After producing exclusives from Drake, Eminem, and Pharrell Williams, Apple Music debuts M.I.A.’s Matahdatah Scroll 01 “Broader Than a Border.” The audiovisual project consists of two songs, the electro-rap track “Swords” and the Hit-Boy-produced “Warriors” off her 2013 album Matangi.
The accompanying short film, directed and edited by M.I.A., was shot at a temple in India and West Africa’s Ivory Coast and includes footage of M.I.A. riding a horse and meditating by the riverbank, along with some thrilling choreography from young Indian female sword dancers and an African spiritual warrior, who she discovered on YouTube.
“I directed and edited my first music video for ‘Warriors’ for my last album, Matangi, and I held it back until now, because it inspired me to make a whole series of songs and videos on the concept of borders,” says M.I.A. “Making songs and videos at the same time out of a suitcase on location is something I did on my album Kala, but it’s video, as well as music, made by me in a very Arular way.”
In May, M.I.A. tweeted that a visual she had shot in Africa was being censored because of “cultural appropriation,” but it’s unclear if she was referring to this video.
“Swords,” co-produced by Spanker, will be featured on M.I.A.’s upcoming fifth album Matahdatah. “The concept for this LP is ‘broader then a border’ and Matahdatah is the journal of Matangi. Sometimes I move vertical and sometimes I move horizontal.”