In 2000, the Sri Lankan born, London bred Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam was encouraged, by electro-clash icon Peaches, to make music on a Roland MC-505 Groovebox. Maya pulled lyrics from journals she had written during a 4 month trip to the Caribbean island of St Vincent. In 2005, she released Arular, selling 130,000 copies in the U.S. and reaching mainstream charts in Europe and the U.K. It was considered as much a political statement as a musical one.
In 2007, Kala was released. Once again, it received unanimous international critical praise. It topped multiple “Best of the Year” lists in publications around the world, which cite its deft mixture of politics, social consciousness, and inimitable genre-blending.
In 2008, the single “Paper Planes” brought Maya worldwide mainstream acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy for Record of the Year in 2009. The song was also featured in the film Slumdog Millionaire, in addition to M.I.A contributing vocals to the Oscar nominated track from the film, “O… Saya.”
2010 saw the release of, /\/\/\Y/\, which received early praise from the media with Rolling Stone commenting, “M.I.A's latest is as challenging and awesomely out-there as the title of her album /\/\/\Y/\.” /\/\/\Y/\ went Top 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart and #1 on the Dance/Electronic chart. On Dec. 31, 2010, she put out the acclaimed mixtape VICKILEEKX.
Now, as M.I.A. readies her fourth studio album, new track “Bad Girls” made its debut on Pitchfork.com January 30th and was released worldwide on January 31st. “Bad Girls” was produced by Danja (Timbaland, Diddy, Madonna, Nelly Furtado, Pink). The “Bad Girls” video was shot in Ouarzazate, Morocco and directed by Romain Gavras (M.I.A.‘s “Born Free” and JUSTICE’s “Stress”) and debuts on Noisey - VICE's new music channel on YouTube on February 3rd. Expect a full length release from M.I.A this summer!
Named one of the ten defining artists of the 2000’s decade by Rolling Stone and one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine, M.I.A. has been nominated for an Academy Award and two Grammys (“Paper Planes” and “Swagga Like Us”).
Awards and Accolades