In her first Q&A about the surprise launch of her 13th album, the Queen of Pop opens up about working with Nicki and Kanye and who’s really in the Illuminati
For the past year, Madonna has been updating fans on the progress of her 13th studio album through Instagram posts picturing collaborators (Nicki Minaj, Avicii, Diplo) and inspirations (children in Malawi, Miley Cyrus, placards reading “I need more money and power and less shit from you people”). But last week her creative process was interrupted by the leak of 13 songs she characterized as “unfinished demos.” Faced with a potential calamity, her team made a quick decision: finish and release six of the tracks immediately on iTunes and set a firm early-March 2015 release date for the full LP, titled Rebel Heart.
The day after the tracks hit iTunes, Madonna was Number One on the digital music service’s charts in 41 countries — everywhere from the U.S. and Israel to Russia and the Philippines. And she gave her first interview about the surprise launch to Rolling Stone:
It’s safe to presume you’ve had a busy couple of days?
Oh my goodness. So busy. Let’s talk about something good.
The album focuses on two themes: listening to your heart and being a rebel. When you sat down to write, were you guided by these ideas above any musical plans?
I never sit down and consciously think I want to write a song about a subject. Music leads me to ideas and to where I want to go emotionally. When I first started, I was writing with Avicii’s team of writers and they were separated into two different groups. One of them had a much more upbeat approach to songwriting, sonically speaking, and the other team chose darker chords. The music leads me – so I get lost in the sound of the music, and that creates a kind of emotional palate. I found as I would look back at my songs and witness what I had written, I was coming from two very distinct places. That happened organically, not planned out, and I was observing, “Oh, these are two very strong sides of me that I need to express.”
Read full article: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/rebel-heart-madonna-reveals-the-story-behind-six-surprise-songs-20141221#ixzz3MZxW8mQg
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Madonna Q&A: On Her New ‘Rebellious and Romantic’ Music, Demo Leaks, ‘Possibly’ Crashing the Grammys & the ‘Crazy’ Sony Hack
“It’s kind of like the old me and the new me all mixed in together,” Madonna tells Billboard of her stunning new single “Living For Love.”
It’s a rather large understatement to say that it’s been a crazy couple of weeks for Madonna.
On Tuesday night, more than 10 of the singer’s unreleased demo recordings turned up on the Internet, causing the singer and her team to go into “overdrive” to combat the stolen leaks. (“I haven’t slept in a week,” she says.) The songs were from the sessions for her forthcoming 13th studio album, which at the time, had not been announced (and is still not finished).
To counter the leak, Madonna accelerated the release of new music: On Friday night (Dec. 19), she announced that her album, Rebel Heart, would be released on March 10, 2015 through Interscope Records, and six of its tracks would become immediately available to purchase. Among those tracks are the set’s lead single, the Diplo-produced soul-meets-house jam “Living For Love.” How far ahead of schedule was the release? The single wasn’t supposed to premiere until Feb. 14, 2015.
The album — which features a collaboration with Nicki Minaj — is also available to pre-order, and has topped the iTunes Store’s top albums tally in more than 40 countries, including the United States. She also dominated the real time Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart on Saturday night (Dec. 20), where two of the album’s songs (“Living For Love” and “Bitch, I’m Madonna”) were concurrently in the top three.
Billboard spoke to Madonna on Sunday morning via phone, to talk about her new album, its “chaotic” recording process, and how her day-to-day business has changed because of the leaks. She also discusses her fondness of Diplo (he’s a “badass”), a possible Grammy Awards performance, and how no one has ever called her an “Unapologetic Bitch.”
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, etcetera, etcetera. 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.
Click HERE to read full Q&A by Billboard
Madonna has defended her description of the leak of 13 unfinished demos from her forthcoming album as “a form of terrorism” and “artistic rape”.
Speaking to the Guardian on Sunday, the singer said she was “living in a state of terror” following the leak, adding that there was “a big possibility” that they were the result of her personal computer being hacked.
“Obviously there is a person, or a group of people behind this that were essentially terrorising me. I don’t want to sound alarming, but certainly that’s how I felt. It’s one thing if someone comes into your house and steals a painting off your wall – that’s also a violation – but your work, as an artist, that’s devastating. I’m an artistic person, I’m very expressive. I’m sorry if words alarm people, but that’s what it felt like. It was not a consensual agreement. I did not say, ‘Hey, here’s my music, and it’s finished.’ It was theft.”
On Saturday, Madonna unexpectedly released six tracks from Rebel Heart on iTunes, following the leak of the unfinished songs earlier in the week; the album itself is not due for release until March. She immediately reached No 1 in the iTunes chart in 36 countries, a situation she described as “a miracle”.
Click HERE to read full article by The Guardian
Madonna Returns To The Top Of The Charts Around The World With Surprise Release Of Six Songs From Her Upcoming Rebel Heart Album
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 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.