Mirwais gave an exclusive interview to French gay magazine Tetu, to promote his new musical project called Arabology with Lebanese signer Yasmine. He was asked several Madonna-related questions (thanx to AbsolumentMadonna for the translation):
Mirwais, after you worked with Madonna, people expected you to produce music for a huge US pop star...
Mirwais: It's not who I am. First of all, I didn't seek Madonna, she came to me. The fact is, she listened to my Production album, she loved 'Naive Song' and she wanted me to give it to her for her own album. I refused, but I accepted to collaborate with her, because there was no compromise in the work we were about to do. Also, once I collaborated with the Queen Bee, whoever came after her seemed a little boring to me! But many came to ask me to produce tracks, from Depeche Mode to Jennifer Lopez. But I said no to all of them.
You didn't work on any of the tracks featured on the latest Madonna album. Do you have any projects with her?
Mirwais: We still have some tracks that we're supposed to do together. Especially one that I really like, a very folkish song, but her latest album had a more R&B sound. Also, I've worked on 3 of her albums, I'm the only producer she collaborated with that much. I think I've had my share... I'm also convinced that she's someone I can easily make a very good track with. Just like with Daniel (Darc, from his first band, Taxi Girl), Juliette (part of his other ex-band, Juliette et les Independents) or Yasmine today.
Is Yas a political project?
Mirwais: Not at all. I don't want any misinterpretations on the subject, even though I'm Afgan and Yasmine is Lebanese! I'm well aware of the fact that the people are going to expect that we make some kind of political statements, especially about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict... I already experienced these kinds of situations. In 2003, when I wrote American Life with Madonna, it was around the time of the war in Iraq, and very few people supported her, especially in the press or in Hollywood...
Have you tried to make Madonna sing in Arabic?
Mirwais: No, but I could have. We stopped working together the moment I started working on the project with Yasmine. There were some Hebrew words on Confessions On A Dance Floor, but you know, Madonna's thing is more Kabbalah than the Arabic language! (laughs) At the same time, if you like it or not, I don't think Madonna is realy about making things change.
What about you, Yasmine, how would you feel about being called the Arabic Madonna?
Yasmine: You totally caught me off guard. What I can say, is that Madonna and George Michael helped me go through my sexual revolution. After all, it's an honour to be compared to her, but it's also a bit restrictive. I'm way more punk than she'll ever be, you know.
~ Of course Mirwais is not Madonna's most used producer, as she worked with Stephen Bray & Patrick Leonard for a longer period. Also, Mirwais must have forgotten that early 2005 he did collaborate with another act, namely with Fischerspooner, on the album 'Odyssey'.
DJ Paul Oakenfold is struggling to put together a playlist for his upcoming shows supporting Madonna - because the crowd will be so diverse.
The superstar DJ will be the Material Girl's warm-up act on the latest leg of her Sticky & Sweet world tour this summer (09), and he wants to get everyone in the crowd fired up and dancing.
But he's finding it difficult to plan what music to play as he doesn't think his usual style will go down well with the wide range of fans Madonna attracts.
Oakenfold says, "Planning my set for a Madonna show is tough because she covers the spectrum. It's a white, black, gay, straight crowd, aged between 15 to 60. It's no good making it too underground.
"Despite the big venues, it'll still be clubby and I'll get the crowd going. And it doesn't take much to get Madonna in the mood."
Oakenfold is also teaming up with the singer to produce three new tracks on her upcoming Greatest Hits album.
According to fansite MadonnaTribe, the Sticky & Sweet Tour is indeed reaching Israel, as Madonna is set to end the 2009 tour on September 1st, in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park. An official announcement should be coming very soon.
Moreover, it seems Attitude magazine got the song titles wrong, because "I'm sorry" is just a repeated phrase in the song Broken, which means there are only 2 Oakenfold tracks (the correct title is possibly 'Broken (I'm Sorry)').
And finally, some new details were revealed on the upcoming changes of the tour setlist, check them out on our spoilers page!
Nobody else knows about this (well aside from Paul Oakenfold, Madonna, some studio people, her manager, friends, Lourdes, Rocco, David and several hundread nannies) but we can exclusively reveal the name of the new songs that Paul Oakenfold has recorded with her royal highness, all time queen of the pop fiefdom and snout rubberer of the puffed up and self righteous in the poop (ie Madonna).
We just got off the blower with legendary superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold for a little interview we will be running in our July issue out at the end of June in our nightlife section. Paul is doing his amazing thing all over the world and has been Djing for the Madonna tour of last year which returns to London on Pride day July 4th before going to Manchester and then heading out into the wider world. So taken with the Oakenfold was she that she invited him into the studio to work on some new tracks for possible inclusion on Madonna's highly anticipated new Greatest Hits album due for release sometime this year.
