M. I. A. (Matangi / Maya) – All about the musician and singer. Biography

The story of an amazing singer named M. I. A...

M. I. A biography: All about the singer and the documentary "Matangi / Maya / M. I. A"

M.I.A. (Matangi / Maya) - British rap artist, producer and activist! Her compositions are full of vivid political and philosophical references, which attracted so much public attention to her person… As for the musical style M.I.A, then it is unique! Creativity of this strong-willed woman combines such trends as dancehall, electro, hip-hop, pop…

Mia He is the first artist of South Asian descent to become a nominee for the award. Oscar and Grammy Awards in one year! And according to the version of an influential publication Rolling Stone, — M.I.A. he is one of the defining musicians of our time! The singer is also one of the hundred most influential people of the XXI century. No wonder she was awarded Order of the British Empire... We offer you to learn its unique and not at all fun history of formation (we will also talk about the film «Matangi / Maya / M.I.A»)…

Who is she M.I.A?

Watching the documentary by Steve Loveridge «Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.», you just can't help but be transported back to October 2004to suddenly realize that there is something that connects you to Maya Arulpragamas.

We only had twenty minutes for Maya's second American interview, and then I couldn't even count on anything more than a cursory conversation with an aspiring musician who was already beginning to reveal his extremely improbable backstory. She was happy to talk and I was happy to listen, and it looked as if I would be able to quickly get answers to my questions and get back to my daily worries. But suddenly, the well-regulated dialogue between a journalist and a pop star turned into a heart-to-heart conversation filled with personal stories and funny anecdotes.


You had to recognize and process the details being told in time, correctly interpreting controversial phrases and choosing analogs that were familiar to your worldview. This is where the first problem arose – the difficulty of perceiving the peculiarities of the immigrant lifestyle. Despite all the differences between boys from the Eastern Bloc and girls from South Asia, which emphasize the presence of migrants in Western cities, our feelings and emotions coincide.


Many of the stories that Maya shared with me almost fourteen years ago on that unusually warm October Saturday will become the cornerstone of her development as a person.

– NPR Music Editor Peter Orlov


Birth date in Sri Lanka, difficult relationship with the father, difficult financial situation, escape to london, dance and music classes to maintain your own national identity…

All these factors are intertwined, forming an organic and holistic artist with his own views on music and art in general.

At that time, universal fatigue Mayi it was quite distinct, manifested in the form of a variety of factors, which some considered as marketing bombast, and others – how absolutely obscene for aspiring stars (especially black people) behavior. The situation was further complicated by a recent incident September 11, 2001. In her statements about the tragedy, the artist was both cautious and careless, and was in a particularly agitated state.


“I want to develop in several directions,” she said at the end of the interview. “I am a politician and a pop singer and ... someone who is confused and still can not decide on his own identity. I'm just trying to reflect all the thoughts and experiences in creativity, while remaining myself. And usually this is not what the industry allows you to do. I represent refugees and I will always be their voice. These are the roots that I will never forget, that I will never give up. But I am also proud of my life experience in the UK, I appreciate the opportunities that this country has given me. I try to use all the resources to the maximum in order to convey to people the really important things. It remains only to decide what exactly I want to tell the world.

At that time M.I.A. I still couldn't boast of an abundance of musical material. All she had was a couple of singles and a provocative mixtape «Piracy Funds Terrorism»recorded in conjunction with DJ Diplo. However, social networks that were actively developing at that time provided the necessary support, literally erasing all borders: national, cultural, and musical.

M. I. A. was a real revolutionary breakthrough of that period

In the last interview (which was later shortened to 5,000 words and published in the magazine «The Late, Great Arthur Magazine») Maya she noted that her history and life position are at odds, turning into important elements of the music industry. Although her behavior was always revolutionary, it was still quite naive.

The combination of these opposites set a successful career start M.I.A., formed the basis for the biographical portrait in Loveridge's painting.


«Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.» — this is about the constant tension inherent in the life of migrants, it is about the eternal choice between inherited traditions and assimilated values.

And in the case of Maya these circumstances are especially acute and extreme, because her father is the founder of the rebel movement that organized mass suicide attacks and sought to rebuild the political arena.

M. I. A will never be able to boast an ordinary story.

Most of the video materials of the film were shot by the performer herself, which allows you to feel her character in more detail, get information "firsthand". The rest of the sketches were shot by Loveridge, who directed the project «Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.» at all stages of production. Being a close friend of Maya, he tried to recreate a complete and truthful personal portrait.

Although the documentary does not differ in chronological sequence, it is endowed with a bright visual component, a through line-a trip M.I.A. to Sri Lanka in 2001.


She went there to simultaneously document the plight of Tamils during the Civil War, her family's history, and her fascinating journey of self-discovery.

This storyline ends and the viewer is transported ten years ahead. M.I.A. stands on stage in Super Bowl, after an hour and a half of performance with the Madonna. Events begin to unfold too quickly: the singer demonstrates her attitude to the system («That’s what I do!»), confronts NFL court officials, and then, by getting out of Super Bowlhe goes to his hotel room, where he curls up on the couch, wondering what he's doing («What have I done?»).

