M.I.A. is getting fierce and fur-ocious in the pages of V Magazine. With her fourth album Matangi in stores this week, the rebellious rapper gets dolled up in the wild fashions of Jeremy Scott for the shoot, which was photographed by Inez and Vindoo and styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele.
She covers herself in a hairy outfit straight out of Where the Wild Things Are and shows some skin in a multi-colored skirt and crop top.
In the interview, she discusses Matangi, which marks her first official Interscope release. “This record also gives me a way to say something about all the shit that has happened to me over the past ten years, which has all been out in the open and everyone has seen,” said M.I.A. “You can go through all this stuff and still be alright.”
But despite her popularity, she doesn’t consider herself a pop star. “I’m not really a pop star. I don’t think I’m popular enough to be a proper pop star. I prefer being called a rapper,” she said.
Read the full interview and see more photos in V Magazine, on newsstands now.
To kick off her album release week, M.I.A. stopped by Hot 97 for a sit-down interview with Peter Rosenberg, Cipha Sounds, and Laura Stylez. The controversial singer, who is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the NFL, opened up about the Super Bowl controversy.
She even met the man who was in charge of censoring her performance and they struck up a friendship. “It was a battle of the fingers,” she said.
Her bootleg-inspired collaboration with Versus Versace is now in stores. But she admitted that the pricey collection can be had for less on the streets. “Some of the bootleg stuff is actually better than the real Versace,” she said.
She samples The Weeknd on “Exodus” and “Sexodus” off Matangi. “I feel like The Weeknd probably is gonna inspire a whole generation of babies being born,” she said of the Canadian crooner. “In 18 years we’ll find out there was a little peak in the population, then I’d put that down to The Weeknd.”
Plus, hear her break down the lyrics to “Paper Planes.”
YouTube sensations and music superstars came together at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards at New York’s Pier 36 on Sunday.
The unscripted event, which was live streamed across the globe, featured performances from Eminem, Lady Gaga, M.I.A., Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, and Arcade Fire. All of the performances were conceived as music videos and directed by filmmakers selected by Spike Jonze.
After showing her teeth on the red carpet, Lady Gaga delivered an emotional performance of her new ballad “Dope” off ARTPOP, while M.I.A. lit up the stage with “Come Walk With Me” off her album Matangi.
She also struck up a friendship with Tyler, the Creator. “M.I.A MIGHT BE THE COOLEST FEMALE OF EVER,” tweeted the Odd Future frontman, who performed “Sasquatch” with Earl Sweatshirt.
Eminem was named Artist of the Year and closed out the show with a black-and-white performance of his MMLP2 cut “Rap God.”
T-Pain also hit the stage with some YouTube stars, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were honored as YouTube Breakthrough.
There was never a dull moment during M.I.A.’s electrifying performance at the YouTube Music Awards. The provocative Sri Lankan brightened up Sunday’s show with a seizure-inducing set that included glowing hula hoops and light sticks.
One of her dancers made her way down a lit corridor before Maya appeared to perform “Come Walk With Me,” which appears on her album Matangi, due Tuesday.
See her turn the stage into a rave with her light show spectacular.
M.I.A. kicked off her “Matangi” tour with a bang. The Sri Lankan firecracker delivered an explosive set during the first date of the U.S. trek at New York’s Terminal 5 on Friday. For her opening act, she called on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who appeared via Skype from London.
“I’ve become a fan of M.I.A. because she is the most courageous woman working in Western music,” he said as the crowd cheered.
Dressed in a metallic gold coat and pants with red heels, M.I.A. stormed the stage with material off her fourth album Matangi, which arrives Tuesday, including “Bad Girls,” “Bring the Noize,” and “Y.A.L.A.” She also took it back with her bombastic hits “Bamboo Banga,” “Paper Planes,” and “Boyz,” and pulled audience members onstage to sing the chorus on “Galang.”
M.I.A. will play a second show in NYC on Monday before making her way to Austin and L.A. for two shows at Belasco Theater.
You can also catch her performing on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (11/7), “Conan” (11/13), and “The Colbert Report” (11/20).
Watch some fan-filmed footage from opening night below.
On Tuesday, M.I.A. will finally drop her fourth album Matangi. Ahead of its release, VEVO has made the entire album available for streaming. The 15 tracks include The Weeknd-assisted “Exodus” and “Sexodus,” with production from Surkin, Switch, Danja, Hit-Boy, Partysquad, and Doc McKinney.
“If Matangi was the last record that I made, then I’d be happy with it,” M.I.A. told The FADER. “I lived and connected the dots then got to this place, and whatever happens in this bit, it just is what it is.”
Rolling Stone gave the album 3.5/5 stars, calling it a “mixtape-style mash-up of political provocations, ripostes, tough-gal love songs, neon DJ memes, and ass-whooping South Asian-spiced beats.”
Maya will perform at this weekend’s YouTube Music Awards and headline shows in New York (11/1 and 11/4), Austin (11/9), and Los Angeles (11/11 and 11/12).
M.I.A. declares “You Always Live Again” on her explosive new single “Y.A.L.A.,” which is a response to Drake’s “YOLO” catchphrase. Over a heavy-hitting beat, the Sri Lankan spitfire drops lyrical bombs (i.e. “I drink some Cointreau, keep it in my poncho”).
“YOLO, I don’t even know anymore, what that even mean though,” says Maya. “If you only live once why we keep doing the same shit? Back home, where I come from, we keep being born again and again and again. That’s why they invented karma.”
Her fourth album Matangi is due Nov. 5 featuring The Weeknd (“Exodus” and “Sexodus”), with production from Surkin, Switch, Danja, and Hit-Boy.