Controversial Hip Hop artist M.I.A has opened up about her personal life and relationship with the media. The 41 year old who released her latest album ‘AIM’ on September 9, revealed that there is more to her than a political message.
M.I.A who’s real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, achieved worldwide commercial success after releasing her hit song ‘Paper Planes’ in 2008. She has since released 18 singles, many of them with heavy political messages. Her latest record ‘AIM’ has split critics and has already been described as “abrasive” and “frustratingly unfocused”.
One of the themes of the record is the current European migrant crisis, which is referenced in the track ‘Borders’. The subject of migration is particularly important to the singer who was herself a refugee, escaping war torn Sri Lanka at the age of 10.
In a recent interview with Pitchfork, M.I.A explained that along with her political motivations, her personal life was also a huge factor in the songwriting process for ‘AIM’, stating: “I’ve had a crazy personal life that is there too, whether it’s about my dad or who he was or how my mom ended up where she was.” “I wasn’t embarrassed about saying, “Yeah, you know, actually my dad was a political leader and started a revolution, and that actually brought a lot of hardship to our family.” I discussed it in a way that was actually real to me. All I could say is, “My dad wasn’t around, but this is how it affected the kids and my mum,” and then I gave the life story of what that was.”
“And then the trouble of that is, yeah, you come to different countries, you try to make it, you’re poor, you do encounter racism or different levels of it, and again, it’s all people’s perceptions.”