M.I.A…the new Queen of my IPod!
M.I.A has taken over my IPod in last few weeks. I had heard her song “Paper Planes” a few months ago and thought it was an awesome song, so I decided to check out her album Kala. I put it onto my IPod and for the first little while I listened to the first song or two, then switched to something else. But within the last month or so, I can not stop listening to M.I.A. Kala has a really great dancehall, kind of funk, groovy thing going on. Can’t quite explain it, but it’s original and it’s good.
For those of you who do not know about M.I.A I will give you a little bit a background:
M.I.A. was born Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam in Hounslow, London, England. Shortly after she was born, her family moved back to Sri Lanka. Her father was activist turned militant who helped found a militant group, The Eelam Revolutionary Organization of Students (EROS). For most of her life she never saw her father because he had to go into hiding from the Sri Lankan army. She moved many times because of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, eventually moving back to London, where she and her family lived as refugees. M.I.A. began listening to the radio where her interest in hip-hip and rap began. Her early influences included N.W.A, Big Daddy Cane and Public Enemy. She also attended art school which inspired a love for painting, visual art and film. The rest is pretty much history from there.
M.I.A has had two albums, Arluar and Kala, named after each of her parent, both integrating several genres of music. Alternative, hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, electronic, and funk can all be found, also a heavy influence of her Sri Lankan background. Many of her lyrics deal with global and political issues, such as war, guerilla warfare, the difference between 1st and 3rd world countries, capitalism and money. M.I.A. has toured with Peaches, Gwen Stefani, and Bjork and has worked with the likes of Timbaland and Missy Elliot.
Rolling Stone and Blender magazines named Kala the best album of 2007 and I would have to agree. I don’t think M.I.A is not exactly everybody’s cup of tea, but she is pretty damn unique with her mix of musical genres and some of the heavier topics that she writes about in her lyrics. She looks, sounds, acts different than any female artist I have seen in a while. It was unfortunate that I missed her shows while she was in Vancouver. I heard they were insane! She is definitely one of my favorite new artists, and I am very excited to see what she comes up with next.
Check out her video for “Boyz.”