M.I.A says she’s quitting music for now, blaming censorship: “I have to find another way”

The star hits out at industry censorship in new interview

M.I.A. has said that she is no longer “motivated” to release new music, blaming censorship from the music industry.

Following the release of her documentary, Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. last month, M.I.A made the comments in an interview for The House of Strombo. M.I.A added that she needs to focus on another means of releasing music: “for me, I have to find another way.”

Speaking to The House of Strombo, M.I.A said she is finding it increasingly difficult to put out music because of her outspoken views on politics. The Sri Lankan rapper said: “Everyone says ‘you have a platform,’ but what do they mean? Because my records are buried because of the labeled issues with me.”


She continues: “Sometimes it’s just ’cause I’m an outsider that doesn’t fit in with the diversity of America…all of that is just not digestible.” M.I.A goes on to describe herself as being on the “outside of the acceptableness”, adding “If I want to be bigger, I kind of have to say nothing.”

You can watch M.I.A’s interview in full here:

The singer continued: “I might have to make an anti-Trump record, but if I make anything else, it’s not going to wash…But if I want to talk about Tamil women wearing uniforms and eating cyanide pills because they didn’t want to be raped by the Sri Lankan army…I know that both of these extremes of women exist.”

“For 15 years, I had to fight the battle where I didn’t have a genre… and that became my genre, that I was a mashup of many genres…I just don’t exist like that.”


M.I.A also goes on to claim that the music industry has sidelined her because of her political views. “I have been pushed out for five years or something, and I haven’t been able to successfully release a record at all within this system…Or get my voice heard in terms of the Tamil plight, or get credit for anything I did. That’s been completely erased. And people know, but no one is allowed to say it.”

For now, M.I.A says she is “not motivated to put [her music] through the system” until the industry accepts both her political views and her identity.“For me, I have to find another way,” M.I.A concludes.

Reviewing her recent documentary, NME said Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. was “compelling”, adding that it: “documents the outspoken rapper’s journey from refugee to bona fide star. In doing so, it provides a fascinating insight into a one-of-a-kind, fearless artist who has made her MO the unpredictable. It also sagely showcases the perils of the public platform as well as its good.”