Sunday, December 21, 2014

Madonna's Q&A with Billboard




Billboard: How are you doing?
Madonna: I'm good. I'm good, I haven't slept in a week, but I'm good.

I can only imagine the week that you've had so far.
Yeah. It's been a very intense couple of weeks.

Are you OK right now? As OK as you can be considering what's been happening?
Yeah. I mean, you know, I'm not happy that unreleased demos are out there in the world for people to hear, listen, judge, etc. etc. Once that happened we went into overdrive. A) Trying to figure out where the leaks were coming from, and then B) Trying to combat that with putting out finished music that people could focus on versus demos that were never meant for anyone to hear. So, that led to no sleep.

Did at any point you turn to someone and say "Bitch, I'm Madonna," this shouldn't be happening to me?
No. I said, "Shit, this is the age that we're living in." It's crazy. I mean, look at what's going on with Sony Pictures. It's just the age that we're living in. It's crazy times. The Internet is as constructive and helpful in bringing to people together as it is in doing dangerous things and hurting people. It's a double-edged sword.


Since you said that they were stolen, has it changed how you are operating your day-to-day business? Obviously, you're trying to lock down more stuff, but I mean there's only so much you can do, considering everything is so virtual. Has it changed your day-to-day business with recording the album and making music?
Well, we don't put things up on servers anymore. Everything we work on, if we work on computers, we're not on WiFi, we're not on the Internet, we don't work in a way where anybody can access the information. Hard drives of music are hand-carried to people. We don't leave music laying around. We have photo shoots or video shoots, and everyone has to leave their phone at the door. I mean, unfortunately, it sucks, but that's the way it is. That's how leaks happen.

It's so sucky.
It is! Because I want to go to photo shoots and play my music really loud and dance to it, and celebrate it, and I can't.

We know crap leaks all the time, fine. But I mean, (this is) so much! You're so meticulous about how you plan things months in advance… Like you had in your head, "Alright, this how we're gonna roll out the single, this is how we'll roll out the album." And now, a huge wrench has been thrown into the proceedings. Has that pushed everything forward? Are you like, "Alright! Let's start promoting the single now!"
Well, it's thrown us all into overdrive. We're having to think outside the box. Think on our feet. I didn't plan to put my record out this way. I wanted to… plan everything in advance. Release the single, shoot a video, start talking about my record. And you know, prepare for the release of the entire album and have everything set up just so. I mean, that's the kind of person I am. I think that's the best way to do it. But we sort of were left with no choice.

But there's still going to be a music video?
Of course! I will do all of those things that I've planned to do. It's just, you know, people are now listening to six finished songs.

And they're great songs, by the way.
Thank you!

(The release of the music) was a wonderful surprise. You've been able to take a bunch of lemons that had been thrown at you, and I guess make a lemon drop, or lemonade. I don't know, take your pick.
Yeah. That's the stupid cliché that me and (her manager) Guy Oseary have been using. We got a lemon and we made lemonade. Kind of works!

There has to be a silver lining somewhere. And, there you go. So let's talk about the music. Did you think about releasing these six songs as an EP, and then doing another EP later? Or did you want to make sure that all of the songs stayed together as the full Rebel Heart album — as a piece of work?
Originally I wanted to put everything out together. I have an overabundance of songs, and actually, the reason I wanted to call the record Rebel Heart was because I felt like it explored two very distinct sides of my personality. The rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me. In my mind, it was almost like I wanted to do a two-record set. So you get this chunk of songs, and that chunk of songs. That was my original goal. But then all the demos leaked and I can't really go down that road anymore, so I put out (the six songs) first and then, I think a few more songs are going to come out during the time of the Grammys. Then the rest of the album will just come out together (in March), and they'll just get my rebellious and romantic side all mixed in together.

You mention the Grammy Awards… I'm already picturing you on the Grammy Awards performing "Living For Love" with various guests…
Mmmhmm.

…I'm picturing how that would be wonderful performed on the Grammy Awards, perhaps.
Yes, that would be wonderful. That's possibly something that's gonna happen. (Laughs.)

Possibly?
Yes. Possibly.

Can't spill all the beans right now.
No.

I want to talk about the album’s first single, "Living For Love," specifically. We had Diplo on the cover of Billboard a few months ago. He was saying that (the song) had 20 different incarnations. Was he exaggerating by saying 20, or is that true?
Uhm… (long pause). Twenty might a little too high. But definitely more than 10. A lot of different versions. We knew we wanted to make a dance record. But you know, there's so many different levels of dance music and even different categories of house music. So, it was really like, what's the bass line gonna sound like? Is it gonna be really stripped down and sparse, or is it going to be loaded up? Is it gonna be Chicago house? Is it gonna be U.K. house? It's like, all over the place. Is it gonna be a little bit of one vocal line? Is it gonna be a whole choir singing? So we were experimenting and trying out different things. They all sounded good, but at the end of the day, we wanted it to sound timeless, also. Not just something of the moment.

