Madonna saw the release of her Golden Globe-winning directorial effort W.E. earlier this year, but she says that recording music — in particular, new album MDNA — is quite a different experience.
“There are a billion more people on a film and I don’t have that visceral outlet of being able to sing, scream… jump around,” notes the Material Girl. “It’s very different. I love doing both but it was nice to have the simplicity of song-writing after three years of writing a script and directing and editing and talking about my film, to sit down and play my guitar and sing a song. I almost cried.”
Madge also shared her thoughts on the plethora of collaborators featured on MDNA:
William Orbit, producer: “I think maybe I just have more of a European sensibility. People say that about my songs as well. I like working with people who are well-read and know what’s going on in the world. Conversation is essential. With William, we always get into discussions about philosophy or quantum physics.”
Martin Solveig, producer: “With Martin Solveig we always end up getting in to discussions about foreign films. When I’m working with people I can’t just write music, I have to be able to talk about life and the world, and art… Martin is such good fun, I adore him. You have to feel like you can say ‘No, I don’t like that,’ and you’re not going to hurt their feelings. And vice versa. But he’s got just the right balance of seriousness and humor. He’s very organised and methodical in his thinking so I like his work process.”
Benny and Alle Benassi, producers: “Benny was a tricky one because he doesn’t speak English very well. I ended up kind of using his cousin Allessandro as an interpreter. It was a little bit frustrating at first but eventually we found a way to communicate. You figure out a way. With music it’s so much about the vibe and the energy and you know when things are working and when they’re not. When you’re working with someone for the first time, there’s a kind of shyness that everybody has, so with Benny it was more challenging because of that but we figured it out and by the end I felt like I knew him very well.”
Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., guest vocalists: “I was looking to collaborate with women who I think have a strong sense of themselves. They were a lot of fun to be around in the studio, for sure. I think we were all shy of each other in the beginning, that’s just human nature. I think we got over that pretty quickly. They’re both very self-possessed people, especially M.I.A. I don’t think she’s impressed much by stars and celebrities, so we just got down to business. I loved her.”
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