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out 12.09.2007 (import)

Last year people in Great Britain and the US were wondering about a mysterious singer called M.I.A. People loved dancing to her underground hit “Galang” at nightclubs. She was compared with Missy Elliott, Neneh Cherry and Leila K. Her debut album "Arular" has just been released this month.

M.I.A.'s real name is Maya Arulpragasam, and she moved from Sri Lanka to London with her family when she was nine years old. Her family belonged to the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, and it wasn't safe for them there, so her mother applied for refugee status in Great Britain.

M.I.A.'s first album has been one of the millennium’s most talked-about releases. But before this month, the record company kept it from being released for a long time. Luckily M.I.A. released a mix tape, called "Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol.1" with DJ Diplo. She wanted people to hear her music and begin to understand it. It seems to have worked – she's had two underground hits.

The album is a mix of electro, ragga, dance music, hip-hop and even punk. The magazine "The New Yorker" writes that it has “the sound of a carnival, or a riot... a weapon of the future.” Her songs are about political themes, like teenage prostitution, consumerism, poverty, terrorism and war. Her lyrics are not easy to understand, because she uses a lot of slang and street language. But it is definitely dance music. This album has pounding bass lines, great power and great rhythm! Check it out – the energy is overwhelming!

By Kurt Wolf