Behind the scenes of Sing
Producer Glenn Ballard mentions some behind the scene facts about the Annie Lennox song Sing, featuring Madonna, in an exclusive web interview to
Here’s an excerpt from the interview conducted by Howard Massey, that you can read in full by clicking HERE.
Howard Massey: The track “Sing” has nearly two dozen other singers participating, including Madonna, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Gladys Knight and many others. Was that a logistical nightmare to record?
Glenn Ballard: The genesis of “Sing” came from Annie’s participation in a South African organization called TAC [Treatment Action Campaign, a group dedicated to raising public awareness and providing greater access to AIDS treatment]. Unfortunately, there are many political and bureaucratic reasons why HIV-infected individuals in South Africa can’t get access to the medicines which might prolong their lives. Annie has become a kind of spokesperson for this organization; she really wants to be a voice for people who don’t have one.
Because Annie really wanted to bring attention to this issue, we reached out to these wonderful singers, and they all said yes immediately. I ended up recording people in some of the strangest places: Shakira in Puerto Rico, Pink in Zurich, Madonna in London. Fortunately, thanks to the ISDN, I was able to remain in L.A., but most of the artists were recorded wherever in the world they happened to be.
It was a little challenging to figure out how to get all the voices onto the track in a meaningful way. We ended up with a three-and-a-half-minute version of the song for the album, but I also have a couple of really expanded versions, including a 10-minute rendition where I have some of the most incredible singers in the world trading off each other. We’re going to have to do a remix at some point to really show off what we’ve got, because it can sometimes be a little hard to pick out individuals singing on this huge chorus: “Sing, my sister, sing / Let your voice be heard.”
Despite the fact that we have all these powerful vocalists singing together on it, the song is disarmingly sweet and pure. It’s become the emotional and political centerpiece of this record, yet it’s a really simple song … and it was also a track that Annie wrote late in the project. I’ve found that songs that get written towards the end of a project usually have a very important reason for being there.
Thanks to Vincy