Singer-songwriter and rabble-rouser M.I.A has signed with Island Records and returns with a brand-new track titled ‘The One.’ Produced by Rex Kudo & T-Minus. The track comes with confirmation that a new album titled ‘MATA’ is on the way. According to the announcement, M.I.A will be performing live at cities and festivals around the world this summer, as she gears up for the album’s release.
She is also now managed by SalXCo, home to the Weeknd, Doja Cat, Swedish House Mafia, Ty Dolla $ign and many others.
Listen to ‘The One’ below.
In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe pegged to the new song, M.I.A. essentially said she’s become a born-again Christian.
“I had like a weird spiritual experience,” she said. “It was like back in 2017. Since then, my head has been in a totally different place. Being a Tamil and being a Hindu, I was very comfortable that I’d arrived finding myself. Which is, I think, going to be weird for America to process. But I had a vision and I saw the vision of Jesus Christ. It’s very, creatively it’s a very crazy thing because it turned my world upside down. Because everything I thought and believed was no longer the case. And I think that was maybe a sign that something major was going to happen in the world and that people were needing to be introduced to this concept. But I always found the concept of Christianity quite basic compared to…wow this is gonna be shocking if people go ‘Maya calls Christianity basic’…”
Lowe said, “I think people are going to be more focusing on the fact that, I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, you’re saying that you’re a born again Christian now.”
She replied: “I am. I’m not going to lie. Then when I had this vision, it turned my world upside down. I kind of couldn’t let go of the Tamil side. I think that’s why 50% of the record is sort of like that. Because I’m still me. That’s still my language. And those are still my tools to be able to create beats like that or a sound like that. But I think the message was just to get to a peaceful place.Watch the space. The history is, even if it costs me my career, I won’t lie. I will tell the truth, and I will tell you what’s on my mind and my heart. If I’m coming back now saying Jesus is real, there’s a point. Basically all of my fans might turn against me.”
The announcement was the latest in a career that at times has been filled with controversy.
Since the release of her debut album, “Arular,” in 2004, M.I.A. has established herself as an uncompromising and multi-faceted artists, working extensively in video and art as well as music. She followed that album with 2007’s “Kala,” which featured her biggest hit to date, the single “Paper Planes,” which sampled the classic Clash song “Straight to Hell.” Not long after, she appeared with Jay-Z, T.I., Lil Wayne and Kanye West on the song “Swagga Like Us,” which she performed on the Grammy Awards while pregnant with her son. Her third album “Maya,” released in 2010, was preceded by the controversial single-short film “Born Free,” and the following album “Matangi” featured another hit single “Bad Girls.”
However, her controversial statements, which ranged from the ongoing conflict in her native Sri Lanka to comments about Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, increased. During a high-profile appearance during Madonna’s set at the 2012 Super Bowl, M.I.A. flashed a middle finger at the camera, enraging thousands of viewers and leading to lawsuits (which were settled for an undisclosed amount) and a cooling of her career.
However, eight years later, M.I.A. scored her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single as a featured artist on Travis Scott’s “Franchise” in 2020.