Pop star defends her description: 'There is a person, or a group of people that were essentially terrorising me'
In a series of interviews promoting the album, Madonna spoke of her horror at the leak and her subsequent decision to finish and release six of the tracks immediately on iTunes, including lead Diplo-produced single, ‘Living For Love’, which was originally due for release in February. The pop icon was also forced into setting a March 2015 release date for the full LP.
“Obviously there is a person, or a group of people behind this that were essentially terrorising me,” the singer told The Guardian. “I don’t want to sound alarming, but certainly that’s how I felt. It’s one thing if someone comes into your house and steals a painting off your wall: that’s also a violation, but, your work, as an artist, that’s devastating.
“I’m an artistic person, I’m very expressive. I’m sorry if words alarm people, but that’s what it felt like. It was not a consensual agreement. I did not say ‘hey, here’s my music, and it’s finished.’ It was theft.”
Madonna added that the leak had forced her to reconsider her approach to making music, particularly in the wake of the Sony Pictures hacking scandal. “It’s alarming,” she said. “Alarming because what do we do as artists? We want to finish writing our book or editing our film, we want to finish writing or producing our music. People need the arts, we need to be inspired, we need to hear people’s records and see people’s films. Why destroy that process for creative people? It’s going to affect everybody.”
The singer also divulged her inspirations behind the Kanye West-produced song, ‘Illuminati’, which is based on accusations that she and other notable entertainment figures, including Jay Z and Rihanna, are members of the secret organisation. She told Rolling Stone: “People often accuse me of being a member of the Illuminati and I think in today’s pop culture the Illuminati is perceived as a group of powerful, successful people who are working behind the scenes to control the universe. Not people with consciousness, not people who are enlightened…
“The real Illuminati were a group of scientists, artists, philosophers, writers, who came about in what is referred to as the Age of Enlightenment, after the Dark Ages, when there was no writing and no art and no creativity and no spirituality, and life was really at a standstill. And right after that, everything flourished.”
She went onto to explain that the song resonated with Kanye West, who “loved the melody, and he was actually jumping up and down on the soundboard. He literally stood on top of the mixing board — we were worried he was going to hit his head on the ceiling, but he didn’t,” she said.
‘Rebel Heart’ will be Madonna’s 13th Studio album. The day after the new tracks were released, Madonna became Number One on the iTunes chart in 41 countries. Other collaborators on the record include Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, Ariel Pink and Swedish DJ Avicii.