Paul said Madonna was highly professional, he learned a lot and that the new tracks are 'lyrically classic Madonna with an edgy modern sound'.
'Oooh' we gasped, as we help the phone on a cord under our chin, and whipped up an omelette with the other hand, in a Thelma and Louise serving omelettes in a Texas Diner kind of way.
He told us the tracks were sitting right there next to him and he told us what they are called. He didn't know which ones would be the Greatest Hits CD and didn't know when it would be out, though he imagined the run up to Christmas 'when most greatest hits come out'. Our other pixie sources have told us that it may well be before that (ie Madonna wrote in a fan newsletter that it would be spring).
So, the song titles are... (in no order)Broken
So there we are. We don't know what this says about our glorious leader's emotional state – the first two we decided were about her sadness at splitting from Guy but then we thought maybe she is saying 'celebrate my freedom, I'm sorry I waited so long and I've broken the bed with Jesus'.
But who knows.
We are hovering our hands over our crystal balls in a mystical manner and predict that the album may well just be called MADONNA CELEBRATE. But that is just a guess, because we're slightly OCD.
Paul Oakenfold supports Madonna at the O2 in London and in Manchester in early July. He also headlines at Wireless in Hyde Park, London.
"Meanwhile, Tisci's costume design duties continue to grow. The designer said he's creating new looks for Madonna's ongoing tour"
Previously, Arianne Phillips was quoted for refurbishing and creating new looks for the 2009 leg of the tour.
Currently, it is unknown whether all the costumes are going to be reworked, or Tisci was just asked to recreate the costumes that coincide with the newly added songs.
Ricardo Tisci of Givenchy is responsible for the Gangsta Pimp and Gypsy outfits of the show.
Keep in mind that the DVD release of this tour is going to contain the 2008 version of the show and the changes are more likely to appear as separate bonus features, than as parts of a newly filmed full show.
Constantly referred to as the Queen of Reinvention in the media, Madonna decided to take a spoof on that title when she launched her Re-Invention Tour 5 years ago, on May 24th, 2004. For her sixth full tour, Madonna decided to pay tribute to various eras of her career, as the main motive of the show was giving winks and nods to her past live extravaganzas and costumes.
While the tour had a very limited itineary, only hitting North America and selected Western European cities, the show was well-received by fans and critics alike for redressing the balance after the so-called self-indulgent setlist of the Drowned World Tour, being her first ever live retrospective, revisiting many of her hits.
The show was divided into five different segments and featured at least one song from each of her studio albums. Unlike on her other tours, the five costumes practically remained the same during each of their respective acts. The designers of the ensembles were Christian Lacroix, Stella McCartney and Arianne Phillips.
The concert included such highlights as the yoga-infused opener Vogue, the military march of Express Yourself, a gorgeously sung jazzy rendition of Deeper And Deeper, the high-energy tango of Die Another Day and the electric chair drama of the dark Evita finale Lament, the sincere acoustic folk of Mother And Father, and the back-to-back lighthearted fun of Into The Groove & Papa Don't Preach.
All of Madonna's tours include samples, interpolations or live snippets of non-Madonna songs, but this is the only Madonna show that features a fully performed cover song, John Lennon's Imagine, "the ultimate peace song", as Madonna referred to it.
Unfortunately it also meant that her then-current American Life album did not have much share in the spotlight, it was especially surprising that Hollywood was relegated to an interlude and her then-most recent single Love Profusion was snubbed from the setlist.
Re-Invention became the most lucrative tour of 2004 with grossing nearly $125 million and selling 900,000 tickets. Madonna decided to immortalize her life on the road and enlisted longtime collaborator Jonas Akerlund to capture her touring days on film, which resulted in the much-delayed I'm Going To Tell You A Secret, that eventually got released on DVD in mid-2006.
While the tour documentary features several perfectly shot, but edited performances from Paris (accompanied by a live CD that ironically puts the emphasis on American Life), unfortunately for fans it's the only way to see professional footage of the 2004 tour. Even after 5 years, there's still no DVD release in sight, and even though the final two shows in Lisbon were filmed, recently Madonna's manager Guy Oseary revealed that there are no immediate plans for the release but it would come out "someday"...
10 videos taken from the upcoming Sticky & Sweet Tour DVD are now available for streaming for owners of a BlackBerry Bold from AT&T!
The selection includes the following performances:
For more info, please visit http://www.blackberry.com/select/madonna/
She's always liked them hot, young and Latin, but Madonna's latest boy toy has another special charm -- he was a Kabbalist before they even met.
