M.I.A. (born Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasam, 17.7.1977) M.I.A. is a British-born singer, songwriter and producer, of Sri Lankan heritage.
Childhood: M.I.A. was born in Hounslow, London. Her father and mother are Tamilian and when she was six months old, the family moved back to Sri Lanka, where her father formed The Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Student, a militant Tamil group.
When the civil war broke out in Sri Lanka, M.I.A. moved to Tamil Nadu in India, with her mother and siblings. Her father would occasionally visit the family. The family eventually moved back to London, where they were treated as refugees and re-housed.
M.I.A. later attended and graduated from Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design. She obtained a degree in fine art, film and video.
Art and Film Work: In 2001, M.I.A. held her first public exhibition at the Euphoria shop in Portobello. The pieces on display featured pictures depicting the Tamil Tiger rebellion. Her work was nominated for the Alternative Turner Prize and Jude Law has been known to purchase some of her early work.
M.I.A.'s main cinematic influences are Harmony Korine and Dogme '95. She was approached by John Singleton to work on a film in Los Angeles. Her song 'Paper Planes' was featured in the trailer for Pineapple Express.
M.I.A. has also been involved in fashion design, with her t-shirt designs being featured in Fashion Week shows in LA and New York. M.I.A. has previously been flat-mates with the designer Luella Bartley.
Music Career: M.I.A. designed the cover for Elastica's second album. She also followed the band around America and documented the tour, as well as directing the video for their single 'Mad Dog God Dam.' Peaches was the tour support and it was she who introduced M.I.A. to the Roland MC-505 drum machine.
M.I.A. began to experiment with a simple home recording set-up and created a six-track demo tape. She went on to create music that drew on a wide range of influences, from electro, dancehall and jungle. The single 'Galang' was released on Showbiz Records, with 500 copies being pressed. The track was instantly popular and eventually, M.I.A. signed to XL Recordings, home to bands such as The Prodigy and The White Stripes.
XL re-released 'Galang' and followed it up by releasing 'Sunshowers.' For the album, M.I.A. worked with producers such as Diplo and Richard X. Her debut album, Arular, was released in March 2005 to critical acclaim. She promoted the album with festival appearances at South by Southwest in Texas, Glastonbury Festival, Coachella and the Reading and Leeds festivals. M.I.A. was also featured on Missy Elliott's track 'Bad Man', from her album The Cookbook. Arular was nominated and short listed for the Mercury Music Prize.
In 2007, M.I.A. released Kala, her second studio album. The album was written on her travels through Japan, Australia, India, Trinidad and Jamaica, amongst other places. Kala was generally considered to be more raw and unconventional than her debut. This time, M.I.A. used the producer known as Switch to work on the songs with her. M.I.A. took acts such as Buraka Son Sistema, The Cool Kids and Santogold on tour with her to promote the album.
In the 2007 film Spike Jonze Spends Saturday With M.I.A., the pair visit Jonze's former immigrant home in Woolwich, West London.
The following year, M.I.A. formed her own record label, N.E.E.T. She has signed the band Rye Rye and worked on their debut album with them.
Personal Life: M.I.A. is engaged to Benjamin Brewer. Brewer sings and plays guitar for The Exit. They are expecting a child together.
The rapper says she struggling to finish her new record, ‘Fantasea 2’.
Rapper Azealia Banks has said she feels ‘deeply misunderstood’ and has watched as her ‘ideas and insight get paraphrased and repackaged by everyone’. Banks made the comments on Instagram, as she is still banned from twitter following her attack on Zayn Malik in May, which started when she accused him of copying her video.
Azealia Banks says she feels stolen from.
“I feel really sad and uninspired. I’m having trouble mustering up enough smiles and enthusiasm to finish ‘Fantasea 2’,” she began. “I feel deeply misunderstood. I feel cheated, I feel stolen from.
Continue reading: Azealia Banks Says She Feels "Deeply Misunderstood And Stolen From"
Rapper M.I.A. has reportedly been removed as the headliner of London's Afropunk Festival.
The Paper Planes star faced criticism over comments she made in April (16) about the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., which aims to raise awareness about the police brutality many African-Americans face.