Is that MNEK on the track as well?
The thing is, we did do a version where MNEK is singing. The original song, when we first started writing it, was with a singer that Diplo works with all the time…who sounds like MNEK. So, there will be remixes with MNEK's voice on it, but this particular one that's out right now (does not have MNEK). And then there's a female singer whose name is Annie, is from the U.K. as well, who sings with the (London Community Gospel Choir), and she also lended her voice to the record. And by the way, I'm a huge fan of MNEK.

I thought it Alicia Keys was singing on the song with you. But I was wrong, it's not Alicia Keys.
Oh no, Alicia Keys isn't singing on it, she's playing piano on it.

Oh! Okay. Geez, good grief. It's so hard to keep track.
I know! (Laughs.) Alicia plays the piano, and then the female voice is Annie… there are versions of "Living For Love" that MNEK is singing on, and those will be coming out, but just not yet.

It has that right balance of soul music meeting house music. It's the right blend of the two, where you were able find the right balance, where it doesn't sound jarring. It actually sounds like it's meant to go together.
It's kind of like the old me and the new me all mixed in together.

It's all you! It's all versions of you.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah!

"Ghosttown." It's such a cool song. It's so evocative. The lyrics are so beautiful. In my head, I'm picturing there's a ghost town, it's cold, there's two souls, they're the only people left. Was that a song that you wrote with Evan Bogart, Sean Douglas and Jason Evigan, or did it come to you already finished?…
Nope.

…How did that song come together?
We all get into a room together. They start playing their chords and then we just start thinking about… When I write with people, we always try to come up with a theme. What do we want to write about? So this one is about the city after armageddon. The burnt out city, the crumbling buildings, the smoke that's still lingering after the fire. You know what I mean? There's only a few people left. How do we pick up the pieces and go on from here? Kind of dramatic. (Laughs.) But not entirely impossible at this stage of the game.

Yeah, well, at the rate things are going, who knows?
Exactly. One must be realistic and be prepared for anything.

One must be realistic. Because you know in a few years, we could all just be in some burnt out ghost town together.
Yes, exactly! And we'll all be in our version of a "Ghosttown" or in a version of a "Ghosttown," and at the end of the day, all we're going to have left is each other. So that's really what that song is about.

You can see a music video already in your head.
Yeah! For sure.

It reminds me of when "Gang Bang" (on MDNA) came out. It was so cinematic…
Visual.

…you could see it. Let’s talk about "Unapologetic Bitch." Did someone call you that at some point…
Oh, no.

…and you're like, "Let me make a response (record)?"
No.

No one would ever call you that.
No, I've never heard anyone refer to me as that. That just came out of the ether.

When you were writing that in a writing session…
No, it's kind of like an extension of… at the beginning of my career, when all the pictures of me came out in Playboy and everybody expected me to cower in shame. And I just said "I'm not ashamed. I have nothing to hide, and I'm not sorry." So, it's my version of “Je Ne Regrette Rien.”'

Well, you have nothing to apologetic about, obviously.
Well, certainly not in that circumstance. (Laughs.)

Yes, we all understand, there are different things that one should be apologetic for, but certain artistic decisions…
Absolutely. Yes, one should be apologetic in certain circumstances. But not in that circumstance.

You've worked with a lot of people on this record. We've been following you on Instagram all year. A zillion people.
There's been a lot of cooks in the kitchen.

A lot of your albums tend to be (produced and written) with a core group of people. Was that hard when you have so many people to keep a through line?
Yes. Very hard. Very, very, very, very hard. It's extremely challenging for me working with a lot of young DJs who never can stay in one city for more than five days. So we never got to finish things. And so then I'd start things with one group of people, and then I'd start something with somebody else, and then they'd have to leave town and the other person would come back. It's a chaotic way to work. You get a lot of ideas, but there's a lot of confusion. It was challenging to keep cohesion with the sound and the direction of the record with people coming and going in a revolving door of creativity. So, I was just the person standing there with a clipboard on in the headlights, going "Ok!" (Laughs.) A little bit like a school teacher.

Diplo is super involved with the album, obviously. Is he sort of quasi-executive producing it?
No.

Is he involved on more than just the three songs (released so far)?
We did more than three songs. I wouldn't say he was an executive producer, but he has a very strong voice in the record. We collaborated on a lot of music. You know, he heard other songs and gave his input on what he liked and what he didn't like, but I wouldn't call him an executive producer.