Jesus Luz, 22, immersed himself in the religion while he was still a struggling model in Rio de Janeiro. Since the late 1990s, Madonna has been an avid follower of the movement, which stems from Jewish mysticism and equates God to a ray of light.
"Madonna must have thought she met God when she found Jesus," said a Kabbalah devotee in New York, noting that "Jesus Luz" translates from Portuguese as "Jesus Light." Leonardo Reis, manager of the Kabbalah Center in Rio, helped Luz with his studies starting in July 2008, six months before Jesus met Madonna. "All I can say to you is that Madonna is really, really happy with Jesus," Reis said.
"When she found out he was into Kabbalah, they really started to hit it off." Reis organized a special Shabbat dinner for the couple and their friends after they met at a Rio photo shoot last December. The dinner, complete with lit candles and guests clothed in white, was held at sunset in Madonna's luxe suite at the Copacabana Palace Hotel with its stunning views of the Atlantic.
Spirituality has always been a part of Luz's life. His mother, Cristiane Regina da Silva, 37, is a member of the "Evangelicals," a growing Protestant cult movement in Brazil. His father, an administrator at a public hospital in the Rio suburbs, says he decided to name his son Jesus because he admired the philosophy of Christ. But four years after baby Jesus was born, the family split. Cristiane, a colorist at a tony Ipanema salon, raised Luz on her own in a gritty part of downtown Rio. Still, she was determined to give him the kind of life she never had. By the time he was an adolescent, Cristiane managed to save enough money to enroll him in a private prep school and encouraged his modeling career.
Luz had star quality from a young age. At his prep school, girls sought out his autograph because of his intense blue eyes, said a former girlfriend. Those eyes must have also been a hit with photographer Steven Klein, who chose Luz's picture from a stack of portfolio shots provided by model agent Sergio Mattos. According to Mattos, Klein offered Luz and two other male models $100 each for a two-day shoot in Rio for W magazine. The models didn't know they would be working alongside Madonna until they arrived at the session in December.
After the first day of shooting, Luz went home to his mother in such a good mood that he insisted on celebrating. "The first picture session with Madonna resulted in his coming home really happy," said Cristiane in an interview with a Brazilian magazine. "He even opened a bottle of champagne."
But not everyone in Luz's circle was joining in the fun. Shortly after the W shoot, Jesus dumped girlfriend Krishna Siqueira, a sultry model who introduced him to Kabbalah when they started dating last July. "My mother gave Jesus letters of the Kabbalah for him to meditate on," said Siqueira, who like many of Luz's friends lost touch with the model after Madonna whisked him to New York this year.
Luz's move to the Big Apple has paid off. The boy toy, who is also devoted to macrobiotic cuisine and is fluent in English, is now a high-profile Ford Model who recently shot a Dolce & Gabbana's menswear campaign for fall/winter 2009-2010.
Although Ford Models refused to say how much Luz makes per gig, a Brazilian newspaper reported that he was commanding a $100,000 fee to appear at a local fashion show shortly after he started dating Madonna. Luz's earnings have also enabled him to finance his mother's recent move into an upscale apartment in Ipanema.
In New York, Luz is now a regular at hotspots like the Waverly Inn and earlier this month escorted Madonna to the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Ball, considered the city's society event of the year. He's friends with Marc Jacobs and the famous designer's Brazilian companion, Lorenzo Martone, who has become a mentor to the young model. In March, Jacobs wrote a letter to US authorities to help Luz obtain a work permit here.
Every Saturday morning, Madonna and Luz attend services at the Kabbalah Centre in Midtown, and he spends his free time jogging in Central Park, reading Deepak Chopra and attending a school for DJs, friends say. "His passion is electronic music," his best friend in Rio told The Post. "He is really working hard to become a DJ."
Luis Heitor Luz, Jesus' 46-year-old father, told The Post his son is firmly committed to the pop star. "I know he loves Madonna, and I wouldn't be surprised if they get married," he said. "People speak about the difference in their ages but this is nonsense. I was 23 and his mother was 14 when Jesus was born."Although it was recently reported that Madonna and Jesus planned to wed in a Kabbalah commitment ceremony, a spokeswoman for the pop queen last week flatly denied the rumors. But in Rio, a Kabbalist who knows the couple said, "There is no need for marriage. They are already spiritually joined."
UPDATE: in spoilers, you can now find the titles of the songs that are IN as well as those that are OUT.
Paul Oakenfold has described the new material he has recorded with Madonna as "cutting edge sounds combined with classic Madonna".
The pair spent a week together in the studio last month producing songs for the Miles Away singer's upcoming greatest hits package.
