Nile Rodgers has threatened legal action after a far-right political group used the hit song “We Are Family” in a campaign.
The songwriter/musician has asked Switzerland’s rightwing populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) to stop using a “soundalike” version of Sister Sledge’s song “We Are Family” in its election campaign.
In preparation for the Swiss parliamentary elections which will take place in October, SVP, who adheres to national conservatism, released “Das Isch d’SVP (That’s the SVP).”
The song’s chorus directly echoes the 1979 hit “We Are Family,” which was originally written by Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards.
“I wrote ‘We Are Family’ to be the ultimate song about inclusion and diversity at all levels, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion or sexual orientation,” the musician wrote on Twitter/X. “I condemn its use by the SVP (Swiss People’s Party) or anyone else not keeping with the values of the song and all decent people. The purpose of the song is to bring joy to all with no exclusions!”
Rodgers, 70, added, “@HipgnosisSongs, @sonymusicpub and @warnerchappell are all working to have the SVP cease and desist their use of the song.”
SVP delegate Thomas Matter has been credited as the artist behind the political group’s song, under the name DJ Tommy. Matter told Blick, a Swiss tabloid, that the track “has nothing to do with” the well-known hit.
“I know the song by Sister Sledge, that’s also a super song,” the former businessman told the outlet. “But ‘Das Isch d’SVP’ was written especially for this project and has nothing to do with ‘We Are Family.””
Matter, 57, added, “Of course, in pop music there are a million songs that sound alike, there’s nothing surprising or new about that.”
SVP’s song is no longer available to listen to on YouTube.