"I met Madonna through her children; she invited me for a party", tells the LA-based DJ. "We ended up writing seven tracks together."
"I usually don't feel pressured to write hits, but when you're working with an artist of this caliber, it's obvious I wanted to push the boundaries a bit and try to exceed myself."
"One of the songs that we wrote is very cool, it's called "Bitch, I Am Madonna".
Some excerpts from Hunger's interview with William Orbit:
I THINK THAT AS LONG AS PEOPLE WILL BE EAGER TO LISTEN TO SOMETHING MORE PROFOUND, THERE WILL BE ARTISTS WHO MAKE INTERESTING MUSIC. FOR EXAMPLE, YOUR PRODUCTIONS ALWAYS PRESENT THE POPSTARS WE KNOW SO WELL UNDER A DIFFERENT LIGHT...
[...] People are hesitant to give you a chance or at least try something out and I find it a bit exhausting. Actors are not given enough credit for their talent; you don't realize how good they are until you see someone acting really badly. If it was up to me, to executive produce and overview the whole process of Madonna's MDNA and Britney's Britney Jean, I do feel I could have done an absolutely exceptional job. Something as powerful as Ray Of Light but I guess I don't have the ability to inspire this kind of managerial level of confidence.
I went through a period where I convinced myself that I was rich because I was lucky with Ray Of Light and its big success and then I spent all of that money. You can't be rich and do the music that you want. Once you become one with that choice and you don't drive around, looking at big houses and wishing to have them, then you realize how fortunate and blessed you are to be able to make music. You can't have everything; I'm in my fifties and it took me decades to get to this point and most of the people I work with professionally are half my age…
PEOPLE GOT SO EXCITED WHEN THEY KNEW YOU WERE INVOLVED IN MADONNA'S MDNA. FANS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WAITING FOR ANOTHER RAY OF LIGHT TO COME ALONG. HOW DIFFERENT WAS IT TO COLLABORATE WITH HER ON THESE TWO DIFFERENT PROJECTS?
I knew people were excited, they ask me about a new Ray Of Light every minute of the day. Think of it this way: Ray Of Light came about very spontaneously. We were in this studio in a rather unfashionable part of LA where nobody came. The record company guy came down only once and made some comments and I do remember Madonna telling him “This is art. This is how we are doing it. We'll let you come and have a good listen but we'll see you in two months when it's done.” It was a very pure experience; it was all about making that record and nothing else.
I wasn't sure how this was going to work out at the very beginning but the moment I saw her jumping into the tracks in such an artistic way, I instantly thought how great it was going to be. She's an amazing person, producer and it was a true collaboration. It's important to get this across; I don't like it when people assume that I was the clever one doing the whole job. It has been a bit of a curse and I'd feel mortified if I was her because on the album there is written “produced by Madonna and William Orbit” and that's what happened! She didn't put her name there out of vanity, she was fucking in there with me and it wouldn't have happened without the two of us.
As for MDNA it's important to say that I jumped on the project later; she had already started it. She had a lot of stuff going on, I honestly don't know how any human being could cope with making an album, directing and producing a movie, launching products and everything that comes with just being her. I mean, I had to cancel a couple of appointments this morning because I was overbooked! She's so organized and such an incredible time manager, just like a general. Anyway, we were just not really able to lock the door and everybody out for MDNA. She was having such a great time at first but it somehow became very complex for everybody. I would have mixed it myself if I could, or only together with Madonna in front of the mixing desk because she's a great mixer. We have spirited debates about things but we both always end up in the same direction because we're good at mixing.
Moreover, I should have told her that technically I did more album than she did and even though there's nothing I can ever do to even come close to what she achieved, I know she can trust me on the technical side of things. Just let me fucking be in charge of the technical, it's so important! I would have dropped three of the six tracks that she had already made with the other guys. They were not good enough in my opinion; too puerile. As for the remaining three I would have suggested to put more depth and make them more special. I had the best team and other brilliant songs and this is why I am still a bit puzzled to these days. It's not that I ever give it a second thought; I'm only talking about this because you've asked of course. Life is too busy to worry about stuff, you have to move on. Any saying I had on my part are down to me, so if I have made some mistakes then it's my fault.