Then I won't!
He's a badass DJ who has great ideas.

Are you actually done writing and recording the album?
Uhm… I am done writing. I'm almost done recording. Almost done. Got just few more little tweaks to do. But first I had to get those six songs out.

Madonna Returns To The Top Of The Charts Around The World




Madonna is currently #1 in 36 countries around the world with the release of six songs from her forthcoming album Rebel Heart. In virtually every country the songs were released, they held six of the ten slots on the Top 10 iTunes chart. In seven of those countries, she had multiple No. 1’s. The single Living for Love is currently No. 1 in 20 countries. The six songs – Living For Love, Devil Pray, Ghosttown, Unapologetic Bitch, Illuminati and Bitch I’m Madonna (featuring Nicki Minaj)

The news of the surprise drop came when Madonna posted a link late last night on Instagram announcing the release of the six songs as, “an early Christmas gift” to those that preordered the album. Fans immediately went to iTunes and drove the songs to #1 around the globe. Instantaneously Rebel Heart exploded on social media with the album topping the Billboard Trending 140 Chart. On Facebook #Madonna was the #1 trending topic and continues to trend there. Additionally, #Madonna and #RebelHeart have been trending on Twitter in the US all day.

Rebel Heart will be released in March 2015 on Interscope Records. Producers include Madonna, Diplo (Living For Love, Bitch I’m Madonna, Unapologetic Bitch), Kanye West (Illuminati), Billboard (Ghosttown), DJ Dahi and Blood Diamonds (Devil Pray). The album was recorded in London, Los Angeles and New York.

MADONNA RETURNS TO THE TOP OF THE CHARTS AROUND THE WORLD WITH SURPRISE RELEASE OF SIX SONGS FROM HER UPCOMING REBEL HEART ALBUM




NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Madonna is currently #1 in 36 countries around the world with the release of six songs from her forthcoming album Rebel Heart. In virtually every country the songs were released, they held six of the ten slots on the Top 10 iTunes chart. In seven of those countries, she had multiple No. 1’s. The single Living for Love is currently No. 1 in 20 countries. The six songs – Living For Love, Devil Pray, Ghosttown, Unapologetic Bitch, Illuminati and Bitch I’m Madonna (featuring Nicki Minaj) – are available HERE.

The news of the surprise drop came when Madonna posted a link late last night on Instagram announcing the release of the six songs as, “an early Christmas gift” to those that preordered the album. Fans immediately went to iTunes and drove the songs to #1 around the globe. Instantaneously Rebel Heart exploded on social media with the album topping the Billboard Trending 140 Chart. On Facebook #Madonna was the #1 trending topic and continues to trend there. Additionally, #Madonna and #RebelHeart have been trending on Twitter in the US all day.

Rebel Heart will be released in March 2015 on Interscope Records. Producers include Madonna, Diplo (Living For Love, Bitch I’m Madonna, Unapologetic Bitch), Kanye West (Illuminati), Billboard (Ghosttown), DJ Dahi and Blood Diamonds (Devil Pray). The album was recorded in London, Los Angeles and New York.

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www.twitter.com/madonna

Press Contact:
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brian@bbgunpr.com

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Madonna “Rebel Heart” Album Press Release

MADONNA RELEASES SIX SONGS FROM NEW ‘REBEL HEART’ ALBUM AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW



Full Album Scheduled for Release in March

Pre-order the album on iTunes now: http://smarturl.it/RebelHeart

December 20, 2014. For immediate release….New York, NY…..Madonna has just released six songs from her new studio album ‘Rebel Heart’. The six songs are currently available for purchase now via preorder at iTunes and other music outlets with purchase of the album and a la carte as well. The music will also be available on all streaming services. Additional music will be released on Feb. 9th. The full album of “Rebel Heart” on Interscope Records is scheduled to be released the first week in March 2015.

Song titles that are currently available from the new album are Living For Love, Devil Pray, Ghosttown, Unapologetic Bitch, Illuminati and Bitch I’m Madonna which was recorded with Nicki Minaj. Producers include Madonna, Diplo, Kanye West, Billboard, was recorded in NY, LA and London.

The decision to release the songs much earlier than anticipated was due to the leaking of several work-in-progress demos earlier this week.

“I was hoping to release my new single ‘Living For Love’ on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the album coming in the Spring. I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift,” commented Madonna.

