Madonna Adds a French Twist to Forthcoming "Music"

Material Girl hires Parisian club artist Mirwais to produce next disc

April 19, 2000 12:00 AM ET

Two years ago, Madonna kicked her floundering music career back into high-gear by teaming up with underground ambient producer William Orbit on the acclaimed Ray of Light. Now the singer is hoping lightning strikes twice. For Music, her forthcoming disc, she has teamed up with little-known French electronic musician Mirwais Ahmadzai, whose "Disco Science" single is currently a European club hit.

The singer was introduced to the thirty-nine-year-old Afghan-born producer (formerly a member of French art-punk group Taxi Girl) through photographer Stephan Sednaoui. After hearing a four-track demo Mirwais sent to Maverick for signing consideration, Madonna was so impressed she corralled him into the studio right away. Two weeks later, the duo initiated sessions for Music, settled the details of his Maverick contract, and recorded a track called "Paradise (Not for Me)" for Mirwais' forthcoming album, Production.

Madonna has described Music as a collection of personal love songs. In a recent interview with an Austrian reporter, she said she felt Mirwais' compositions set the perfect tone for the forthcoming album. "He does electronic minimalist music -- and that's how my record will sound," she said. "My last record was very busy, had many layers, and was very ethereal. My motto for the new album is 'less is more.' This time, I've removed all the layers -- in Music it will be about naked emotion."

Madonna has not completely severed her relationship with Orbit, who is also signed to Maverick, and whose work on Ray of Light and subsequent singles "Beautiful Stranger" and "American Pie" yielded both critical and commercial raves. Orbit reportedly returned to produce at least three songs on the new album, but wants to stay focused on his own rejuvenated career. His recent Pieces in a Modern Style, an album of electronic interpretations of classical pieces, remains in the Top 40 throughout Europe months after its release.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »