Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Madonna's next single written by Ulster man

U.S. singer Madonna performs during her 'Sticky and Sweet' tour at Foro Sol in Mexico City, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Madonna performs during her "Sticky and Sweet" tour Wednesday Oct. 15, 2008 in Boston. Madonna and Guy Ritchie announced earlier Wednesday that they are divorcing after nearly eight years of marriage. (AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye)
Madonna is a master of reinvention.

A musician from Castledawson has told of his pride after a track he co-wrote and arranged was chosen by Madonna as her next single.





Ciaran Gribbin —who performs under the name Joe Echo —will have cause for ‘celebration’ next week when the world’s most famous female artist releases her latest single, taken from her new album.

The track, Celebration, is the first single to be taken from her new Greatest Hits album of the same name. It is expected to go to number one, as is the album, which is due for release on September 25.

And appearing on the credits – and raking in an expected fortune in royalties — will be 32-year-old Ciaran, who co-wrote the backing tracks along with Ian Green and Paul Oakenfold.

Speaking from his home on the outskirts of Castledawson, he explained how the collaboration came about.

“I’ve done a lot of work with the producer Paul Oakenfold who is a big buddy of Madonna’s,” he said.

“She approached him and asked him what he was working on and if he could send her some material that she could write lyrics to.

“Myself, Ian Green and Oakenfold had written some stuff for Oakenfold’s new album so he sent her off between 15 and 20 tracks.

“Of these, she chose two I was working on, Celebration and Broken.

“Basically me, Ian and Oakenfold arranged the backing track, we worked out the chord structure, put the guitars, keyboards and drums to the track and Madonna wrote on the lyrics and melody.”

The superstar — who is currently on tour — was delighted with the end result and decided to release Celebration as her next single. The album will be her last one for Warner Brothers, as she has recently parted company with them to work with Live Nation.

Ciaran said he was thrilled she had liked the track and was confident it would go to number one.

“The last six months have been pretty amazing for Joe Echo but writing this track for Madonna has to be the highlight,” he said.

“I’m so proud and excited that my name is on this track and I’m quietly confident it will go to number one. After all, it’s Madonna.”

The singer/songwriter, who also penned the soundtrack for the new Jim Sturgess movie Heartless, along with his former Leya bandmate Michael Keeney, said he was hoping to meet Madonna next month.

“I’m going over to the Munich gig to meet up with Oakenfold so I’m hoping to be introduced to her then,” he said.

Ciaran is also hopeful that Madonna may release his other track, Broken, as a single, when she releases new material with Live Nation.

He said the collaboration on Celebration would help “pay the rent for the next few years”.

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