Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jungle Highlights














"When I go to Sri Lanka-- I mean, I haven't been that many times-- but when I went, it was really difficult, just because of how I dress and what I look like. They go, "Oh my God, she's so Westernized." I have brown bits in my hair, and my Mom was practically on her knees screaming, "Nooo! You have to dye your hair before you leave the house or I'll kill myself!" I'd be like, "What are you freaking out about?" and she'd explain the Tamil Tiger girls have been in the jungle for so long that their hair goes brown, and if you walk out like this, you're going to get shot because people will think you're a Tamil Tiger girl. And I'd be like, [posh accent] "Mom, this is fashion! From England! L'Oreal hair color, like, get with it-- because I'm worth it!"

That's how they knew I was Westernized, because I'd be brave and I'd walk to the shops. And they'd be like, "No no no-- you just don't do shit like that around here. Get off the bicycle and quit it, 'cause you will get killed." (via)

I don't yet have an iPod (gasp) and I haven't bought a CD in forever, so I haven't actually bought her new or older stuff yet, but I've been watching/listening to M.I.A. videos on YouTube constantly for the past couple of weeks. I first heard her music from the Dosa Guy back in 2005 ("I like her voice--very sexy").

5 comments:

Ryan B. said...

The Dosa Guy is into M.I.A.??

Zach Campbell said...

Yes--it's the Tamil/Sri Lankan connection, for one thing. Thiru Kumar is a man of many talents & interests. Probably one of the coolest people in NYC.

Mubarak Ali said...

There's another, more recent interview of hers with Pitchfork where she blasts the media for perpetuating her (a female from a third world country) "not being taken seriously unless backed by a blond-haired and blue-eyed male" (I paraphrase).

Her new album's brilliant, esp. 'Paper Planes'. It's all there on YouTube...

dave said...

The first album was great; haven't had time to check the new one.

She's very much like Dylan, in a way, poaching song structures and lyrics and chord progressions/basslines from a wide variety of sources that most people aren't aware of. Dylan's appropriations of old (mostly) American folk culture totally de-center the reference points in the same way that M.I.A. does to those of the global ghetto underground. In both cases this re-contextualization distills certain tendencies in the original works to present an entirely new viewpoint... one related to the 'something's about to burst...' politics that she shares with some of Dylan's '60's work.

dave said...

if anyone here is interested in a copy of her pre-Arular, Diplo-produced mixtape Piracy Funds Terrorism - and you should be - let me know and I'll make you a copy.