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Beyoncé joins forces with Madonna for ‘The Queens’ remix of ‘Break My Soul’

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Beyoncé has come through with yet another remix of ‘Break My Soul’, this time linking up with Madonna for a take on the lead single from ‘Renaissance’ dubbed ‘The Queens Remix’.

Clocking in at almost six minutes long, the track leans heavily into the original song’s house and disco influences. It marks the first proper collaboration between Beyoncé and Madonna, though the former did appear in the video for the latter’s Nicki Minaj-assisted 2015 single ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’.

It also comes as the fifth official remix for ‘Break My Soul’, riding hot on the heels of a four-track remix EP that Bey dropped on Thursday (August 4). That release features new spins on the song – which initially arrived as our first preview of ‘Renaissance’ back in June – by Honey Dijon, will.i.am, Terry Hunter and Nita Aviance.

Have a listen to ‘Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)’ below:

Yesterday (August 5), it was confirmed that ‘Renaissance’ had charted in the UK as Beyoncé’s fourth Number One album, while ‘Break My Soul’ became her highest-charting solo hit in 14 years. The burst of good news followed a string of controversy in the wake of the ‘Renaissance’ release, as Bey was forced to scrub an ableist lyric from the track ‘Heated’, and an interpolation of Kelis’ song ‘Milkshake’ from ‘Energy’.  

In a four-star review of ‘Renaissance’, which was released last Friday (July 29), NME’s Kyann-Sian Williams said Beyoncé’s latest album “continue[s] leading the charge to bring Black culture back to the forefront of house and dance scenes”. Among other fans of the album were Lil Nas X, who declared that ‘Renaissance’ is “kinda changing my life somehow”.

Meanwhile, Madonna has remained staunch on the importance of owning the rights to her own music, saying in a new interview that she has no plans to sell her sprawling back catalogue. When asked why she wouldn’t consider doing so – as the likes of Justin Timberlake, Sting and the estate of David Bowie have in recent months – she responded bluntly: “Because they’re my songs. Ownership is everything isn’t it?” 

Madonna’s last studio album was her 14th, ‘Madame X’, which arrived in June of 2019 and earned a four-star review from NME. Last December, she teased that new music could be released in 2022, sharing a photo of herself recording vocals in a studio. “So great to be back in the studio making Music again,” she captioned a post on social media, promising “suprises [sic] in the New Year”.



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Sam Ryder discusses fronting Texas hardcore band Close Your Eyes

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Sam Ryder has told NME of his past fronting a Texan hardcore band called Close Your Eyes.

The pop star and UK Eurovision entrant is NME‘s Big Read cover star for Christmas 2022, and talked about his Number One album ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ as well as his journey to get there.

Ryder began playing in the band The Morning After as a teenager – he described their music as “Iron Maiden wannabe… not as good” – saying: “It was really fun. I have such fond memories of, like, thinking I was writing these songs that were going to change the world but [which] really weren’t.

“But that’s an important part of being in a band. I think when you’re that young, you’ve got to have that belief that you’re doing something good.”

After that, the singer linked up with Texas hardcore band Close Your Eyes as their frontman. He explained: “I was a singer, songwriter [and] really part of those guys. And it was a hardcore punk band, which was something totally new for me.”

Of how he joined the band, Ryder went on: “I heard they needed a singer so I sent them a clip of me singing. In that scene, there are so many singers who are really great at screaming – you know, the hardcore punk vocals. I wasn’t necessarily great at that, but I was good at clean singing.”

He said he stood out as a candidate because “there weren’t as many strong clean singers on the scene. And I just thought, ‘I’ll deal with the screaming thing as and when it comes!’”

Discussing his stint on 2014’s Warped Tour with the band, Ryder told NME: “I was the only person on that tour who managed to shower every single day.

“The showers on that tour – they’re the grossest thing on earth, you don’t want to go near them,” he says. “So instead, I’d walk the perimeter of the stadium [we were playing at] and try to find a little faucet or a tap. I’d be rooting up the sprinkler system if I had to!”