Oakenfold confirmed that the new material will be previewed when he opens for Madonna on the second leg of her Sticky & Sweet world tour, which kicks off in London on July 4.
The DJ will also play at the Wireless Festival before supporting Madonna on European dates in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe.
His new album Pop Killer is expected to be released in 2010 and features collaborations with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ryan Tedder and Ce-Lo.
~ It's pure speculation, but keep in mind if Oakenfold previews the new songs as the opening act, it's not exactly likely that Madonna would perform them live in the actual show.
To promote his brand new album 'My Oracle Lives Uptown', William Orbit gave a long interview to UK radio station BBC which turns out quite a career retrospective, so naturally Madonna is mentioned several times.
Orbit talks about the recording sessions of Ray Of Light, how they became friends with Madonna during the process, and more importantly, he reveals that he sent in a few new tracks for Madonna's latest project (the new greatest hits album, but he did not name it), but Madonna did not use them.
He admits that Madonna is into a different kind of dancy sound now, in the vein of Britney's Blackout album (especially 'Piece Of Me') and her own Music by Mirwais (which fits DJ Frank E's electro pop hint), but Orbit himself cannot create sounds like that.
He says they are still friends though and "never say never" regarding if he'd ever work with her again, and calls Madonna a very talented musician. He also talks about his work with other artists, like U2 or Blur. You can listen to the interesting interview here.
For the concert of Madonna on 11 july in Werchter a serious amount of tickets, that were blocked for productional reasons, have been made available for sale. The last reservations that were still open in the system have been removed from the ticket system as well. In total there are about 3.000 tickets back on sale.
The Madonna show, taking place Saturday 11 july in Festivalpark in Werchter, was sold out in no time.
The new tickets are now on sale via www.goformusic.be. Only payments by credit card are accepted. Maximum 6 per person.
~ Please note that all 3.000 tickets are general standing as all the Golden Circle ones have been sold out.
Madonna followed the brilliant Like A Prayer video with another masterpiece: the video of Express Yourself, which premiered on May 10th, 1989, showcased Madonna at her most powerful. Based on Fritz Lang's 1927 influential silent movie Metropolis, Madonna took on the lower/upper class distinction of the movie, but turned it into the battle of sexes, with the men being the workers, and only one woman appearing in the video, Madonna herself, in total control.
Sporting a Marlene Dietrich-esque hairdo (she had to dye it back to blond because of filming Dick Tracy), she first appeared in a gorgeous green dress, but later on during the crotch-grabbing choreography, she wore a suit over her lingerie, mixing masculine and feminine clothing, further blurring the line between genders. Madonna also took the role of the Man Machine from Metropolis as the men started to fight over her, but she only chose to please one of them.
The David Fincher directed video was one of the most expensive clips at the time, with a budget of roughly $1 million. It went onto winning Best Direction, Best Art Direction & Best Cinematography awards at the 1989 MTV VMA, where Madonna performed the song with Donna & Niki, being the only live performance of the Like A Prayer era.
The clip is also notable for being Madonna's first ever remix video, as the first version of the video was set to Shep Pettibone's minimalist house/dance remix, that became the basis of live performances and remixes. Interestingly, the commercially available clip on The Immaculate Collection VHS/DVD has a variation of the funky album version set to a slightly shorter version of the video, reasons for this are unknown.
While the single failed to reach the dizzying heights of its predecessor, it still went to Top 10 in several markets, including #5 in the UK and just missed out the #1 in the US (because of Simply Red and Martika), but still got certified Gold there for shipments of 500,000 copies.
Many fans speculate that its success was hindered because the exact same version that was promoted to radio/video was not found on any of the single formats, and there was also no direct incentive to pick up its parent album that featured the relatively unknown Sly & The Family Stone-infused Stephen Bray production. The futuristic Shep Pettibone remix made its way to Madonna's first greatest hits album The Immaculate Collection and served as the B-single for Justify My Love (with the maxi-single containing another variation of the track).
Madonna performed the song on several of her tours, most notably on Blond Ambition where the massive stage basically came alive from the video, and Madonna used Express Yourself as the energetic opening number, again referencing Metropolis as she appeared in a shiny golden corset, similar to the Man Machine.
The Girlie Show saw Madonna descending on a discoball and launching an upbeat, disco remake of the song, referencing the likes of Gloria Gaynor with the simple, but effectively empowering version.
More than a decade later, Express Yourself made a comeback in the Madonna world when the Shep Pettibone remix served as the basis of a military-themed performance as a Re-Invention Tour highlight, where Madonna sang over a marching beat and threw down a show-stopping rifle choreography with an all-male dancer cast.
