A documentary about the perpetually controversial musician and activist Mathangi Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A., has been in development since 2012. Now, at last, the film has premiered at Sundance, and early reviews seem to suggest it exceeds expectations.
M.I.A. lived between London and Jaffna in Northern Sri Lanka as a child, and met the film’s director, Stephen Loveridge, while studying at Central St. Martins. Titled MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., it is comprised essentially of home footage; M.I.A., who sometimes goes by Maya, was rarely without a home video recorder growing up. The film looks past the divisive headlines to tell her story, following her from childhood through to her rise to superstardom and motherhood.
In a video interview with Deadline, M.I.A. thanked Loveridge for focussing heavily on her support of the Tamil people in the time of the Sri Lankan civil war.
“I think it’s nice that he managed to filter it down to the essence of what needed to be discussed,” she says. “Because in my own head, there’s a million other things that I would have wanted to discuss.”
A release date has not yet been set, but there is a leaked trailer.
M.I.A. has partnered with Danish up-and-coming designer Astrid Andersen for her first collection of designer merchandise. The pieces are reimagined standouts from Andersen’s Spring 17 womenswear collection, with the colors and imagery changed to reflect the black and oranges of M.I.A.’s most recent album, AIM, which the signer intends to support with an upcoming world tour.
“I’ve been a fan of M.I.A. for a long time,” Andersen said to Vogue. “She was the benchmark for cool women who would wear my new collection—so when she called me, I was mega-excited.”
Andersen designed her first full line of womenswear for her Fall 17 collection, after successfully breaking onto the scene with her menswear collections.
“I admire how strong her entire universe is,” Andersen continued. “Her message is strong and pure and her personality is strong-willed and determined—determined to stay on her own path and include people in her vision without outside noise. That’s rare to find and that’s what made her so incredible to work with.”
A post shared by Astrid Andersen (@astridandersens) on
The collection includes anoraks, track pants, and t-shirts, all updated versions from Andersen’s hip-hop and basketball-influenced collection.
“I chose to work with Astrid because she is an independent who combines function, sport, simplicity, and futurism,” M.I.A. said to Vogue. “It all very much suits my personal style because it’s utilitarian—you can wear it to a club because everything is light.”
The pieces will be available on M.I.A.’s new ecommerce site starting tomorrow, with prices ranging from $70 to $160.
What do you get when you put a bunch of creatives on an old fairground with famed photographer Harley Weir? The answer, it seems, is a surprisingly sick lookbook for for the AW17 HUGO by Hugo Boss collection. The photos feel like classic Americana rerouted through an inspired pastiche of David Lynch films and starring M.I.A. in all her glam and glory.
For the “Bad Girls” singer’s second campaign for Hugo Boss, she was joined by a group of artists, musicians, models, and actors. Among them are models Tony Ward, Paul Hameline, Manami Kinoshita, and Jamie Bochert; actor Jamie Campbell Bower; and social media stars Lisa and Lena. Besides lounging around the abandoned fairground in the designer’s iconic suits, a handful of them show up in videos on the Hugo Boss Instagram to showcase their personalities as well as their striking good looks.
Before you go watch skater and model extraordinaire Olan Prenatt make out with his girlfriend for a Hugo Boss campaign, click through the slideshow to check out our favorite shots.
M.I.A. has released an alternative version of her A.I.M. track “A.M.P. (All My People),” a much more club-ready mix of the hip-hop/world anthem. The track is co-produced by Switch, Riton, and the singer herself. She tweeted the new music with the caption “Don’t be a dick and remove it” – take a listen below.
M.I.A. released her fifth studio album, A.I.M., in September, to mixed reviews. She’s announced more than once plans to retire from music – rumors have swirled that this album could likely be her last. We hope that’s not the case – we still listen to “Paper Planes” at least twice a week – but for now, we’ll have to settle for new remixes and revisiting old videos. For instance, the politically charged clip for her song “Borders”:
M.I.A.’s new album, AIM, comes out Sept 9, and we’re freaking out. She’s already released two singles off the record, “Borders” and “Go Off,” and AIM is already proving to be just the thing we needed to get through this summer. Now, she’s blessed us with “Bird Song,” produced by Blaqstarr.
Take a listen below.
The singer/rapper also teased an alternate remix of “Bird Song” produced by Diplo, which should be out later this week. And Pitchfork reports she’s also collaborated with Zayn Malik on the album, on a track called “Freedun.”