Childhood, the beginning of the journey…

Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam was born in July 1975 She was born in London, but spent most of her childhood in the north. Sri Lanka. When in the 1980s The civil war between the Tamil minority in the north and the Sinhalese government in the south intensified, with her father joining the militant Tamil Tigers and the rest of her family fleeing Sri Lankaeventually returning to London. Arulpragasam studied fine arts there. The girl often created works under the influence of the conflict that she witnessed as a child. She was first introduced to the music industry as a graphic designer for a British pop-punk band ElasticaShe also got acquainted with the recording equipment used by dance music producers.

By identifying yourself M.I.A., she recorded a single «Galang» in 2003.

Although it was released only 500 copies of the songit became an instant hit on the European club scene! Soon, the Internet spread rumors about a unique fusion of politically conscious world music, hip-hop with bass notes, and South London dancehall.…


Creation M.I.A. It has always been aimed at telling people about the life of refugees and migrants, their tragic experiences. These problems are particularly pronounced in her main hit, which became a nominee for the «Leftfield Grammy», topping the list of the best songs of our time. The main thing to know about Maya's pop music is that she has always closely intertwined personal and political motives.

Her fans ' anticipation for a full-length album increased with the release of the mixtape Piracy Funds Terrorism 2004, produced by an American producer Diplo. Although excerpts from the debut album M. I. A. 2005 After being circulated on the Internet for almost a year, its release still attracted a lot of critical interest. Album name, Arular, "it's the name her father took when he was a Tamil tiger. The album cover featured a picture of her own face. M.I.A., surrounded by a collage of cartoon tanks and AK-47s. The collection brought the singer great success, largely due to the singles «Galang» and «Bucky Done Gun»!

The second album, titled Kala, was released in 2007. Guest producers took part in the work on it: Diplo and an American hip-hop icon Timbaland. More aggressive and sample-rich than its predecessor, Kala spawned a hit «Paper Planes»! The track was a huge breakthrough not only for M.I.A., but also for the DJ Diplo... It was later used in the trailer for the Judd Apatow movie "Pineapple Express".

In 2009, M. I. A. she was nominated for an Academy Award for the song «O Saya», which was born in the process of collaboration with the Indian composer A. R. Rahman and became the soundtrack "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008)

Hit single «Paper Planes» Unexpectedly, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for record track of the year! Myself Miawho was nine months pregnant and was due to give birth on the day of the Grammy Awards in February 2009, performed with rappers TI, Jay-Z and Kanye West and provided one of the most memorable images of the ceremony (three days later, she gave birth to a baby boy). Such extensive coverage gave the singer the opportunity to express her support for humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in the Tamil region of Sri Lanka. However, critics have claimed that her lyrics and music videos reveal a hidden sympathy for the militant Tamil separatist movement.…

Released in 2013 album Matangi it was met with a more positive response. The main hit single from it was the song «Bad Girls».

In 2020, M. I. A. released a new single titled "OHMNI 202091".

Interesting facts about the singer

  • Curious, but Maya and her sister Kali They were named after the Mahavidiyas (tantric goddesses in Hinduism).
  • The father of the future star studied engineering in Moscow, and the mother worked for the royal family: the woman sewed medals on tunics, for which she received a good fee!
  • By facts — About M. I. A. it became known to a wide audience thanks to the DJ Diplo! Unfortunately, at one point, the two ended any relationship… In this regard, all previously known information about their relationship was even removed from Wikipedia.…
  • After the album was released «Arular» to the address Mayi countless accusations flew out… Many people saw the lyrics from the album as supporting terrorist organizations! Because of this, the singer was even banned from entering the United States (for almost a year).
  • M.I.A. he is the author of not only his own songs, but also music videos! The singer composes all the scripts herself…
  • «Buraka Som Sistema’s» — a rare video where Maya dancing and singing in Angola!


In his film, Loveridge goes to the trick: he shows footage of Maya's cross-examination on CBC radio, which took place immediately after the release of the Bill Maher show.

Then a real fierce confrontation broke out in the HBO studio, not without offensive barbs and provocations. "Why are you acting like Mick Jaggercoming from a small island nation?" - the presenter frankly trolled the artist. The degree of tension was rapidly rising, and the participants in the dialogue did not hesitate to get personal. In general, the cut presented Loverview, depicts a cornered woman who is attacked from all sides by men, reproaching her for gender and gender identity, insincerity.

In one of the quiet scenes, which are not so many in the film, the viewer sees a dejected Mayawho shares her most intimate feelings and concerns. Speaking about the difficult period in the music industry, she complains of fatigue from "all this pop world", reports a break in her career. She is ready to change the most prestigious concert stages and halls to work as a "marine engineer" who is engaged in rescuing refugees on the high seas.

Ironic director's move – in the first and last scene of the film to include a video cut, where Maya captures boat fleets. But this is not the promised marine work of an engineer, but just shooting a new video. «Borders».

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