M.I.A. has never been one to follow trends, and on her first album since giving birth to her son, she’s got a few surprises in store, including one very unusual collaboration.
After five months of work, the “Paper Planes” singer tells Rolling Stone that she is putting final touches on the follow-up to 2007’s Kala, due this summer.
This time around, M.I.A. worked mainly with Baltimore producer Blaqstarr. “[He] simply makes music that sounds good, and I needed that,” she tells the magazine. “I definitely needed to come to music on this album, to make music. I don’t want it to be gimmicky or silly or hipstery.”
The mother of one describes the as-yet-untitled album as “honest.” “I just want to be real, whatever that is,” she explains. “Even if my songs are shit, and if I have flaws and if I’m confused, if I offend people or if I don’t offend people, I might try to work it out in public, just so you know that it’s OK to think, that thinking’s not a dirty word.”
Fans can look forward to more singing, in addition to rapping, from the 34-year-old Brit. “I just stopped singing on the last one because I put more emphasis into production, so I was more about making beats and sang less on my last album.”
Among the new tracks are “I Fight the Ones That Fight Me” and “I’m Down Like Your Internet Connection,” which features Filipino Verizon workers singing on the hook. “I was having issues with my cable and wireless, and I was on the phone [with tech support] for three hours, and I thought, ‘Maybe this needs to be part of my music, could you just learn these lyrics and sing it down the phone to me?’ Ten phone calls later, I have Internet that sticks and a song.”