ACTUALLY THE SIX TRACKS YOU PRODUCED ARE UNQUESTIONABLY THE MOST POWERFUL ONES. I GUESS MADONNA WAS IN A DIFFERENT EMOTIONAL PLACE DURING THE RAY OF LIGHT ERA …
It was definitely an important time when a lot of things happened. The day we were recording Swim in the studio, Madonna got a call from her friend Donatella, informing her about that terrible thing that happened to her brother. We kept on recording and of course it had some effects on the song.
On a more positive side she had a daughter, her first child, this tiny little thing. What a perfect time to be writing and recording! What she does in the studio is fantastic and as I've said, her involvement in that album is much greater than what she has ever been given credit for. We did not have a plan but she's good in driving things along, in fact when we finished Ray Of Light she immediately set up a listening party for the people at Warner. As we were waiting outside in a little sitting room, picking on strawberries and biting our nails, I realized “shit, Madonna has no idea about how they're going to respond! She's nervous! Madonna does no nervous!” I did not expect her to feel that way because she never shows it. As it turned out everybody loved it and started jumping and to me it was a really great example on how making a really good record. I mean, that woman has never lost any money even on a bad year but still…
It's different with Britney for instance, because Madonna is a different kind of artist of course, but nevertheless she deserves to be given a chance and I wish I had the possibility to do what I can do for her. Maybe let's talk about this in ten years, I'm here to stay. I feel reborn and excited so don't look at me as a seasoned producer because I am ready to go with the same zeal I had for the first record. If you manage to live on music for 35 years, it means that you're a hard worker, smart and that you'll definitely carry on until your death. It's a long horizon, there's no rush.
Madonna was a very proud mother at the high school graduation of her eldest daughter Lourdes. Here are some lovely pictures of the event.
All in the family! Madonna may have split from her ex Carlos Leon more than 15 years ago, but she met him for dinner with their daughter Lourdes just this week.
The trio reunited in New York City on Thursday, June 19, dining at Manhattan's trendy downtown lounge and restaurant, Beauty & Essex. Madonna, 55, arrived in a NYC-chic look, an onlooker tells Us , wearing a black top, black pants, and horn-rimmed glasses.
Madonna's eldest child Lourdes, 17, who graduates from LaGuardia High School this month, kept it casual in a T-shirt and shorts, and slung a backpack over her shoulder. Hunky trainier and actor Leon, 47, rocked a silver pendant on a chain over a blue T-shirt with a pair of jeans.
Leon and Madonna were together in the mid-1990s and split in 1997, after the October 1996 birth of Lourdes.
An observer tells Us that the modern family "looked like they were having a great time," and spent the evening "laughing, joking, and enjoying each other's company."
During their Beauty & Essex feast, the trio dined on basil pesto ravioli, the restaurant's take on a New York pretzel, salt & vinegar fries, kale and apple salad, and a crispy eggplant pizzetta.
One item was purposefully absent from their menu, however. An onlooker at the restaurant spills to Us that the Material Girl was asked before they were served if she had any allergies or dietary restrictions. As only she could, Madonna reportedly answered simply, "Ignorance."
Madonna's daughter Lourdes Leon is all grown up! In a blog posted to her clothing brand Material Girl's website, Material World, on June 12, the 17-year-old writes about graduating high school and the "unfortunate" outfit choices she made as a teen.
Lourdes, who goes by Lola, writes when it comes to looking back on her four years in high school, that means "looking back on unfortunate outfits I wore confidently to school."
"Oh how I wish I could go back in time and urge my 14-year-old self NOT to wear black rhinestone studded T-shirts with bloody skulls on them, purchased from really 'hip' stores," the fashion designer, who attended an arts school, wrote on the post titled "Lola Looks Back."
Madonna's eldest daughter goes on to say she's thankful for her high school as it gave her the "confidence and the yolo spirit I needed to successfully look like a clown."
The teen goes on to say she's ready to "prepare" herself "for the real world," but doesn't fail to remind us of her current age by writing, "As summer approaches … I keep forgetting to shave my legs." The brunette also makes sure to mention she's not a fan of floral rompers, calling them "abused."