In the past few days, a lot of fuss has been made in the Madonna fan community about a supposed Lil Wayne collaboration. According to reliable member of the Madonna Fanzine board, anna_henstridge, the first single of Madonna's upcoming greatest hits album is going to be 'Revolver', a track originally meant for Lil Wayne.
Madonna got a hold of the track and recorded it as a solo song, produced by the officially confirmed DJ Frank E. You can listen to a snippet of the song here, which does not feature Madonna's vocals. Recently, DJ Frank E described the new Madonna sound as "electro pop" on his Twitter.
Another evidence for the Revolver rumour: a rejected concept for the compilation album appeared online by Adam&Co. They say the project evolved in a different direction, but interestingly it has the rumoured title 'Hits' along with holes made by bullets on the package. Coincidence? Supposedly, we're gonna find out soon...
If you think that Lady Gaga has gotten used to being a pop superstar, think again. No one was as surprised as the New York City native herself to see that the Queen of Pop, Madonna, took some time out of her busy schedule to catch the "Poker Face" singer's show at New York's Terminal 5 on Saturday.
"I was very humbled that Madonna came to the show," Gaga told MTV News on Monday. "And I had been hearing all week that she was going to come, and I was like, 'Oh, OK,' and I didn't want to talk about it or tell anyone 'cause I thought it was kind that she would want to come at all."
What made it even more surprising for Gaga was that she didn't think Madonna had any idea who she was, despite her hit songs and performance on "American Idol" earlier this season. But what really pleased the singer was seeing that Madge made her concert a family night.
"I was really excited to see that [Madonna's daughter] Lourdes was there, and that made me really happy 'cause during the show I noticed some beautiful spirit of a girl dancing," she recalled. "And I didn't know who it was and I just kept waving to her."
It wasn't until the set was over that she learned that the girl was Madonna's daughter. "Then when the show was over, I said, 'Oh, there's this sweet, young girl up there, and she was dancing her pants off.' And someone said, 'Lourdes had green pants on.' And I was like, 'Oh my God, it was Lourdes and she was dancing.' It really got me going. [Madonna's] a good mom, so it's nice."
Gaga will also be happy to hear that the legendary singer slipped out unnoticed. "I was hoping and praying she would get out safely," she said. "If she got spotted she would have been trampled like the queen she is." (source: MTV.com)
Madonna was back to her attention-grabbing best last night, stepping out for her first red carpet appearance with toyboy lover Jesus Luz at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala ball. And it wasn't just the arm candy that got tongues wagging. The Queen of Pop brought out her 80s side, taking the evening's dress theme - The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion' and running with it.
Dressed in a navy blue ruched Louis Vuitton mini dress, thigh-high black boots and the black fingerless gloves of old, Madge completed her ensemble with a teal-coloured hair piece tied around a top knot. The style chameleon's get-up didn't put off beau of the moment though, as 22-year-old toyboy, Jesus Luz, showed up at fashion's most stylish annual bash, looking super suave in a slick black dinner jacket and waited attentively as the flashbulbs went into overdrive for his date. The pair has frequently been spotted out and about in New York in recent weeks but last night was the couple's first outing as a confirmed item and the duo couldn't have cared less about the ensuing gossip.
Thanx to Guy Oseary's Twitter, fans were informed that Madonna wrapped up the quick studio sessions for the new greatest hits album on April 30th and May 1st, and she can't wait for us to hear the finished product! Madonna herself also gave away some tidbits on her managers's Twitter, that she's currently listening to electro house music, reading books by Chris Cleave & Malcolm Gladwell, and she dismissed the rumours about leaving her children in London while she's on tour. She also thanked all the support by fans for her adoption.
Even more exciting is that she wrote a letter in the brand new ICON magazine, which reveals a lot of info on upcoming Madonna projects:
She's making a couple of new additions for Sticky & Sweet Tour Part 2 - "one or two new songs to be exact!"
Live Nation and Guy Oseary are currently working on negotiations for a tour closer show "somewhere unbelievable", which is meant to be a huge moment.
A new movie project about the Duchess of Windsor, she's just finished the first draft of the screenplay with Truth or Dare director Alek Keshishian.
She confirms the other rumoured collaborator DJ Frank E for the greatest hits. She writes that the compilation is meant to come out "this spring", but Liz Rosenberg in a page devoted to her confirms it's coming in the Fall. (For more on DJ Frank E, check his Myspace or Twitter!)
The Sticky & Sweet Tour DVD will be out late 2009.
She just had an amazing trip to Malawi and calls the progress there "extraordinary" and is very proud of the work of Raising Malawi and the building of the girls academy.↑ Back to top of page