MIA opens New York gig with Skype message from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Assange was beamed in from London's Ecuadorian embassy, where he is living under political asylum

Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem Next Previous

Photo Gallery: MIA
Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem

MIA's New York show last night (November 1) opened with a Skype message from controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to gig-goers on Twitter and Instagram.

Several attendees shared pictures of Assange as he spoke from a giant video screen on stage, and MIA later posted her own slightly out-of-focus shot on Instagram.


Assange was beamed in from London's Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been living under political asylum for over a year. If Assange steps out of the embassy, he will immediately be extradited to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sexual assault.

During a recent interview with the BBC, MIA revealed that Assange helped her to write the track 'aTENTion' from her new album 'Matangi'. "I was struggling with this song, trying to write lyrics that contained the word 'tent'. There were only so many on my list - I had about 30," MIA recalled.

"Julian Assange came into the studio and took my computer and basically decrypted the whole of the internet, and downloaded every word in the whole of the language that contained the word 'tent' within it. He gave me, like, 4,000. And I finished the song. He doesn't get a writing credit, but he gets a thank you."

'Matangi' is released officially on Monday (November 4) and is streaming now on YouTube. The album includes the singles 'Bad Girls', 'Come Walk With Me' and 'Bring The Noize' and is the follow-up to MIA's 2010 effort 'Maya'.

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