In an interview with Pitchfork, M.I.A. suggested that AIM would be her “final album,” as well as her “cleanest.” While we’ve still got “Paper Planes” saved to our offline Spotify playlists, we’re intrigued to see what other new sounds M.I.A. is bringing to the table with her last collection of music.
It’s hard to think of a pop star as unconventional and as perennially compelling as M.I.A. After three albums of politically-charged, globetrotting hip-hop, the Sri Lankan/British artist also known as Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam is well-established as a provocative persona. On Friday, the rapper showed that’s not about to change as she previewed her fourth record Matangi at NYC’s Terminal 5.
It seems likely that literally no other musician on the planet would have Wikileaks’ Julian Assange as an opening act, appearing via Skype. While his choppy internet connection and a restless crowd meant that his speech didn’t get a particularly rapturous reception, his projected presence made M.I.A.’s point; she named a 2010 mixtape Vicki Leekx and later befriended the controversial Australian. Needless to say, it didn’t do much to set up the tone musically, but M.I.A.’s never claimed to be a people pleaser.
With her atypical origin story and long-running career in visual art, M.I.A. has successfully presented herself as a near-mythic figure, reinforced when she emerged wearing an all-gold lamé ensemble like some sort of 21st century sun goddess. Flanked by two dancers decked out in clothes from her recent Versace collaboration, she kicked off a high energy night with her NSA-invoking “The Message,” though the rest of the set was notably low on other tracks from 2010’s patchily-received MAYA. No matter; the night was about Matangi, which is sure to bring back any doubters with bangers like “Bring The Noise” and “Double Bubble Trouble.”
M.I.A.’s fondness for metallic clothing and elaborate stage set aside, there’s no mistaking the glow she gives off on her own. Her jaw-dropping charisma simply can’t be denied. This is a woman who could light up a cardboard box, though songs like “Pull Up The People” and “Bucky Done Gun” from 2005’s Arular are still so fresh and innovative that it’s clear she was meant to be huge from the start. When she performed her calling cards “Paper Planes” and “Bad Girls” back to back, it was as if she’d invited 3,000 people to the party of the decade. Naming her previous albums after her father, mother, and her own longtime nickname, Matangi shows M.I.A. reclaiming her birth name.
It’s the title of her new record, it’s in neon green lights over the center of the stage, it’s emblazoned across the back of the jersey she changes into mid-set. She is who she is, and she’s still making her mark–literally. After she tossed colored powder into the audience, you could see who’d had the best time.
Matangi is out November 5 on Interscope. Photos by Katie Chow.
Fashion collaborations are buzzy – bring two big names together can generate a bit of hoopla – but it’s not often that the match seems so on point that it’s basically more relevant than either of the originals alone. Consider M.I.A.’s forthcoming Versus Versace collab, in which she’s taken inspiration from the streets (the counterfeit and knockoff Versace motifs buried in Chinatown and other similar side streets), giving the counterfeiters a big fuck-you by copying them. It kind of all makes sense.
The line for the designer will reclaim what’s been stolen – the Greek keys and the gold medallions so visually synonymous with Versace – adding street-inspired graphics and silhouettes, exclusively for our purchasing pleasure. So if you ever wanted to dress like M.I.A., here’s your chance. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, (the knockoff industry may have to go back to misspelling Louis Vuitton,) but it’ll be here (in select stores and online) on October 16.
Ever the smart business lady, M.I.A.’s Versus Versace collaboration drops conveniently close to the release of her new album Matangi, due out November 5. If wearing her designs and listening to the album isn’t enough, catch the singer in New York in concert on November 3. (Fun fact: in Hinduism, Matangi is the patron of inner thought and speech, guiding followers to primordial sound.) Some foreshadowing?
Heading to drinks at Gottino tonight? Before ordering a glass of red, brush up on the recent happenings in the world of fashion.
Luxury conglomerate LVMH went on a spending spree, plunking down a chunk of cash for a stake in London label J.W. Anderson. It was announced that beyond his eponymous collection duties, the man behind the label will head up design at Spanish leather brand Loewe, also in the LVMH stable.
Speaking of LVMH, even if we haven’t had enough of Marc Jacobs (more nail polish and shirts as dresses, please…) Louis Vuitton might be ready to say au revoir to their American in Paris. Jacobs’ contract with the brand is up at the end of October, though no announcements have been made just yet.