Originally the lead guitarist for ’70s disco group Chic, Rodgers has since worked with a wide array of modern artists like Daft Punk, Avicii, Lady Gaga, and Pharrell. There are some misgivings that Urban’s core fan group won’t react well to the new sound but Rodgers tells Yahoo Music, “I think a record like this will speak to a broader audience [for Urban], and the country people will come around.”
Currently, the project is in rough cuts that feature Urban’s vocals and banjo playing layered with Rodger’s own iconic guitar skills. No word yet if there are plans to bring another producer into the mix, though Rodgers said while putting the components together that the current output needs to “be a little bit more modern.”
While the foray into EDM may be new territory for Urban, the EDM-country crossover has arguably been in development since Avicii’s left-field hit Hey Brother was released in 2013. More recently, Zedd took to the stage at the CMT Awards in June to perform alongside another familiar country sensation, Lady Antebellum.
It’s difficult to say how well Keith Urban’s new project will be received, but if anybody can convince the masses that the EDM-country hybrid can work, it’s multiple Grammy award-winning musician Nile Rodgers. Whether fail or fly, we know we’ll be listening closely for the final project.