Guy Sigsworth

British producer talks about his collaboration with Madonna and their two singles What it Feels Like For A Girl and Nothing Fails.

Guy Sigsworth is one of the most respectED british producers when it comes to electronic music. He worked with Madonna twice - producing her singles "What It Feels Like For A Girl" and "Nothing Fails". During our short chat he shares a few details about working on these songs.

When you first worked with Madonna on What It Feels Like For A Girl track you submitted her some demos or you were invited by her to collaborate? How did that happen?

I wrote the backing track, complete with the spoken Charlotte Gainsbourg sample, and sent it to Madonna. She knew me as the producer of the band "Mandalay", and was already a fan. After she sang me her melody and lyrics, I adjusted the music to fit. But not by much.

"What It Feels Like For A Girl" is a feminine manifesto so it was very interesting to co-wrote a track like that for a guy.

 And then three years later you co-wrote one of the most stunning ballads Madonna ever recorded – Nothing Fails. It's very poetic and reflective. It's about love-relationship with God or a man? Tell us more about it.

I wrote the chords, verse melody and most of the first verse lyrics. Then I got stuck. So Jem came and wrote most of the rest. The "I'm Not Religious" line is by Jem. We sent it to Madonna, and she finished it off. The blurring of romantic love and spiritual feeling in the song is really special. It just happened. In my experience, if you try and force a song to do that it'll disobey.

Jem's demo of Nothing Fails

Whose idea was to include a gospel choir in it?

Madonna and Mirwais. It's totally their production. In my experience, Madonna is very much a co-producer, by the way.

Have you been in touch with Madonna ever since? What do you think about her current music projects?

I met her at a pre-screening of "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret" and I've been to a few live shows since then. Her energy and productivity continues to amaze me.

You worked with many pop stars through the years – not only Madonna, but also Björk, Britney, Robyn, Alanis Morissette and Seal. Was it totally different experience each time or is your work-regime is always quite similar?

There's no one way to make music or write a song. Every artist is different for me. But obviously I'm me, and my character is there in all these recordings.

With such an impressive catalogue it will be a tough question but which song from everything you have done is your favourite? The one you can still listen to and enjoy it every single time?

That's a tricky question. When I hear one of my songs on the radio I can't hear it like everyone else does because I know too much! Hmm. It's probably a song that's never been released. There are a couple of unreleased Frou Frou songs I love with an insane passion.

What are you up to these days? Can we expect another pop gems from you in upcoming months?

I'm just finishing an album with Alison Moyet. And I'm playing in Krakow with Kate Havnevik on December 13th at Alchemia Club!


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