Malik collaborated with the English MC and producer, real name Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, on a track titled ‘Freedun’ which will appear on her fifth album ‘AIM’.
The two wrote the song together on WhatsApp, according to Arulpragasam.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly from India, Arulpragasam said: “We just basically did it while I was here, because I’ve been here for a week-and-a-half. We’ve just been going back and forth on, you know, WhatsApp.”
Arulpragasam added that she also considered writing songs for Malik’s debut solo album, ‘Mind of Mine’.
“We have the same publishers and they wanted me to demo some songs for Zayn,” she said. “Before I started writing properly my own stuff [for AIM], I was thinking maybe I’ll write for other people instead. I really wanted to write a song for Zayn….We had a couple people in common. And that’s how it came about. I didn’t really approach him for my own record until later on. First, I thought I wanted to try writing a song for him.”
Last week, Arulpragasam announced her next single ‘Birds’, which is due out this Friday (August 12). The track will feature production from former partner and collaborator Diplo.
The two have not worked together since 2010 after publicly falling out with one another. Last year, M.I.A. accused the producer of being jealous of her success in an interview in Rolling Stone.
‘A.I.M’ is due out on September 9. Arulpragasam has previously said that it will be her last.
M.I.A. recently criticised MTV for not nominating her music video for ‘Borders’ for a VMA. “This is a perfect example of ‘allowed’ voice vs excluded voices,” she wrote on Twitter.
Last month, the British artist was dropped from the line-up of London’s Afropunk festival following her controversial comments about the Black Lives Matter movement.