London, UK – M.I.A. seemingly teased new music earlier this week via Instagram, but it appears the post was simply leading up to an announcement about her recently launched Patreon account.
On Friday (January 31), the Sri Lankan artist shared another Instagram video and revealed the account just went live.
“The vision for Patreon is this year, I’m going to be going on journey, making a record and doing other great project,” she says in the clip. “I wanted you guys to come with me. I’m gonna try something different, which is basically open up the conversation to my fans. So come and check me, subscribe and let’s see what we can do.”
The good news? It does sound like new music is on the horizon.
“I’m doing a Patreon, because I make so much stuff and record so many things that aren’t music and don’t fit on other platforms,” she wrote on her Patreon home page. “I’m still making music, putting out the 6th album which is nearly finished, on a normal label, same as the others.”
According to a press release, the M.I.A. Patreon account will also include “random surprise content.”
“It might be a song, a recipe, a manifesto, maybe I could help you with your homework, you guys could be my manager for a day, tell me what to do with my career, therapy sessions, dating advice, we’ll see what happens,” she said.
Patreon is a membership-based platform that allows fans to support artists and entrepreneurs at different price points. For $5 or $10 a month, they gain access to exclusive content
Find the M.I.A. Patreon account here.
[This article has been updated. The following was published on January 28, 2020.]
It’s been years since M.I.A. has released a new project. Her last album, AIM, arrived in 2016 and she’s been, well, pretty much musically M.I.A. ever since. In fact, she insinuated she was quitting music altogether shortly after AIM, blaming censorship.
In a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, she was asked if she was indeed retired.
” I don’t know how to answer that question,” she said. “I want to [retire], and I have said I am. And, yes, that is as much as I have to say. And it’s time for new people to come through, but that’s very difficult. It’s a very difficult thing. Because actually I think it’s harder now than it was for me 15 years ago, which is crazy. It’s really nuts.”
But on Tuesday (January 28), the London-born artist — real name Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam — teased a comeback via Instagram while delivering a snippet of new music in the process.
“NEW DECADE, NEW MIA, EXPLORING PLANETS AND PLATFORMS,” she captioned the post. “JOIN ME JAN 31ST 2020.”
The post also includes footage of M.I.A. herself, rocking pink hair, a pink jacket and pink nails while appearing to mouth the words, “Own me” or “Owe me” (it’s unclear).
Earlier this month, M.I.A. revealed she lost her father Arulappu Richard Arulpragasam, a Tamil activist and former revolutionary. She penned a lengthy Instagram post about the loss, while celebrating her 2005 debut album Arular, which was named after her father.
“The events over the last month have been about my parents,” she wrote. “Life is full of highs and lows. The loss of my father ARULAR last month was hard but I’m grateful that he influenced me to the point I was able to show him that. I was awarded the Medal for making political activist music which was the influence of my father ARULAR. However I accepted it in honor of KALA my mother, because it was her life’s work to sew them.
“ARULAR is what lit the spark that got me here. This medal belongs to #ARULAR and #KALA. Arular will always be part of me and what I go on to create or achieve as its the foundation and the beginning to my journey as an artist.”
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The events over the last month have been about my parents. LIfe is full of highs and lows. The loss of my father ARULAR last month was hard but I'm greatful that he influenced me to the point I was abel to show him that. I was awarded the Medal for making political activist music which was the influence of my father ARULAR. However I accepted it in honor of KALA my mother, because it was her lifes work to sew them. ARULAR is what lit the spark that got me here. This medal belongs to #ARULAR and #KALA. Arular will always be part of me and what I go on to create or achieve as its the foundation and the beginning to my journey as an artist.
The medal M.I.A. is referring to is the MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to music, which she received at Buckingham Palace on January 16. Her mother Kala has spent the last 33 years making the medals that are then presented to honorees by members of the Royal Family.
Established in 1917, the MBE is a British order of chivalry and rewards the contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organizations and public service outside the civil service.
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Today I'm accepting this in honor of my mother who worked for minimum wage to give us a better life. As a working class first generation immigrant it's great to be recognised for my contribution. Having freedom to speak my truth and to do it through music has helped me speak for those who do not have those privileges. I will continue fight for those who are silenced or persecuted by others. This comes from my father Arular who passed away last month.