Mirwais Ahmadzaï

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Mirwais Ahmadzaï
Birth name Mirwais Ahmadzaï
Also known as Mirwais
Mirwais Stass
Born (1960-10-23) 23 October 1960 (age 53)
Origin Lausanne, Switzerland
Genres Electronica, house, funk
Occupations Record producer, songwriter
Years active 1990–present
Labels New Rose Records
Naive Records
Associated acts Madonna
Taxi Girl
Y.A.S.
Website http://mirwais.org/

Mirwais Ahmadzaï (born 1960), more commonly known as Mirwais, is a Paris based record producer and songwriter. He was born in Switzerland to an Afghan father and an Italian mother. He is a leader in the French style of progressive electronic dance music and progressive electronica. A former member of the defunct 1980s group Taxi Girl, he was re-discovered by Madonna in the late 1990s, when he submitted a demo to her then record label, Maverick Records.[1]

Career[edit]

Taxi Girl and Juliette et les independents[edit]

Known in France for the better part of two decades, Mirwais was a guitarist in the punk group Taxi Girl for eight years, before forming the acoustic outfit Juliette et les Independents with his girlfriend Juliette. Taxi Girl's first EP, "(S.O.S Mannequin)", was released in early 1980 on Pathé Marconi/EMI.

"For a teenager, the late 70s were a strange mixture of disco music and punk, and it was okay to like them all," he says. Taxi Girl captured the punk rock power of The Stooges, the techno futurism of Kraftwerk and the disco euphoria of Giorgio Moroder and molded the diametrically opposed styles into an electrifying new-wave sound that entertained and inspired a generation of listeners bored by the complacency of 80s French pop. Even the current darlings of the French electronic music scene, such as Daft Punk and Air, continue to namecheck Taxi Girl as a major influence on their artistic directions.[2]

Solo career[edit]

In 1990, Mirwais released his first album, Mirwais, which contained nine tracks and was sung in French.

In 1999, he signed to the French independent record label Naïve Records and released the single Disco Science. This single was a success as a club dance hit and appeared in the soundtrack for the Guy Ritchie's film, Snatch. In August 2000, he released the album Production, which included the single "Paradise (Not For Me)" made in collaboration with Madonna. It also included two minor chart hits in the UK Singles Chart: "Disco Science" (2000, #68) and "Naive Song" (2000, #50).[3]

Madonna[edit]

Madonna recruited him for writing and production collaboration on three of her studio albums: Music (2000), American Life (2003) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005). He also wrote co-wrote a song that would later appear on her greatest hits album Celebration as a previously unreleased track.

Mirwais contributed the following tracks to the Madonna albums:

  • Music: "Music", "Impressive Instant", "Nobody's Perfect", "Paradise (Not For Me)", "Don't Tell Me", "I Deserve It".
  • American Life: Co-produced the entire record and co-wrote all songs with Madonna, with the exception of "Nothing Fails", "X-Static Process" and "Easy Ride" (written by Madonna and other collaborators).
  • Confessions on a Dance Floor: "Future Lovers", "Let It Will Be", bonus track "Fighting Spirit", and the deleted tracks "Super Pop", "Triggering", and "Keep the Trance".
  • Celebration (2009): iTunes bonus track "It's So Cool", a previously unreleased track from American Life album.

The Music album was nominated for three Grammy Awards including Record of the Year. "Music" won several MTV Europe awards. He was also involved in the writing and production of the title track to the movie Die Another Day, co-written and performed by Madonna. The song was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 2003.

Fischerspooner[edit]

Mirwais also co-produced two tracks "Cloud" and "Never Win" on Fischerspooner's second studio album Odyssey, released in 2005.

Y.A.S.[edit]

He worked on a project called Y.A.S.. The official website stated: "YAS is the name of Mirwais' new project with the singer and composer Yasmine Hamdan. The album was released in France on 8 June 2009. All songs are performed by her. It is "Arabic Avant-Garde Music".

In an interview on 13 January 2007 in lecourrier.ch, Mirwais said "At the moment I work with Yasmine Hamdan (one half of Lebanon electro-duo Soapkills). The idea is that today, in Western culture, we hear about Arabs everyday - in a bad way, because of terrorism, etc - but we lack of cultural representations coming from those countries that could mix with the western culture, whereas this youth is eager to. I don't want to do world music, but a good western production with a real Arab identity."[4]

Y.A.S.' album, "Arabology" was released in May 2009, with the first single, "Get It Right", following in June that year.

Uffie[edit]

After remixing "Pop the Glock", Mirwais became one of the producers of Uffie's album Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans. He composed four songs ("Add SUV", "Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans", "Illusion of Love" and "Hong Kong Garden"), two of which featured Pharrell Williams ("Add SUV") and Mattie Safer ("Illusion of Love").

According to The Independent, "the record peaks with a cover of Siouxsie’s "Hong Kong Garden" which raises one eyebrow for existing and the other for actually being pretty damn good, leaving you looking like Paul McCartney by the end."[citation needed]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Cellophane" (1990, New Rose Records)
  • "Disco Science" (1999, Naive Records)
  • "Naïve Song" (2000, Naive Records)
  • "I Can't Wait" (2001, Naive Records)
  • "Miss You" (2002, Naive Records)

Videography[edit]

  • "Disco Science"
  • "I Can't Wait"
  • "Naïve Song"
  • "V.I. (The Last Words She Said Before Leaving)"

Remixes[edit]

  • Jean Jacques Smoothie - "Two People" (2001)
  • Fischerspooner - "Never Win" (2005)
  • Franz Ferdinand - "Can't Stop Feeling" (2006)
  • The Slips - "Superbeat" (2007)
  • Shortwave Set - "Til' 69" (2008)
  • Sonny J - "Can't Stop Moving" (2008)
  • Mika - "We Are Golden" (2009)
  • Uffie - "Pop the Glock" (2009)
  • Madonna - "It's So Cool" (2009)
  • Moebius - "Light My Fire" (2009)

References[edit]

  1. ^ VAZIRI, AIDIN (20 April 2000). "Madonna Adds a French Twist to Forthcoming "Music"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  2. ^ "Mirwais online". Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 370. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "Mirwais, un héros très discret - Mirwais, a very quiet hero". Retrieved 2008-10-20. 

External links[edit]