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MIA On ‘Punk’ New Album – Clash Music

[MISC, Tuesday, 16 November 2010 08:38 No Comment]

Outspoken singer M.I.A. has explained her third album ‘MAYA’ as being a punk record.

A deeply thought provoking yet contradictory artist, M.I.A. has rarely been out of the headlines in 2010. The New York based singer returned with her third album, which divided fans and critics.

Following the surprise success that was ‘Paper Planes’ the singer opted to return with her most aggressive statement yet. M.I.A. sampled Suicide on ‘Born Free’ then decided to match it with a hugely controversial video.

Released to mixed reviews, some fans were bewildered by the change of direction while others revelled in the singer cutting loose. Speaking to The Guardian, M.I.A. described ‘MAYA’ as a punk statement.

"Well with so many people wanting that thing, people forget the idea of not wanting it. So it was a huge shock for everyone, including my label" she explained. "I think maybe it’s just that people forgot what it felt like to be punk, and punk’s not this new thing that’s been adopted by LA or Hoxton people with spiky hair, it was genuinely about people who didn’t want it, who just saw things differently."

"So yeah, it was weird because people see it as a failure as opposed to something that celebrates art or champions art. People go, ‘You fucked up.’ But no, it’s just, it’s not that I thought about it, it’s just how I felt. It’s way more important for me to be creative and push boundaries in myself and for myself, cos it’s part of my evolution and growth as an artist, you know. I needed to go here to this particular place because my personal life is that contradictory and weird and insane, and it was trying to reflect that."

M.I.A. has battled problems with the US authorities, which have prevented her family from travelling to the country to see her. Returning to British for a short burst of tour dates, the singer explained that the situation in her native Sri Lanka influenced the tone of her controversial album.

"Well it’s like this" she said. "At the time when I was making the record this civil war (in Sri Lanka) came to an end, you watched all these people die on the internet, no one did shit about it, the government got away with it and they made loads of money on top of that, they got given billions of dollars on top, you know. And you can see that they’re obviously really bad."

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