M.I.A. has partially attributed the lengthy time between the announcement and arrival of forthcoming album ‘Mata’ to waiting on guest verses from other artists, and confirmed the record will arrive in September – one way or another.
“Coming soon I promise,” M.I.A. wrote in an Instagram Story on her account on August 30, alongside a snippet of what appears to be new music, which you can listen to below. “I had to wait 2 years for a Doja Cat verse…. Then a Nicki one… Then a…. Never mind,” she added. “If Mata isn’t out [September] I will leak it myself.”
MATA TEASER 🙏🏽 SEPTEMBER pic.twitter.com/ro5iMFIntd
— M.I.A. (@MIAuniverse) August 30, 2022
When it arrives, ‘Mata’ will mark the longest time M.I.A. has gone between releasing records. Her most recent album, ‘AIM’, landed back in September of 2016. Since then, she’s released a handful of standalone singles (2017’s ‘POWA’, 2020’s ‘CTRL’) and featured on Travis Scott‘s ‘Franchise’ alongside Young Thug.
Late last year, she revealed her sixth album’s title in a video on Instagram where she parodied Facebook announcing that their company would now be called Meta. “To reflect where I am and what we want to build, I’m proud to announce, starting today, my LP is now ‘Mata’.
We’ve heard a few previews of ‘Mata’ thus far this year. Lead single ‘The One’ arrived in May, while ‘Popular’ following in August. This month also saw M.I.A. preview an as-yet unreleased song from the album, with the track featuring in an episode of Netflix series Never Have I Ever.
“I think there’s a bit of a battle on the record,” M.I.A. said when speaking to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about ‘Mata’ earlier this year. “There is a bit of a clash, but the clash is like your ego and spirituality. Those are the clashes. Because as a musician, you need some ego, otherwise you can’t do it.”
In a four-star review of previous album ‘AIM’, NME said the record “contains some of [M.I.A.’s] most relaxed and reflective work”, adding that the “wit and inventiveness” with which she confronts topics like “injustice and immigration” serves as “a welcome reminder that there’s no other artist quite like her”.