Maya (M.I.A. album)
M. I. A.’s third studio album, Maya, was released on 7 July 2010. Songwriting and production were handled by M.I. A., Blaqstarr and Rusko. Diplo, Switch and her brother Sugu Arulpragasam also worked on the album. In its first week of release, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 21.
About Maya (M.I.A. album) in brief
M. I. A.’s third studio album, Maya, was released on 7 July 2010. Songwriting and production were handled by M.I. A., Blaqstarr and Rusko. Diplo, Switch and her brother Sugu Arulpragasam also worked on the album. In its first week of release, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 21. It also became her highest-charting album in the US, reaching number nine on the Billboard 200, and debuted in the top 10 in Finland, Norway, Greece and Canada. Critics’ opinions of the album were generally favourable although divided, with both its musical style and lyrical content each attracting praise and criticism. The album’s tracks centre on the theme of information politics and are intended to evoke a ‘digital ruckus’, with elements of industrial music incorporated into her sound for the first time. A deluxe edition was released simultaneously, featuring four bonus tracks. She became embroiled in a dispute with Lynn Hirschberg of The New York Times during her promotion of thealbum. She has since settled the dispute with the paper and is no longer involved with the publication. She also performed at music festivals in the U.S. and Europe to coincide with the album’s release. She used instruments such as the portable dynamic-phrase synthesizer Korg Kaossilator to compose. She took the beat machine and began recording atop Mayan pyramids in Mexico. Much of the work was undertaken at her house in Los Angeles, in what she called a \”commune environment\”, before it was completed in a rented studio in Hawaii.
She collaborated with writer-producer BlaqStarr because, in her opinion, “he simply makes good music’”. She also collaborated with Derek E. Miller of Sleigh Bells on the track ‘Meds and Feds,’ which prompted her subsequent signing of the band to her label N. E. T. Recordings, through XL Recordings and Interscope Records. She said the new project was the most creative and I really had a good time making music with her. She summed up the main theme as information politics, stressing the combined effects of news and data collection on the news and news corporations. M. I A.’s collaboration with the comparatively unknown Rusko grew from a sense of frustration at what she saw as her now more mainstream associates suggesting sub-standard tracks due to their busy schedules. She described the pair getting ‘carried away’ in the studio, appreciating the ‘mad distorted and hectic’ sound they were able to create. Tracks for the album are whittled down from recording sessions lasting up to 30 hours. She released a series of tracks online, including ‘XXXO’ and ‘It Takes a Muscle’, the latter of which was accompanied by a short film-music video, which generated controversy due to its graphic imagery.