M.I.A. is no ordinary pop star. Her new video Born Free features extreme violence and has been removed from Youtube for user terms violation. It depicts scenes of US soldiers on a bizarre mission to exterminate redhead youths.
M.I.A. is no ordinary provocateur. Instead of using controversy merely to draw attention to herself, her lyrics and visual messages are highly politicised. Originally hailing from Sri Lanka, the Londoner regularly speaks out in support of national liberation struggles. Consequently, she was denied entry into the land of ‘democracy and freedom’.
M.I.A. is no ordinary protest singer. Songs such as Banana Skit and BirdFlu are as hard-hitting as they are catchy and danceable. Her motto: “Write songs about something important and make it sound like nothing.”
M.I.A. is no ordinary dance artist. Her influences range from rap through pop, electroclash, UK garage, funk, and punk rock. She quotes from The Modern Lovers’ Roadrunner in Bamboo Banga and samples The Clash’s Straight To Hell on Paper Planes.
These are just four of many reasons to look forward to M.I.A.’s new album. It’s out on 28 June, and if you can think of a good album title, find her website and send her an email. She wants you to.