Heroes: Madonna

Heroes: Madonna

Heroes: Madonna

The incomparable Lady M sits down with Honey Dijon to discuss musical innovation, collaboration, and her new decade-spanning project "Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones"

The incomparable Lady M sits down with Honey Dijon to discuss musical innovation, collaboration, and her new decade-spanning project "Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones"

Photography: Ricardo Gomes

Styling: Rita Melssen

Text: Matthew Velasco

This feature appears in the pages of V137, now available for purchase

"Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones" is available on August 19, 2022, here

Nowadays, the moniker “icon” gets thrown around quite loosely, but truly, few embody the continual boundary-breaking ethos that the phrase ignites. Among those who personify the label is none other than singer, songwriter, actress, pop-culture icon, and most importantly, entertainer, Madonna. If pop music was a societal clock, Madonna rang the alarm. Performing in tandem with society’s greatest feats and struggles—political turmoil, scientific breakthroughs, never-ending war, a global pandemic—Madonna forever remained on the cutting edge.

Blossoming out of Manhattan’s underground club scene, the songstress has undergone quite the sonic journey. A collection encompassing disco-detonating pop to tinges of R&B—and virtually every genre in between—Madonna remains notorious in her rebuttal of music’s rulebook. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who can’t recite the snappy chorus to the artist’s 1990 hit “Vogue” or quickly name their favorite album from her decade-spanning discography—though Ray of Light and Confessions on a Dance Floor seem to be favorites amongst die-hard fans. Coupled with an ever-evolving ability to adapt, the creative remains on the cutting edge of what’s new, constantly adapting, shifting, and innovating for the present. Not only a musical innovator, Madonna is a muse to a dynamic bunch of creatives, designers, and photographers and is a definite multi-disciplinary artist in her own right. But to put it simply, Madonna needs no introduction.

Madonna | Photographed by Ricardo Gomes

Now, the artist’s dance pop reign continues with the release of the curated collection: Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones. Off the back of her history-making 50th number one song on the Billboard charts, the release includes remixes of Madonna’s chart-topping hits that have defined playlists, dancehalls, and concert venues alike for decades. Starting with the 1983 hit “Holiday” that put Madonna on the map, the collection chronologically transitions throughout the artist’s catalog all the way from the slow-burning "Physical Attraction" to dance bangers like “Hung Up” and the recent “I Don’t Search I Find.”

The 50-track collection features contributions from world-renowned producers and musical talents, featuring a selection of rare remixes, over 20 of which are being released commercially or digitally for the first time. Of course, it wouldn’t be Madonna without a handful of big-shot collaborations: the star’s partnerships with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Honey Dijon, Nicki Minaj, and more make appearances. Available digitally, the release will also include a limited-edition, 6-LP version on red and black vinyl.

Madonna | Photographed by Ricardo Gomes

In addition to the 220-minute version, there is also an abridged 16-track iteration, Finally Enough Love, listenable on streaming platforms as well as CD and 2-LP. Merging age-old classics with experimental, modern tinges, Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones is more than a collection: it is an encyclopedia, showcasing the range of a one-of-a-kind powerhouse that continues to shape and challenge narratives nearly 40 years after her debut. A solidified icon.

Below, collaborator Honey Dijon chats with Lady M about "Finally Enough Love" and how the industry has evolved in the last three decades.

Honey Dijon: What was the process of creating Finally Enough Love?

Madonna: Putting this project together was like taking a trip down memory lane. It was a cathartic, emotional experience and brought back so many memories. I realized how hard I’ve worked, and what an adventurous musical life I’ve led! Most importantly, it made me realize how meaningful dance music has always been to me.

Madonna | Photographed by Ricardo Gomes

HD: [Thinking back on my Madonna awakening] "Everybody" was the first song of yours that I danced to! Growing up at the beginning of house music culture in Chicago, it was played in a lot of the early house music clubs. At the time I had no idea that I was dancing to someone who would become one of the most influential artists ever. I then saw the [music] video and fell instantly in love and I ran to Gramaphone Records and bought the 12 inch [vinyl]. I was blown away by the album artwork. I still have that original copy. Your legacy transcends music, it has changed culture. Your body of work across art, music, fashion, and performance is the template of the consummate artist that will continually influence generations of music lovers and performers alike. You changed the game! With that in mind what would you say you learned about yourself while creating the project?

M: An interesting observation I had throughout this process is how music production has evolved over the years—going from analog to digital—but also the sounds that people use, the kind of percussion, the synth sounds, all of it. It’s so different from the early ‘80s up until now. The music from the ‘80s has a naivety to it and a simplicity which I love and I miss, but then we have this new awesome technology at our fingertips and we can make synths sound like a voice, and a voice sound like a percussionist instrument or violins. It’s easier to create quickly!

HD: The remix for the track “I Don’t Search I Find” is included on the project, which I am so excited about! It reminded me of a very special time of clubbing in New York and I wanted to capture the sexiness of that moment in my approach. It was already a great dance song, so for me, I wanted to keep the spirit of the original but add a bit more drama for the dance floors. I still pinch myself that I am part of such and iconic project with music that has become the fabric of my life, [music] that continually brings joy to millions. Besides our song together, what would you say is one of your favorite tracks on the album?

M: It’s always great to work with you Honey, you’re my favorite DJ in the whole world, and my favorite song on the entire record is of course… "Finally Enough Love!"

This feature appears in the pages of V137, now available for purchase

Credits: Make Up Kali Kennedy Hair Andy Lecompte

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