Madonna.com

Friday, December 19, 2014

MADONNA: JOIN ME ON MY JOURNEY TO CHANGE THE WORLD




“My commitment has never wavered. And here we are about to embark on our biggest project yet with the pediatric surgeryproject at Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” explained Madonna, as she discussed her latest effort to help the children of Malawi. In an interview following her recent visit to the country, we talked how she initially became involved in bringing attention and awareness to the plight of children in Africa, how the decision came about to build and donate a new pediatric intensive care unit in Malawi, her new Goodwill Ambassador position bestowed upon her by President Mutharika, and much more.

What was the moment or experience that led to your incredible passion and interest in making a difference in Malawi?

When I discovered that there were over a million children orphaned by AIDS, living in one of the poorest countries in Africa, I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility to get involved and do what I could to help bring awareness to the situation. I ended up making a documentary about Malawi called I Am Because We Are and adopted two children. Going on this journey made me more determined to use my platform in the world to do what I could to make a difference.


On your most recent trip, it was announced that you would be building and donating a two-story, pediatric intensive care unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital–the first of its kind in the country. How did that decision come about and why did you decide on pediatric care in particular?

I decided to do this most of all because of an amazing human being named Dr. Eric Borgstein. He is my hero. He is one of three pediatric surgeons in the entire country and he has devoted his life to saving the lives of children seven days a week, 365 days a year. I witnessed him make miracles happen with little support or financial backing. After spending time with him it became clear to me that many lives were lost because of the lack of an intensive care unit in the hospital. That, coupled with the fact that half of the population of Malawi is under the age of fifteen was all the incentive I needed to agree to building this much needed facility. The new pediatric surgery unit will serve more children and will provide a world-class training center for more pediatric doctors and nurses in Malawi.

Also on this trip, President Mutharika named you Malawi’s Goodwill Ambassador for Child Welfare. How will you use this newfound recognition and platform to further your work not only for the children of Malawi, but Africa more broadly?

It is an honor to be named Goodwill Ambassador by President Mutharika. I have been committed to helping Malawi for many years, so the President’s support of my work is extremely meaningful to me. There is a great deal of hardship in Malawi, but I also see great opportunity, resilience, and joy—even in the face of extreme poverty. As Goodwill Ambassador, I intend to make helping the children of Malawi a global priority. While there are already a number of generous donors and organizations working there, I welcome new partners to work with me in the “Warm Heart of Africa.”

What have been some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome over the years when it comes to advocacy and awareness on these issues, and how have you pushed through some of those barriers?

It is important to remember the expression “no good deed goes unpunished.” This saying has kept me going during the many challenges I have faced. I set out on this journey to helpchildren orphaned by AIDS, not to win a popularity contest. However, nothing prepared me for the level of doubt and suspicion aimed at my intentions. Nevertheless, seeing the results of Raising Malawi’s work and watching peoples’ lives change for the better haskept me going. When you believe passionately in a cause, you find a way to break through the noise to make an impact in other peoples’ lives, despite the criticism. I made many mistakes in the beginning, hiring people that were not effective and dealing with a lack of operational efficiency. However, I have learned from my mistakes and I have strengthened many long-standing relationships and programs that we started. My commitment has never wavered. And here we are about to embark on our biggest project yet with the pediatric surgeryproject at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

When it comes to philanthropy, what’s next for Madonna?

I am passionate about education in general but specifically for women and children. Knowledge is power! Access to education changes lives, especially for girls. Outside of Malawi, I have a foundation called Ray of Light, whichprovides this type of support in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali, Haiti, Palestine, and Detroit. I will continue to partner with brave individuals and organizations fighting to empower women and children around the world. I want to wake people up to what is happening outside of their comfort zone and inspire them to join me on my journey to change the world.

Source : RaisingMalawi

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

“LIKE A PRAYER” IS #2 IN THE 20 BEST POP SONGS IN HISTORY BY FEMALE ARTISTS




2. Madonna, “Like a Prayer”

Floating atop a Latin rhythm and funky synth bass, with a gospel choir providing the ethereal harmony, Madonna’s voice on “Like a Prayer” isn’t just confident, it’s downright heavenly. Supported by a chorus of angels in D minor, 1989’s “Like a Prayer” was the moment when Madonna went from being the voice of America’s teenagers to the worldwide high priestess of pop.