As for what's next for the "Material Girl" singer's daughter, Lola hints at college. Lourdes captioned a picture posted to the blog of her looking at designs: "Can't believe I was just starting high school when we launched MG and now I am graduating! These looks will hit Macy's when I am a college freshman."
The actress/singer/dancer explained how the collaboration came about.
"They approached me with the idea and I was very excited, obviously, 'cause I just love Madonna and her daughter's super cool," Zendaya told Access Hollywood.
Zendaya is the latest celeb to front the line and she feels the brand is a good fit with her own sense of style.
"I like the fact that it's affordable, but it's still edgy and cool," Zendaya said. "I just think it was a perfect fit for me and my personal style.
"A lot of really cool people have been before me like Kelly [Osbourne] and Rita [Ora] ... So I was like, 'Heck yeah!'" she added.
I've had several Madonna fans ask me about Madonna's upcoming album. I, as well as many others, surely thought that she would unleash a surprise single next week. In fact, people from Interscope never denied the rumors. But it ends up being completely false.
The rumors were fueled by fat slob and psychotic douchebag Roger Friedman of Showbiz411, who was fired from several news outlets in the past because of his poor reporting. His article (and I won't link to him so he could get another page hit) was just the beginning in a Madonna bashing campaign he talked about during a Music Cares event earlier this year with Elton John. Incidentally, Friedman allegedly started another Madonna bashing campaign in 2006 according to these leaked emails, which he has denied even though both email addresses are legit and the information in them is 100 percent accurate. I can't say that I've liked everything Madonna has done and have criticized her myself, but am shocked that her legal team has done nothing about this man, who has the face only a mother can appreciate.
Now, back to the album. It isn't done. It isn't even close to being done. Madonna has recorded enough songs to make two or three albums, but like a photographer, more is better since there is more to choose from in the end. All I know is that Interscope is very impressed with what they have heard, and that's not just PR hype. We often hear of how “great” an album is by an artist's PR team and when the album is released, it's not so good. Madonna's MDNA is a good example. Early hype and early reviews had the album compared to Ray of Light. But when reality hit, it wasn't nearly as well received.
However, the good buzz for Madonna's next project comes from within Interscope. But they are concerned and confused about how the album should be marketed. Should it concentrate on the adult contemporary songs she has recorded (there are quite a few)? If nothing but EDM songs make the final cut, will she be accused of recording another MDNA ? Interscope knows that radio won't play the songs, so they are looking to market the songs in other ways.
One of the songs will likely be used for an upcoming movie. Given how Interscope turned the fortunes of Lady Gaga's “Applause” around by featuring it in a KIA commercial, you can bet they will use the same method for Madonna. There will be some performances, but not many; Madonna's management and Interscope are aware of how much Madonna is bashed after any performance she gives these days.
Madonna would be wise to learn from the mistakes of Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and other divas, who face an increasingly ageist music industry. If she wants the album to be any type of success, she has to tone down her image. She has been stuck in a “Look at Me!” rut that is turning off some fans who have stood with her since the beginning. This isn't about ageism, which I admit Madonna is a victim of more than any other pop star in music history. This is about creativity. Madonna ‘s biggest strength has always been the ability to reinvent herself so much that she comes across as fresh both musically and aesthetically. Her current incarnation has run its course into the ground.
She also has to market the album to her audience, which is largely made up of adults in their 40s and 50s. Marketing the album to teenagers (which she has done for her past two albums) will be a nail in the album's coffin.
In any case, Madonna is no doubt putting more effort into her latest album than she has in years. Let's just hope the efforts pay off.
One of Tupac Shakur's old friends celebrated his birthday by seeing a new play inspired by his music.
Madonna attended a preview of "Holler If Ya Hear Me" in New York City on Monday, which would have been the rapper's 43rd birthday. Shakur died in 1996 at age 25.
The musical officially opens Thursday at the Palace Theatre. It uses Shakur's songs to tell an original story about two young men dealing with life and tragedy in a Midwestern industrial city. Recent Tony winner Kenny Leon is directing.
Madonna sat in the third row. Shakur's mother and show producer, Afeni Shakur, also attended.
"Holler If Ya Hear Me" uses some of the rap genius' well-known songs, including "California Love," ''Dear Mama," ''I Get Around" and "Keep Ya Head Up."
