, the newly revamped Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, and the rest of Southbank Centre’s 17-acre cultural quarter on the banks of the Thames.
‘To be able to curate and produce nine days of live music for the city of London, the UK and music enthusiasts visiting from all over the world is truly a dream come true,’ said Nile Rodgers.
‘Anyone who knows my career knows that Funk, Disco, Jazz, Soul, Classical, POP, New Wave, R&B, Fusion, Punk Rock, Afrobeat, Electronic and Dance music all play a role and you can expect that to be reflected in the performances we are planning.
‘It’s all about the groove and this August everyone in London will be dancing to incredible live performances!’
Among some of his more noticeable works are Sister Sledge’s He’s The Greatest Dancer and We Are Family, Diana Ross’s Upside Down and I’m Coming Out (which he co-wrote and produced with Bernard Edwards), and his remix of Duran Duran’s The Reflex.
‘It’s hard to overstate the impact that this year’s curator has had both as part of CHIC and as a solo producer’
He also produced David Bowie’s 1983 album, Let’s Dance – the title track of which became one of the best-selling UK singles of all time – and helped fuel Madonna’s rapid ascent by producing her second album, Like A Virgin, released in 1984.
In recent years, as well as being a regular on the festival scene, Rodgers has worked with the likes of Avicii, Sam Smith, Disclosure and Daft Punk, co-writing the latter’s chart-topper Get Lucky together with the iconic French electronic duo and Pharrell Williams.
Last year he released a new album with CHIC, the Top 10-ranked It’s About Time featuring NAO, Mura Masa, Elton John, Emeli Sande and Lady Gaga.
Meltdown – the longest-running artist curated festival in the world, running for 25 years – has previously been curated by the likes of John Peel, David Bowie, Morrissey, Patti Smith, Massive Attack and, last year, The Cure frontman Robert Smith.
Bengi Ünsal, Senior Contemporary Music Programmer at Southbank Centre, added: ‘It’s hard to overstate the impact that this year’s curator has had both as part of CHIC and as a solo producer on what we call popular music today.
‘He is constantly creating and collaborating, and I can’t wait to see what he will create across our venues. One thing’s for certain: this will be the funkiest Meltdown yet.’
Meltdown 2019 line-up details will be announced this spring and tickets will go on sale to Southbank Centre Members on 9 April, and on general sale on 11 April 2019