The song was Madonna’s great leap forward, and our first encounter with her unsettled Catholic soul, as opposed to her unbridled blond ambition. She sabotaged the wholesome Pepsi ad that premiered the song with a music video that featured her dancing in front of a row of burning crosses, seducing a black saint and receiving the stigmata. The Pope and Roman Catholics around the world denounced Madonna, Pepsi pulled the ad, and in the process, “Like a Prayer” became the most controversial video in the history of MTV. In one profoundly appealing and utterly danceable swoop, Madonna had orchestrated pop music’s greatest awakening.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DIPLO : I LOVE WORKING WITH MADONNA




Diplo has worked on production and mixtape projects with several popular pop artists, such as Britney Spears, Beyoncé, No Doubt, Justin Bieber, Usher and Snoop Lion among others. He adds, “For me each of those collaborations was a dream come true. My biggest collaboration so far would be with American singer and actress Ariana Grande’s All My Love for the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack. One of the biggest challenges of working with very many artists is that I have to constantly adapt myself to the working styles of these musicians.”

Currently, he has been working with Queen of Pop Madonna for her upcoming album and has collaborated with Skrillex to create the group Jack Ü. “I loved working with Madonna. The tracks have come out great and crazy- sounding. She is one of those few artists who started the trend of reinventing themselves before anybody else. She kind of began that trend of actually coming back with a refreshingly new look, music style and fresh tunes; winning it and hitting the top of the charts. She was ready to experiment while collaborating with me and was very open-minded to my ideas.”

Source : AsianAge

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ryan Tedder is working on Madonna’s new album




Madonna has drafted in Simon Cowell’s favourite hit maker to pen tracks for her new album.

The pop maestro has been Cowell’s first port of call to compose songs for the label’s priority acts including One Direction and Ella Henderson, after he wrote and produced Bleeding Love for Leona Lewis. Ryan, 35, tells 3am Madge’s new music is “her best stuff in over a decade – it’s really strong”.

Keeping tight-lipped about his contribution, he says: “The tracks I’ve done with her are really hard to explain.” Clever way to keep a lid on things, Ryan. That’ll keep Madge happy.

It comes after the Material Girl teamed up with one of the world’s biggest DJs, Avicii, 25. Their track Rebel Heart, was leaked online along with another song, Wash Over Me, which the singer said “broke her heart”.

Ryan, who performed with his band at Capital FM’s Jingle Bell Ball at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, adds: “I was actually working on something with Madonna when her tracks leaked.

“So I panicked because I thought it was the song I was working on, but luckily it wasn’t.

“People have way too much time on their hands.”

Saturday, December 6, 2014

MADONNA, 56, REPLACES LADY GAGA, 28, AS FACE OF VERSACE’S NEW FASHION CAMPAIGN




… with Donatella hailing singer as a “TRUE ICON“

Photographed in New York City by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Aims to focus on Madonna’s ‘unique and iconic image’
This is the Hung Up singer’s fourth campaign for the brand

Even after 30 years in the industry, Madonna is still in hot demand.
Indeed, Versace has snapped up the 56-year-old to be the face of its SS15 campaign.The iconic pop star replaces Lady Gaga, 28, to front the brand and was chosen because designer Donatella Versace believes she is a ‘true icon’.

The images, which were photographed in New York City by industry heavyweights Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, aim to focus on Madonna’s ‘unique and iconic image’.

The campaign was shot to capture the unapologetic and timeless power of Madonna today, according to the luxury fashion house.Of course, Madonna is dressed head-to-toe in pieces from the SS15 Versace collection and showcases her toned body in the imagery.

Speaking about her new role, Madonna said: ‘It’s always exciting to be dressed head-to-toe in Versace and experience first-hand Donatella’s vivid imagination and passion that she has created for this collection.

Designer Donatella added: ‘Madonna is one of the true icons of Versace. I am thrilled to have my friend and the most powerful and directional artist as the face of Versace for Spring 2015.’

This is the fourth time that Madonna has appeared in Versace’s advertising campaigns; her first was back in 1995.The singer has been causing quite a stir this week after posing topless in a cut-out corset for a magazine shoot.

The Interview cover shoot shows the mother-of-four at her raunchiest as she models a series of cut-away outfits while reclining on a bed.

dailymail.co.uk



Thursday, December 4, 2014

OFFICIAL VERSACE ANNOUNCEMENT MADE BY MADONNA




Versace just announced that Madonna will be the face of their Spring/Summer 2015 campaign!

The campaign, which was photographed in New York City by Mert & Marcus captures the unapologetic power of Madonna wearing pieces from the new Versace collection.

“It’s always exciting to be dressed head to toe in Versace and experience first-hand Donatella’s vivid imagination and passion that she has created for this collection,” commented Madonna.

“Madonna is one of the true icons of Versace. I am thrilled to have my friend and the most powerful and directional artist as the face of Versace for Spring 2015,” said Donatella Versace.

It is the fourth time that Madonna has appeared in Versace’s advertising campaigns.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Madonna For Versace 2015!




Stay Tuned! More to come!