M.I.A. is armed with a brand-new record deal — with Island Records — and a new song: “The One.” This comes about six months after “Babylon,” a single M.I.A. released as part of an auction of her 2010 mixtape Vicki Leekx as an NFT. Prior to that, M.I.A. teamed up with Young Thug and Travis Scott on the collaborative track “FRANCHISE.” Ever since her last full-length album, 2016’s AIM, M.I.A. has released some one-off tracks (“CTRL,” “OHMNI 202091“) and launched a Patreon. In November of last year, she announced via Instagram that her sixth studio album would be called MATA.
Billed as the start of a new era for the British rapper, “The One” is produced by Rex Kudo and T-Minus. Here’s M.I.A. talking about the track to Apple Music:
I was in a really happy place. And I know that it was the pandemic, and kind of everything was hitting the fan, but I’d got to a place that was really happy. I did want to make that nice, happy record. Almost like the record that everyone wanted you to make when you made Paper Planes. Then everyone’s like, “Why the hell did you make Maya? That was such a depressing record.” In hindsight, it makes sense to people, but at the time everyone was like, “That’s the worst record in the world.” Now, I feel like, “Okay, well, you know that other record that everyone wanted? This is what it would’ve been.” I guess it is just about sticking to what you are and the truth. I think, at the end of the day, that is also what this record is about to me, is still trying to find truth. In a way, it’s kind of rebellious because everybody’s expecting me to put out that really havoc… Everyone’s expecting that, but it’s not, that’s not what it is. It’s about the battle of the ego versus you finding yourself and you finding the spiritual leader. Spirituality within, whatever form is given to you. I think that’s really interesting, when you think everything, you get challenged by the universe. And that happened to me. Really I’m just here to share that.
No word yet on a release date for MATA, but M.I.A. has some upcoming European festival dates, which you can check out along with the new track below.
06/01 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Grona Lund
06/02 – Funen, Denmark @ Heartland Fest
06/10 – Barcelona, Spain @ Primavera
06/11 – Dijon, France @ VYV Festival
06/12 – Marseille, France @ Marsatac Festival
06/17 – Lyon, France @ InVersion Festival
06/18 – Montendre, France @ Freemusic Festival
07/08 – Oeiras, Portugal @ NOS Alive
07/09 – Biscay, Spain @ BBK Bilbao Live