"Gettin nothing done cause @Madonna is on her 3 bottle of rosé #tirnethuppeth"
So is Diplo the main producer of the album?
France's National Front on Tuesday branded Madonna a "Granny Gaga" after the global pop icon became embroiled in a new row with the resurgent far right party.
She took another swipe at the party on Monday with a post on her Instagram account.
The post featured the front page of French newspaper Liberation from May 26, the day after the FN topped the polls in European elections with a record 25 percent of the vote.
The page shows a triumphant Le Pen celebrating the victory next to the headline, "FN France".
Madonna's caption read: "Russia. Ukraine. Venezuela ...., now France?!!!!! #fight Fascism #fightdiscrimination #fightlynchmobmentality #fighthatred #fightforffreedom #revolutionoflove
FN vice-president Florian Phillipot responded with a sarcastic suggestion Madonna was seeking controversy to court publicity at a time when her career has been eclipsed by the global stardom of younger rival Lady Gaga.
"In politics too, Granny Gaga has lost the plot," Philippot tweeted.
Madonna is being sued over the name of her Hard Candy fitness brand by a beauty and fashion company of the same name.
Madonna is being sued over her fitness brand.
The 'Hung Up' hitmaker has been accused by beauty and fashion company Hard Candy of maliciously stealing their name to sell exercise DVDs and apparel and the firm have filed a lawsuit in federal court for trademark infringement and unfair competition.
The case claims the 55-year-old singer began selling her goods under the Hard Candy name in 2011 despite a previous rejection from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Federal court papers obtained by RadarOnline.com state: ''Defendants' actions have caused and will cause Hard Candy, LLC irreparable harm for which money damages and other legal remedies are inadequate.
''Unless Defendants are restrained by this Court, Defendants will continue and/or expand the improper activities alleged in this Complaint and otherwise continue to cause great and irreparable harm and injury to Hard Candy, LLC.''
The lawsuit also targets Madonna's manager Guy Oseary, but claims the 'Material Girl' singer is ''the driving force behind the infringing activity, taking credit herself for the initial selection and subsequent expansion.
Hard Candy are seeking financial damages and for Madonna to stop using their name completely.
Katy Perry is using crystals to heal her broken heart after pop icon Madonna recommended the bizarre therapy.
Perry, who split from John Mayer earlier this year (14), now employs the practice to keep her in top shape while on tour and to help her find love.
She says, "I'm a huge fan (of Madonna). I've got to know her recently and she's incredible... She had given me some advice on how to maintain my health throughout the tour. She had given me a number for a crystal healer. Everything stems from people's energy so it makes sense. I sleep with a rose quartz in my hand at night. It's supposed to help you find love and also heal your heart."
The Dark Horse star recently teamed up with the #unapologeticbitch singer for a joint photo shoot, and the pair are now gracing the cover of US fashion title VMag together.
“I admire Madonna incredibly because, you know, at the age that she is, I think she's still very relevant,” Perry said in an interview with BBC Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw this morning (May 30).
“Looking at her whole decades of work, it's not a fluke that she's been around for as long as she's been. She's very, very smart.”
Continuing, Perry said of La Ciccone: “She's got that zeitgeist; she's highly intuitive. I think highly intuitive people that are observers and take from that observing and put it in their music have the chance to stay around. But I think she knows exactly what she's doing. Nothing's by chance with her.”
Discussing what it was like working with Madonna on their recent photo shoot, Perry said: “She was super kind to me and showed me a whole other layer that I didn't know. She's spiritual and dope and intelligent, you know.”
Perry also said that Madonna, who is known for her record-breaking world tours, has given her tips about taking care of herself while on the road.
“She's given me really great, like, health advice,” Perry said. “I asked her about that, and we had a whole conversation about how to withstand such rigorous tour schedules. She gave me some numbers of some healers and crystals and stuff like that.”
Earlier this year Perry spent a month guest-curating Madonna's Art For Freedom initiative, and among Perry's selections were a series of videos spotlighting the violence and discrimination currently faced by LGBT people in Russia.
Perry has also incorporated elements of Madge's classic hit Vogue into her own track International Smile when she performs it ‘The Prismatic World Tour', which arrived in London earlier this week.↑ Back to top of page