October 20, 2020
The electrofunk star is releasing an apocalyptic anthem fuelled by Trump, Covid and Kubrick’s 2001. He talks about his Afghan origins, overcoming drugs – and his role in Madonna’s yoga rap
Mirwais on producing Madonna: Im not comparing her to a bull but –
Mirwais Ahmadzaï is trying to sum up his frequent collaborator Madonna. “You know bullfighting?” he begins ominously. “It works because the bull is so powerful that you have to weaken it.” Right. “Look, I’m not comparing Madonna to a bull,” he quickly adds, “but she was so powerful at that time.”
The Parisian, who turns 60 on Friday, peppers our 90-minute phone call with similar flights of fancy, ponderously linking Brexit to Baudrillard and dropping situationist truth bombs. And he has witnessed that power up close. A cult musician in France since the late 70s, and cited as an influence by the likes of Air and Daft Punk, Ahmadzaï was plucked from the sidelines by Madonna in 1999. He helped coax out her most experimental era, bolting his brand of heavily filtered, minimalist electrofunk on to the superstar’s 11m-selling album music. His sonic fingerprints were all over two singles that immediately slotted into the already heaving Madge canon: the delicious electro-bounce of the title track and thigh-slapping country curio Don’t Tell Me.
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