This month (December 9), Ryder released his debut album, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’. Reviewing the album, NME wrote: “The odd well-intentioned platitude hardly spoils an album of killer choruses on which Ryder’s infectious likeability shines through at all times.

“Next time he might want to chuck in a few more curveballs, but for now, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ sounds like the beginning of what could be a really stellar career.”

Ryder has also revealed the impact a surfing accident had on his life. The accident happened when the Eurovision runner-up was on holiday in Hawaii four years ago, and led him to re-evaluate his life, pushing him to put more effort into his music career.



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Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock shares update on progress of solo music

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Little Mix‘s Leigh-Anne Pinnock has shared an update on the progress of her first music as a solo artist.

The girl group went on indefinite hiatus earlier this year after their tour in support of their most recent album ‘Confetti’. Pinnock has since been preparing to embark on a solo career and has been working with the producer Hit-Boy, who has previously worked with Beyonce and Rihanna.

Now, Pinnock has said in a newsletter that she will give fans “as much music as I can” when it’s ready. “I’ve been working really hard on music that’s coming together slowly but surely. I’m so happy with what we’ve made so far but I know there’s much more to do,” she wrote.

“I’ve been so lucky to work with some incredible songwriters, producers and creatives so far and I can’t wait for you to hear what we’ve made.”

She added: “I’ve got some exciting projects I can’t wait to share with you all, and of course, I’ll be giving you as much music as I can as soon as it’s ready.”

Pinnock has also taken a step into the acting world. She appeared in the Christmas rom-com Boxing Day last year, which was the first UK Christmas film to feature an all-Black cast.

Speaking to NME about how Little Mix bandmates Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards reacted to the news, Pinnock said: “They were so happy for me. They’re going to be at the premiere. Honestly, they’re just so proud.

“We’re very supportive of what we all do individually and we all just want each other to win, because then we all win. It’s lovely and it’s going to be amazing having them there next to me supporting me. It’s going to be a very emotional night.”

Pinnock’s bandmate Jade Thirlwall is also going solo, having signed a global deal with RCA earlier this year.



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The Strokes discuss “magical” experience working with Rick Rubin on new album

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The Strokes have discussed the “magical” experience of working with Rick Rubin on their upcoming new album.

  • READ MORE: The Strokes’ world-changing ‘Is This It’ at 20: “They had a ‘last gang in town’ mentality”

The band recently completed a recording session with the legendary producer in the mountains of Costa Rica. “We rented this house up on the top of a mountain and set the band up outside,” Rubin explained while appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience.

“So they’re playing… It’s like they’re doing a concert for the ocean, on the top of a mountain,” he added. “It was incredible. And we did that every day, playing out in the [open], and they didn’t want to leave. It was, like, the best experience.”

Discussing the experience further in a new chat with Maxim, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. said: “I don’t think if I told you what it looked like and what it was, you’d fully understand the ‘magical-ness’ of where we were and how it was to record like that.

“It felt really touching that one of his favourite recording experiences was this one he just had right now.”

Of the band’s future, Hammond added: “I really think what excites me about wanting to play music and continue doing it is, I don’t think we’ve written our best songs yet. I really feel that in my gut.”

Rubin and The Strokes first joined forces in 2017, when they began working on ‘The New Abnormal’. The album was released in April of 2020 as their sixth full-length effort, supported by singles like ‘At The Door’, ‘Bad Decisions’, ‘Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus’ and ‘The Adults Are Talking’.

Elsewhere, the band recently announced plans to release a special vinyl box set featuring singles from their first three albums, B-sides and rarities.

‘The Singles – Volume 01’, which is released on February 24, 2023 via RCA Records/Legacy Recordings, features every 7 inch single from their 2001 debut ‘Is This It’, 2003 follow-up ‘Room On Fire’ and 2006’s ‘First Impressions of Earth’ as well as rare B-sides from the original single releases.

All ten singles will be pressed on black vinyl, with the artwork from each original release replicated in the package. It is available to pre-order here now.



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