The pop music scene Madonna left in her wake does not make her happy. The "Material Girl" singer believes "everyone sounds the same" in today's music industry.
Madonna made her newest comments in an interview with Vogue Italia, to coincide with her upcoming album and after living a year in Lisbon. The atmosphere in Portugal's capital city provided Madonna a chance to make music without the input of the current music business.
"It's also such a nice antidote to what's going on in the music business now where everything's so formulaic, and every song has 20 guest artists on it, and everyone sounds the same," the Queen of Pop said. "Something's gotta give."
Madonna initially moved to Lisbon so her son, David Banda, could practice soccer. But once there, the atmosphere and "laid-back energy" of the city came to inspire a burst of creativity.
"There's quite a laid-back energy in Lisbon, but also quite an aura of melancholy, which is how fado was born there," Madonna told Vogue Italia. "There's a romantic side to that – and certainly a creative and artistic side to that – and it gives birth to a lot of beautiful music, and also art. Paula Rego is one of my favorite painters in the world – there's a lot of heartbreak and pain in her paintings."
"It's a paradox, and I lived that paradox every day. Some days I wanted things to be just practical; I wanted things to go my way, for it to be easy, for people to show up on time – I had lots of frustrations, but it was always balanced by being able to enjoy the creativity," the singer continued.
Lisbon also has a vibrant music scene, as Madonna pointed out. She heard old school jazz, the music of Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora and fado, a genre born in Portugal.
"I've just met lots of really amazing musicians, and I've ended up working with a lot of these musicians on my new record, so Lisbon has influenced my music and my work," Madonna explained. "How could it not? I don't see how I could have gone through that year without being informed by all this input of culture."
Madonna chose Lisbon because she needed to get out of the U.S. and wanted to experience a new city.
"I felt like we needed a change, and I wanted to get out of America for a minute – as you know, this is not America's finest hour – not that leaving America makes anything different or changes anything," she said. "I've lived in other places; I lived in London for 10 years. I like to put myself in uncomfortable situations and take risks."
Madonna is planning to release a new album before the end of the year. It will be her first since 2015's Rebel Heart, which featured collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Nas and Chance the Rapper.
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