Madonna may have moved to Portugal and become a soccer mom, but it seems Madame X is anything but. She’s a professor, a housekeeper, a head of state, an equestrian, etc. That we know from the teaser video and Instagram Madge released to officially announce her upcoming, 14th studio album, but it doesn’t really do much to clue us in to what we should actually expect from Madame X. The first single, “Medellín,” featuring the Colombian singer Maluma, gave us a taste and confirmed that the album will have a general feel inspired by Latin countries, but there will be 12 other tracks when the album drops, on June 14. Here’s everything we know (or at least think we know) about the album.
The album marks Madonna’s reunion with Mirwais.
Mirwais was a relatively obscure French producer until Madonna got ahold of his demo tape and decided to tap him to produce and co-write select songs on her album Music (including the titular single) and most of its follow-up, American Life, as well as her underrated entry into the James Bond–theme cannon, “Die Another Day,” and some songs on Confession on a Dance Floor. Despite her reputation, Madonna remains pretty loyal to her favorite contributors. She usually has them sit out an album cycle or two, lest her sound become too monotonous, but almost always returns to them again down the line. So the reunion with Mirwais shouldn’t be particularly shocking. If anything, it was his time to get called back. Mirwais co-wrote six of the album’s tracks, and we assume he produced just as many (although the full production credits haven’t been released).
Starrah is the other major writing collaborator, but Diplo and Mike Dean helped out as well.
Starrah (credited under her legal name, Brittany Talia Hazzard) also co-wrote five of the songs on the album. The Diplo protégée has been on quite a co-writing run lately, with credits on Camila Cabello’s “Havana,” Maroon 5’s “Girl Like You,” and Rihanna’s “Needed Me.” She’s joined, of course, by Diplo himself on one song. Meanwhile, the hip-hop producer Mike Dean, who helped on Rebel Heart, will also return.
Oh, and Madonna’s son also has a co-writing credit.
At least we think. The track “Batuka” is credited to Madonna, Starrah, and “Banda,” who we assume is David Banda, the soccer-playing son for whom Madonna moved to Portugal in the first place.
Swae Lee, Quavo, and Anitta will also feature.
Swae Lee, half of the rap group Rae Sremmurd, features on a song titled “Crave.” Meanwhile, Quavo, part of Migos, is on “Future,” perhaps paying Madonna back for appearing on his own song “Champagne Rosé” alongside Cardi B. And Anitta features on “Faz Gostoso”; she’s a Brazilian superstar who might be best known in America for her frequent collaborations with J Balvin.
A music video of some sort will feature queens from RuPual’s Drag Race…probably.
If you’re not aware, RuPaul’s Drag Race has created an entire cottage industry of drag, and Madonna inadvertently caused some drama when she recruited the All Stars 4 winner, Monét X. Change, to appear in a project (presumably a music video, but that wasn’t clear). Monét was rather rudely and publicly fired by promoters from a tour she was on, which is how the general public came to know it was over a project with Madonna. Whatever the case, it also seems like Monét will not be the only Drag Race girl to appear in the project. Bonus videos featuring drag queens is quite the trend at the moment, so maybe that’s what we should expect from Madonna as well.
A music video will not feature a horse inside a palace…probably.
According to the Portuguese press, officials in the historic town of Sintra reportedly refused to allow Madonna to bring a horse into a palace that was built in 1860. Madonna’s reps denied the rumors. Adding some confusion to the story, the press reported the video was for a song called “Indian Summer,” but there’s no track by that name on Madame X’s track list.
Steven Klein has handled the album art so far.
Though there were some rumors that Madge might reunite with another of her superstar photographer collaborators, instead she’s returned to Steven Klein, who also shot the covers for Hard Candy and Confessions. He even directed the album teaser, alongside the video artist Nuno Xico. He’s directed music videos for other stars and tour visuals for Madonna, but the pair have never collaborated on an actual music video.
The “Medellin” video debuts next week, but there’s a teaser now.
The video for the first single will premiere on April 24 on MTV stations across the globe, but the Queen of Pop released a teaser on her Instagram earlier this morning.
It’s unclear who was behind the camera for the video, but we guess we’ll find out soon enough.