M.I.A’s back with a new album in the making and she claims that there will be no ‘gimmicks’ this time. Recently active on Twitter, the hugely popular Tamil icon who is a rare phenomenon in terms of ‘making-it’ as a British Asian artiste of the diaspora, M.I.A ‘tweeted’ a video of a possible new song called "There’s Space for Ol Dat I See."
Music magazine Rolling Stone chatted to M.I.A about her new album, and she described it as being "odd", "musical" and free of "gimmicks" and also that it is to feature Blaqstarr, Switch and Diplo. DJ Egyptian Lover, who toured with her, is also expected to appear on the album. She reflects: "Last year I said, ‘I’m going to quit, I’m going to go and have a baby and make a movie and here I am." She had her baby, Ikhyd Arular Bronfman with her fiancé Ben, and is on top of the world.
Another track called "I Fight The Ones That Fight Me" sounds like it will be interesting and she seems to want to change the landscape of the album to her previous work: “I definitely needed to come to music on this album, to make music. I don’t want it to be gimmicky or silly or hipstery. I just want to be real, whatever that is. Even if my songs are sh*t, and if I have flaws and if I’m confused, if I offend people or if I don’t offend people.”
The lyrics “My lines are down, you can’t call me,” she sings on the rather ‘gimmicky’ production and video, which could well be about “I’m Down Like Your Internet Connection.” M.I.A explains her somewhat eccentric lyrics: I was having issues with my cable and wireless, and I was on the phone [with tech support] for three hours, and I thought, "Maybe this needs to be part of my music, could you just learn these lyrics and sing it down the phone to me? Ten phone calls later, I have Internet that sticks and a song."
She also speaks about her rise as a definitive success of the Noughties in candid honesty: "I was on the dole. I got my first job, but it wasn’t an ongoing job, I got to do Elastica’s album cover in 2000. I would go in [to the unemployment office] and make really complicated job titles up that they couldn’t find, and I got to know everyone on a first name basis, and I thought, "This is not good." That went on until 2003. The last album, I didn’t actually sit anywhere long enough for it to really be in my life and to really think about it. I came up talking shit about Bush, and it’s great that it’s changed, but I don’t know how much, and I’m exploring that. I don’t want it to be gimmicky, silly or hipstery. I just want to be real. Every time I make plans, totally the opposite happens."
On her take on music, she says: "Music gets you really close to being able to understand the universe a little bit. Whether you like it or not, if you’re an artist, especially a musician, you just have to be a little bit open to the elements. I was good at surviving just because of my lifestyle and my life’s story. I think the combination of that with the people I knew and the people I met and the music I liked, if you put all those together, you got this weird thing. It wasn’t controlled, it was because I didn’t have any control, but I was happy with whatever I had. If I truly think that I’m a musician, then I should just accept it by this album. I haven’t accepted it yet, I’m still in denial, listening to too much Destiny’s Child…"
M.I.A’s strong resolve shows in her plans for the future: "I feel like what sums up the next decade, the world philosophy is going to be, Survival of the fittest, which is what it’s always been, but that’s what we have to be prepared for. Maybe it’s not bad being super-tough. Reflecting on her sense of community and it’s relationship with music, she reveals: "It’s important for communities to be put together on a different basis. It’s really shitty that we’re taught to be really patriotic when 99 percent of the sh** that we wear and we use and eat and everything comes from everywhere all the time, and musically, it’s the same."
“I just stopped singing on the last one because I put more emphasis into production, so I was more about making beats and sang less on my last album,” she shares. A track called “Space Odyssey,” produced by M.I.A and Rusko is also anticipated. She says to NME: "It’s my third album, and I have to confront whether I am a musician or not… I wanted to make something that isn’t trendy just for three months, or the length of a DJ’s attention span."
The Thamarai team look forward to her yet to be named new 2010 album and wish her all success.