Over the weekend, Nile Rodgers played in London’s renowned Hyde Park for a crowd of thousands. Monday morning, however, the disco legend opted for a more low-key performance, busking outdoors in the city’s South Bank neighborhood for random passersby.
According to the Chic mastermind and Daft Punk collaborator, many didn’t seem to pay him much attention early on in his short “set.” “I admit I was playing bossa nova music at first, so I [sic] being a bit deceptive,” Rodgers wrote on Twitter.
Eventually crowds began to form when he busted out Chic tracks and other songs he’d produced. “It sort of became obvious when every song was one of my productions,” he said, adding, “I even tried to sing ‘Like A Virgin.'” As Stereogum points out, Rodgers played a little bit of everything; in addition to Madonna, he also ran through Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out”, and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.” All in all, he made $20 for 20 minutes of music-making, which, though modest, is probably more than U2 earned while playing incognito in New York City’s subway last month.
For Rodgers, busking was not only just a fun experience, but something of a return to his humble beginnings. As he notes, long before all his hit records, he started out as a homeless and busking musician. Watch footage of his performance below, followed by Rodgers’ tweets on the little impromptu gig.