Mathangi Arulpragasam better known to us as M.I.A is Rapper, Singer and Producer.


From Paper Planes to Bad Girls, M.I.A shows us how she combines the sounds of Dance and Hip Hop to create catchy yet thought evoking music for her audience.


In light of South Asian Heritage Month, I wanted to focus on the artist that is M.I.A, and what sets her apart. Her unique sounding music stems from her childhood and life experiences such as the Sri Lankan Civil War and seeking refuge with her family in London years later.


M.I.A is a character who doesn’t shy away from her culture; she is carefree when sharing moments of her past and present journey, which can be seen in her song ‘Borders’ where she questions a lot of things and gives her opinion on certain issues that are being faced in society. Looking back on some of her previous albums ‘Arular’ and ‘Kala’ which have a political focus, it’s safe to say that M.I.A’s platform is mainly about expressing her views and also educating her audience on how these experiences affected not only her,  but other people from similar backgrounds.


Despite the countless songs that she has released, M.I.A mentioned in an interview with “House of Strombo” that she did however face some backlash on the context of her lyrics, which led her to put a hold on the Music. She concluded the interview by saying that she is “not motivated to put her music through the system, until the industry accepts both her political views and her identity” and she has to “find another way.”


It’s interesting to see how passionate and driven she is, whilst her lyrics have no boundaries, she is determined to share her truth. Her confidence to speak out, proves how fierce and fearless she is, not only in her music but as an Activist.


Written by W4M Member Akua!



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