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.
Moogfest begins in just a few short hours; here's what you have to look forward to.
Named after America's main pioneer in the world of electronic music, Robert Moog, Moogfest is finally back after a brief sabbatical which saw them miss 2013 - to much disappointment from electronic lovers everywhere.
The much-adored Moog synthesizer is an incredible piece of equipment invented by a man who changed music for the better, so the fact that there's a weekend event named sharing the name is a thrilling prospect for musicians and fans alike. It began in 2004 and was eventually brought to Asheville, North Carolina in 2008 where it has stayed ever since. Not only have festival goers got a first-class music line-up to look forward to, Moogfest 2014 will also be hosting presentations during the day from both veteran music boffins to newcomers still experimenting with developing their sound. For all you synth-lovers out there, you will also be treated to various workshops which will no doubt give you an immersive experience into the heart of electronic music.
Festival fun in London! Highlights include Jabberwocky, Camden Crawl and Wireless...
If you want a unique festival experience this year, London could be the place for you. Featuring a diverse range of events from the independent ethics of Jabberwocky to the mainstream attitude of Wireless, 2014 is not all about the States.
The UK is home to some incredible, highly respected music festivals such as Isle of Wight Festival, Leeds and Reading Festival and, of course, Glastonbury - but just what do we have in store from the nation's capital? London is unquestionably the UK's most vibrant city and, when it comes to music, there's really no denying that. The rest of the world may have SXSW, Coachella, Ultra and Exit (to name but a very small few), but London has a plethora of unique local events with line-ups and atmospheres that really prove their worth - and we're here to share them with you.
Jabberwocky (August 15th-16th)
All Tomorrow's Parties present this brand new festival for 2014, co-hosted by Pitchfork and Primavera Sound and set to take place at The Excel Centre this August. For its inaugural event, Jabberwocky will see headline acts from Neutral Milk Hotel, James Blake, Darkside and Caribou, not to mention support from Kurt Vile & The Violators, Hookworms and Electric Wizard. Like many of the best festivals, it's not all about the music as Jabberwocky will be hosting some film events and, as the name suggests, there'll be plenty of art to enjoy too. Tickets are priced at £38.50 per day.
Continue reading: Keep Calm And Party On! London's Ten Most Exciting Festivals For 2014
There's been ups and downs, but Ultra Music Festival turned out another year of unforgettable musical energy.
Ultra Music Festival turned out to be a bit of a rollercoaster of a weekend for everyone this year but, as usual, it's been three days of some of the most explosive electronic acts of our generation.
It was a terribly disappointing moment for festival goers (and, indeed, viewers; those who were viewing it live online) when it was announced that Saturday's main stage headliner Avicii would not make it to Miami for his set after being hospitalised earlier in the week for an emergency operation. However, that initial fan frustration was greatly eased by the arrival of Deadmau5, who took the Swedish DJ's place to much delightful surprise. Further entertainment came with some eagerly anticipated headline sets from Tiesto and Hardwell on the Friday and Sunday respectively.
Continue reading: Ultra Music Festival 2014: The Weekend Event's Most Memorable Moments