Jean Baptiste

Producer and songwriter talks about working with Madonna and William Orbit on two MDNA tracks: I'm A Sinner and Love Spent.

Jean Baptiste is a multi-talented guy - he writes, composes and produces. thanks to him we have two amazing moments on mdna album: love spent and i'm a sinner. he talks with us about working with madonna and william orbit and shares a little video from the recording studio!

How did you end up working with Madonna?

William Orbit was the catalyst for that.

Love Spent is clearly a fan favourite from MDNA album. It seems like a classic Madonna tune, both musically and lyrically. How did you come up with idea of its sound? Especially the use of banjo is an interesting idea!

Love Spent musically was a weird brainchild of Dj Replay and myself. I wanted to reintroduce the Abba melody she used on Hung Up and I've always been in love with the banjo because I listen to a lot of folk music. I had been listening to a lot of Goldfrapp's Seventh Tree too so I thought combining those different worlds and bringing it to the dance floor would be interesting. The original demo of the music was actually done by Dj Replay, myself and Alain Whyte who slated that banjo. The lyrics were written by Madonna, Priscilla and myself. Orbit did a masterful job on the production.

We were definitely hearing this ABBA sampel from the very first listen and now we know it wasn't accidental move from your part!

It was intentional. As Madonna puts it, we were paying homage.

There is a line in Love Spent which sounds tricky especially for non-english speakers: Frankly, if my name was Benjamin, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. What does it mean?

It's a play on Benjamin Franklin as far as a metaphor for money.

So this was the magic night at Glenwood Studios where Dj Replay, Alain Whyte and myself came up with the demo version of the Love Spent instrumental. I had these weird ideas like using the Abba sample again but replaying it (pardon the pun) with banjo in the chorus. Did we know that night that it would go to Madonna, helmed by Orbit??? No, we didn't, but that's what it's all about. The love of creating the music first...

Love Spent wasn't included in the MDNA Tour setlist at first but Madonna added the song during American leg of the tour. What do you think about this performance?

I've enjoyed every performance of Love Spent in its various forms that Madonna has done.

Have you seen the tour live?

Haven't seen the tour live, even though I was suppose to go to the Miami show. I'm a studio rat who rarely travels. I just enjoy being creative working on music all the time.

Were there any other songs besides Love Spent you submitted to her but didn't end up on her album?

A bunch of songs, but Madonna made the right decisions on the music that spoke to her and the direction she was going for on MDNA.

What was your exact role on I'm A Sinner track? You were co-producing, co-writing the track?

I'm not a co-producer on I'm A Sinner. I just wrote the song with her and Orbit.

So how this one was born?

Sinner was originally started by Orbit and myself at his place in Hollywood. It started out at a wine drinking night which evolved into the beginnings of the song. William definitely pulled that out of me. He actualized the song with Madonna and she did a masterful job of writing, producing all with Orbit and delivering the song. Much love to her for keeping some of my vocals.

 Alain Whyte, William Orbit, Jean Baptiste and Public. Courtesy of Jean Baptiste

Were you with them (William and Madonna) in the studio working together on these songs?

I got to be in the studio with Madonna and William in NYC but I was more of a pupil watching masters at work. An amazing experience and career highlight for lil old me.

If you had a chance to choose music direction for next Madonna album around what genre it would be? What music style would suit her best in your opinion?

Hmmmmm... that's quite a loaded question. I would probably do more songs like Falling Free and acoustic version of Love Spent.

You work with Free School team. Tell us more about them, they seem like a talented group and pretty much a new force in US music!

Free School is my production team. It's composed of some of the most talented folks I've ever met. My partners Dj Replay, Michael McHenry and Nato.

Which current collaboration you are the most excited about right now? What we can expect from you in upcoming months?

I'm very excited about the new Kreayshawn album we just did, Somethin Bout Kreay. Also working on Dizzee Rascal, Kid Cudi and a few things I'm not privy to say.

What's your goals for 2013?

Goals for 2013??? Being healthy and happy. Oh, and total musical world domination.

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