Christine and the Queens on enlisting Madonna for ‘weird musical’

MANCHESTER    -    French singer Christine and the Queens talks about enlisting Madonna to appear on his new album, parts of which were premiered at the BBC 6 Music Festival on Saturday. “The first time I met her was actually on stage,” Chris explains of his first encounter with the Queen of Pop. “She was doing a tour and there was a song where she was inviting people she loved on the set - and I was lucky enough to be invited. “It seemed like a prank at first because I received a text from the choreographer and I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ “And so I witnessed the power of the Lord and the Queen on stage.” Chris, who uses he/him, was speaking before unveiling tracks from his new album - titled Paranoïa, Angels, True Love - at the 6 Music Festival in Manchester. Re­leased in June, it is the second instalment of Christine and the Queens’ rock opera concept record project based on Tony Kushner’s 1991 play Angels in America. The follow-up to 2022’s Redcar les Ado­rables Étoile, it was recorded by Kanye West’s favoured producer Mike Dean and features Madonna as Big Eye, a mysteri­ous character who appears throughout the album. Dean had worked with Ma­donna previously, and when developing the narrative for Paranoïa, Angels, True Love, Chris decided the US superstar would be perfect for the role. “What is the most emblematic female voice we have in the pop landscape?” Chris asks. “She has such an imprint on everybody’s subconscious. “She did a very risky Face­Time when I explained the whole con­cept and I was like, ‘Do you want to be an actress in this weird musical? To be exactly also the great actress you are?’ Because she’s multifaceted. She’s not even enclosed in one person. “And she said, ‘Yes!’ I think because she was en­ticed by the insanity of the whole thing. She was like, ‘You’re crazy. I’ll do it!’ “I sent her lines that I wrote because she’s embodying the character of Big Eye, a very ambivalent ‘being of light’. We don’t really know if it’s AI, a true angel, or may­be my mum?,” Chris adds.

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