M.I.A. has announced she’s taking an extended break from music, saying she feels her content is being buried in the internet world and therefore can’t give weight to the issues that matter to her. Her last album, AIM, was released in 2016 and spoke about her concerns over censorship from the music industry. In a recent interview (below) with House Of Strombo, she mentioned she was not motivated to put her music out in this current system, emphasizing “For me, I have to find another way.” She mentioned the feeling of not fitting into the diversity of America, and how she had to battle not having a genre for 15 years. She added, “If I want to be bigger, I kind of have to say nothing.”
M.I.A. made a point about marketing versus her own artistry in saying, “I might have to make an anti-Trump record, but if I make anything else, it’s not going to wash…But if I want to talk about Tamil women wearing uniforms and eating cyanide pills because they didn’t want to be raped by the Sri Lankan army…I know that both of these extremes of women exist.” She later on implied she was sidelined by the music industry due to her political views.
Over the last several months, the Skrillex-produced “Go Off” has garnered major traction, serving as the album’s third single following its July release. Skrillex also lent his talents to the less subdued “A.M.P (All My People),” a beat-driven collaboration that highlights both artists’ contributions.
Both tracks serve as a testament to Skrillex’s production abilities and songwriting sensibilities, featuring obvious flourishes of the producer’s style while ceding the foreground to M.I.A.’s vocals. Both “Go Off” and “A.M.P.” effect a vaguely-ominous vibe and rely on synthesizers with a vocal chops wrapping around M.I.A.’s alternating staccato and languid delivery.
Earlier this month, M.I.A. teased a collaboration titled “Bird Song” with former romantic partner and collaborator Diplo. It seemed the two had finally reached a truce following more than half a decade of highly publicized, contentious feuding. Now, it looks like their single may never see the light of day after all as the emcee’s label won’t approve the final track.
In a series of social media posts, M.I.A. expressed frustration at Interscope for apparently blocking the track’s release. Though she was able to release a version of the song with production from frequent collaborator Blaqstarr, the Diplo-produced alternate was supposed to arrive August 12. Interscope has yet to reply to the allegations, but a preview of the track has already been leaked online.
Diplo and MIA have reportedly collaborated on a new track, according to a tweet on the singer’s account. Titled “Bird Song,” the track features co-production from both Diplo and frequent collaborator Blaqstarr.
The song marks the first collaboration between the two since 2010’s Maya after which the two former romantic partners had a highly public falling out. Their relationship since the album has become one of serious contention after the singer accused her former boyfriend of being controlling and borderline violent. Though Diplo publicly confirmed those allegations, the the past six years have seen a series of passive aggressive tweets and bickering via press statements on various matters.
It seems that the two have put their issues to rest, if only for the track. In Diplo’s own words: “Every time we had a fight, we made good music after.”
The new track will be released on August 12, a presumed advance single for M.I.A’s forthcoming album A.I.M, due out on September 9.