Acclaimed English musician M.I.A. says she’s no longer motivated to make music, noting that she’s sick of being censored for speaking her mind.
Over the years, M.I.A. has been the subject of quite a few controversies. Most notably, there was her infamous hand gesture during the 2012 Superbowl, but there have also been a number of minor controversies as well, which has seen a few of her music videos removed from the web.
While her ‘Born Free’ video depicted redheads being rounded up and shot by American troops, M.I.A.’s ‘Borders’ video was hit by a cease-and-desist letter from a French soccer club. Clearly, people from all walks of life have been offended over the years.
Now, M.I.A. has claimed she’s sick of being censored, and is choosing to stay away from the music game for a while.
As Consequence Of Sound notes, M.I.A. was recently interviewed by House Of Strombo about her new documentary, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., which finally came out last month.
However, the interview also saw the musician discussing the fact that she’s become disillusioned with the music business, and has found herself unable to successfully speak out in regards to topics such as the plight of Tamil women.
“Everyone says ‘you have a platform,’ but what do they mean? Because my records are buried because of the labeled issues with me,” she explained. “Sometimes it’s just cause I’m an outsider that doesn’t fit in with the diversity of America,”
“All of that is just not digestible,” she notes. “If I want to be bigger, I kind of have to say nothing.”
“I might have to make an anti-Trump record, but if I make anything else, it’s not going to wash,” M.I.A. explained, noting that she can only successfully address more ‘mainstream’ levels of feminism in her music.
“It’s easy for me to play that card, like ‘I’m so down for equal pay in Hollywood’ and I can discuss it in within the Western context,” she explained. “But if I want to talk about Tamil women wearing uniforms and eating cyanide pills because they didn’t want to be raped by the Sri Lankan army…”
“I have been pushed out for five years or something, and I haven’t been able to successfully release a record at all within this system,” she noted. “Or get my voice heard in terms of the Tamil plight, or get credit for anything I did. That’s been completely erased. And people know, but no one is allowed to say it.”
Elsewhere in the interview, M.I.A. touched upon the topic of her music, explaining how she’s still writing songs, but “not motivated to put it through the system”.
Of course, this might not come as a surprise to some, with M.I.A. having announced back in 2016 that her fifth album, AIM, would be her “last record”.
“It’s my last record so I wanted it to be happy,” she explained to the BBC. “There’s no complains on it. [It’s] another side to me completely. I don’t know if people know [about] that.”
“I wanna go and do some other stuff and take some time out,” she added. “I’m sure I’ll put music out and make music, but as an album, this just came together after ‘Borders’ and it just seemed like it wrote itself very quickly. I had to just go with it.”
In an interview with NME at the time, the musician blamed the music industry for much of her decision “I just need time away from it,” she explained. “I don’t want to change how I think creatively, to brand myself into an acceptable brand.”
While it doesn’t seem as though M.I.A. will be releasing any new albums in the near future, we definitely hope to see this amazing musician finally able to successfully speak her mind through music again without the fear of reprisal from the industry.
M.I.A. is also set to perform at Origin Fields on New Year’s Eve. Check out all the details below!
Check out M.I.A.’s ‘Borders’:
Origin Fields 2018 Lineup
Sunday, December 30th
Bonobo (DJ Set)
Chase & Status (DJ Set + MC Rage)
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Sampa The Great
Sigma (DJ Set)
Monday, 31st December
Tchami X Malaa
Disciple Round Table (Infekt, Mvrda, Chibs)
Hype & Hazard
Keys N Krates
Sunday, December 30th — Monday, December 31st
Langley Reserve, Perth, WA
Tickets: Official Website