MIA: Matangi

Maya Arulpragasam’s fourth album arrives nearly a year late, amid stories of disputes between the artist and US record company Universal. You might have thought you could easily work out what the problem was. Arulpragasam’s last album, 2010’s Maya, was as disorientating and original as anything she’s done as MIA, but it was also a grey, tuneless affair. Devoid of anything resembling her 2007 hit Paper Planes, it achieved barely a fifth of the sales of its predecessor, Kala; surely, this time, her label would demand something more commercial. Apparently not, at least according to Arulpragasam, who claimed that her label had demanded she make it less commercial: “They’re like, ‘You need to darken it up a bit … we just built you as the public enemy number one and you’re coming out with all this positive stuff.”
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