Finally it looks like we’re getting a fourth album from MIA, more than three years after ‘/\/\/\Y/\’. Here are 15 things we know about ‘Matangi’ – starting with the one fact we hope won’t be changed. It’s due out on 5 November.
Last week MIA released the cover image for ‘Matangi’, shot in scarlet negative, the most solid sign yet that the album’s on its way.
The tracklisting’s out there too. Unconfirmed, but it looks like this: ‘Karmageddon’, ‘MATANGI’, ‘Only 1 U’, ‘Warriors’, ‘Come Walk With Me’, ‘aTENTion’, ‘Exodus’, ‘Bad Girls’, ‘Boom Skit’, ‘Double Bubble Trouble’, ‘Y.a.l.a’, ‘Bring The Noize’, ‘Lights’, ‘Know It Ain’t Right’, ‘Sexodus’.
‘Matangi’ was initially slated for release at the end of 2012, and then April this year, but Interscope kept insisting changes be made – at one point reportedly telling MIA it was too “positive”.
In keeping with all her album titles, ‘Matangi’ has a family connection. This time it’s a spin on her own birth name Mathangi, but also the name of a Hindu goddess.
“My chain hits my chest when I’m bangin’ on the dashboard” – Yep, it’s nearly two years old, but the awesome ‘Bad Girls’ will be making an appearance on ‘Matangi’.
The second single from the album (a good year after ‘Bad Girls’ ) was ‘Bring The Noize’ produced by French techno whizkid Surkin and long-time MIA associate Switch, a creaking blast of panic-attack hip-hop.
Switch also collaborates on third single ‘Come Walk With Me’, a bullish statement from MIA – “There is nothing that can touch me now/You can’t even break me down” – that gives way to bhangra/soca madness.
The album was previewed in spring this year via an eight-minute mix made for Kenzo’s Paris Fashion Week show. How many of the elements will survive until autumn remains to be seen.
Frustrated at Interscope’s delays, MIA took to Twitter in August to offer a threat or two. “If interscope takes longer i can always leak this next week and make a new one by the time they are ready,” she said. Fingers were pulled out.
There’s supposedly a documentary to accompany the album, but it’s hit the skids with director Ben Loveridge bailing out. Should it appear, it features contributions from Spike Jonze, Kanye West and Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine.
Answering questions from fans on Twitter about the album, MIA said last year that it sounded like Paul Simon “on acid”.
MIA has also said that there will be no guest appearances on ‘Matangi’ and the producers she’s worked with are “ones that dont act like fame whore coloniser”. Which is a relief.
Tracks from the album – including recent single ‘Come Walk With Me’ – received their live UK debut at Bestival in September.
Hit-Boy, producer of Jay Z and Kanye West’s ‘Niggas In Paris’, revealed back in March that he’d worked on ‘Matangi’: “I just did seven songs on her new album. We just locked in the studio and just vibed and we did seven incredible records.”