"It's interesting that in America the problem you're allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter," she told ES Magazine. "Is Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That's a more interesting question."
She later clarified her comments, writing, "I'm not Muslim. My question was, on American platforms what do they allow you to stand up for in 2016?"
Continue reading: Rapper M.i.a. No Longer Headlining Afropunk Festival In London
Rapper M.I.A. wakes up every day tempted to leak her new album.
The Paper Planes star recently announced she had completed her next record, the "last" for her U.S. label, but wasn't convinced executives would release it.
Accordingly, M.I.A., real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, is seriously considering leaking it but keeps backing out because she would prefer her label's support.
"I would love to leak it... I wake up every day and think I'm gonna leak it," she told fans on live video-streaming app Periscope as she previewed a new song called Finally. "(But) I can always do that for the rest of my life. If I carry on making music, then I would do that, but I also want to find an album where I can actually make my label work for me."
Continue reading: M.i.a. Tempted To Leak Album
Rapper M.I.A. has rowed back on her criticism of Beyonce but not the Black Lives Matter movement.
In an interview with London's Evening Standard, the Sri Lankan star questioned those involved in the campaign against police brutality towards African-Americans on the grounds that it fails to embrace victims of violence beyond the U.S.
Beyonce drew wider attention to the movement by utilising imagery from the black power movement of the 1970s and Black Lives Matter in her performance at America's National Football League's (NFL) Super Bowl in February (16).
As a result M.I.A, real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, namechecked Beyonce and rapper Kendrick Lamar, whose song Alright has become an anthem of the movement, as narrowly focused on that specific campaign rather than wider human rights issues.
Continue reading: M.i.a.: 'I'm Not Slamming Beyonce Over Black Lives Matter'
M.I.A. credits her fans with ensuring French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) dropped a legal threat against her.
In January (16) the star posted a letter she received from officials at the club threatening her with legal action after she wore a doctored version of the iconic soccer club's shirt in a music video.
M.I.A. altered the club sponsor's logo on the jersey, which read 'Fly Emirates' to 'Fly Pirates'. Club officials accused her of misusing PSG's logo for personal gain in a letter which read, "“You unduly took advantage of our popularity and reputation to enhance the attractiveness of your artist and, consequently, the profits of your company.”
However the artist says the furious reaction from her fans after she posted the letter forced the club to back off from legal action.
Continue reading: M.i.a.: Fans Made Soccer Team Leave Me Alone
Rapper M.I.A. cannot believe she survived the Sri Lankan civil war and lived to become a mother.
The Paper Planes singer, real name is Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasam, was born in London but moved to Sri Lanka with her parents when she was six months old in the 1970s.
Conflict in Sri Lanka began in 1983, and her mother eventually relocated to India with Maya and her brother, while her father, who was part of the separatist movement, stayed behind.
The trio made it back to London as refugees in 1986 when Maya was almost eleven, and she has since gone on to have a successful music career and become a mother to her seven-year-old son Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman whose father is her former fiancee, musician and environmentalist, Benjamin Bronfman.
Continue reading: M.i.a.: 'I'm Surprised I'm Still Alive'
M.I.A. is encouraging people to recycle their old or unwanted clothes.
The London-based Paper Planes performer has collaborated with Swedish high street giant H&M on a track titled Rewear It, which is aimed at the conscious consumer and fuses environmental activism with fashion.
The video, which debuts on Monday (11Apr16), aims to raise awareness about textile recycling, encouraging fans to donate unwanted clothing so they can be used to create new products. It opens with a series of media reports in multiple languages urging people to take action about the "environmental problem" and "climate change".
With her passion for the environment and interest in sustainability, M.I.A., real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, felt she was a natural fit for the campaign.
Continue reading: M.i.a. Gets Frank About Sustainable Fashion
Rapper M.I.A. is encouraging fashion fans to recycle their clothes in a new venture with retail brand H&M.
The Paper Planes star is fronting the company's new sustainability campaign for the inaugural World Recycle Week, which kicks off on 18 April (16). As part of the collaboration, M.I.A. will call on shoppers to donate their unwanted wardrobe wares in H&M locations around the globe in exchange for store credit.
