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Mathangi Arulpragasam
Background information
Birth nameMathangi Arulpragasam
Born (1975-07-18) 18 July 1975 (age 48)
OriginEngland London, England
Years active2004-present
WebsiteM.I.A.'s official website

Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (born 18 July 1975 in Hounslow, London) is an artist, movie graduate and musician. She is the daughter of a Tamil revolutionary. She is best known by her stage name M.I.A. Her music style contains elements of grime, alternative, hip-hop, dance, and electronic music.

M.I.A. graduated from Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design with a degree in fine art, film and video. She has been noted for her idiosyncratic style in her music, her sense of fashion, and other artistic output.

M.I.A. with partner Ben Bronfman and Twitter founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams

In 2000, she did the cover artwork for the album The Menace, by Elastica and directed the music video for their single "Mad Dog God Dam." She filmed a North American tour of the band. In 2002, she published a book of art inspired by the Tamil rebellion and her childhood in Sri Lanka. She met the musician Peaches who introduced M.I.A. to the Roland MC 505. M.I.A. wrote and recorded several songs on a demo using a 505, including the song "Galang."

"Galang" was initially released in 2003 on the white-label Showbiz Recordings. It became popular with DJs and garnered acclaim.

M.I.A. signed to XL Recordings in 2004. The song "Sunshowers" and "Galang" were re-released. Through 2004, file-sharing of the two singles and leaked promos of Arular on the internet increased anticipation for her debut album Arular.

One of the first artists to break on the internet, M.I.A. ended 2004 making Piracy Funds Terrorism, a mash-up mixtape of Arular tracks produced by herself and DJ Diplo.

Arular[change | change source]

in 2005, M.I.A. released her debut album, Arular, which is named for her father. It sold over 100,000 copies. The most popular song off the album was "Galang" which appeared in a Honda advertisement. On the album, there is a hidden track called "M.I.A.". The listener hears nothing for a minute or two, then a new track starts playing.

Kala[change | change source]

Kala is M.I.A.'s second album. Track listing as follows:

  • Bamboo Banga
  • Bird Flu
  • Boyz
  • Jimmy
  • $20
  • Mango Pickle Down River
  • World Town
  • Paper Planes
  • Come Around