Store officials have been leading the charge for clothing recycling since 2013, urging customers to clear out their closets so their old garments can be repurposed into new items.
M.i.a. will also feature in a new music video for H&M, alongside other as-yet-unannounced famous faces, to highlight "the environmental impact of clothes going to landfills around the world", according to a press release.
The French team have written to the rapper over her use of one of their jerseys in the video.
Rapper M.I.A. has found herself embroiled in a bizarre dispute with French football club Paris Saint-Germain, after she appeared wearing an altered version of one of the club’s shirts in her music video for ‘Boarders’. In the video M.I.A. is shown wearing the club shirt with the phrase of the main sponsor, ‘Fly Emirates’, edited to say ‘Fly Pirates’.
M.I.A. has found herself in a dispute with PSG.
On twitter the rapper shared a three page letter sent by the club to her record company, in which they complain about the use of the shirt in the video. The song ‘Boarders’ references the ongoing migrant crisis and the club feel that using the image of their jersey ‘is a source of discredit to our club and distorts its public communication policy’.
Continue reading: Paris Saint-Germain Threaten To Remove MIA's 'Boarders' Video
British Rapper M.i.a. Has Been Threatened With Legal Action From A French Soccer Team Executive For Wearing An Altered Version Of Their Jersey In Her Music Video.
The Paper Planes singer released the promo for Borders, a song about the migrant crisis, in November (15), and in the clip she can be seen wearing a modified version of the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) shirt in which the sponsor 'Fly Emirates' has been changed to read 'Fly Pirates'.
Bosses of the club took issue with her using their official shirt in such a politically-charged single without permission, and fear their association with the video could harm their reputation.
Jean Claude Blanc, the club's deputy chief executive, fired off a letter to the rapper's record label Universal Music in December (15) threatening legal action if she does not remove the video, or the clips in which she is wearing the shirt.
Continue reading: M.i.a. Threatened With Legal Action By French Soccer Team Boss
Date of birth
18th July, 1975
Good is good evil is evil no matter what colour. Wake up!
RT @black_gypsy510: When is someone gonna call out the media MIA didn't call them out, more using them as an example. team @MIAuniverse htt…
20 years from now the kids of 65million will be listening to all types of music not their own because they will grow up elsewhere #nolanes
Sorry I'm not doin Afropunk. I've been told to stay in my lane. Ha there is no lane for 65mil refugees who's lanes are blown up! #nolanes
65million people displaced by 2015 - #WorldRefugeeDay
RT @MatthewInSEA: @MIAuniverse TBF, military itself responsible. When I resigned, they tried to give me jobs counseling. Told me I was best…
RT @Kris_Sophs: As products of western culture, the world revolves around us. https://t.co/JsadWHiUfN
@MIAuniverse now the Internet helps to divide people even tho the truth is its was made to connect people
My entire existence speaks only from experience - when the Internet changed hands - I screamed about it maya 2010. I was called paranoid
RT @TheDiasporaDiva: .@cecileemeke @MIAuniverse Really? I always thought he was Asian (Guyanese mind but Asian nonetheless) and Israeli
RT @Sianaarrgh: Kmt. We don't care. It is not your platform to be headlining on. You're not BLACK anything. https://t.co/jrSu9z1Az0
RT @Meela312: @MIAuniverse taking a gig for the cause not the bank
If pulling the show saves the cause and lives then that's what I'll do.
RT @LORENZOPlERCE: @MIAuniverse was and is right. Come on man.
RT @ByronBiroli: @MIAuniverse Well said MIA...had enough of fundamentalist separatists on any side. There is no black or white culture
Now we make like 6%. Global international support is key - in order for that you have to embrace people and not be isolated / segregated
I'll can tell you what works and what doesn't - I've lived through a revolution that ended in bloodshed - we made 20% of the population
In 2009 I came to the US and made it as a pop star to be to tell people 400, 000 people were going to die - nothing happened!
NFL makes you rehearse for 3 weeks. I think I know what pisses the NFL off coz they try to sue me for 16mil . That's why I didn't watch it