The lead-up to M.I.A.'s /\/\/\Y/\ album has basically been one long stream of bad PR, scurrilous spats and, uh, videos that depict things like the execution of redheads. So it may surprise you to learn that there's actually a pair of songs on the record that are actually, well, sort of nice.
"It Takes a Muscle" and "Lovalot" seem to be — on the surface, at least — about the trials and tribulations of the heart. So it seems that, deep down (and despite all the bluster), M.I.A. is actually a really sweet person. So in keeping with that spirit, we decided to ask her if there's anything else she really, truly loves.
"M.I.A. loves ... Justin Bieber?" she laughed.
Of course, we're not entirely sure we believe her. You'll remember, of course, that she once said that Bieber's videos were "more offensive" than her own aforementioned "Born Free" clip, and while she's since clarified her stance on Biebs, saying she meant it as "a joke," you still probably wouldn't peg her one who would succumb to Bieber Fever.
But then again, given her new album, we suppose anything is possible. Because /\/\/\Y/\ isn't just a new set of tunes, it's a new chapter for M.I.A. She's working with an entirely new team of producers, diving deeper into the sonic sample bin than ever before, and, most notably, she's actually singing this time around. Or at least that's what people are saying.
"It's sort of like [producer] Blaqstarr kind of encouraging me and making me comfortable to sing," she said. "And I think on my first album — I think, or I thought — that [songs like] 'Amazon' was me singing, and 'Paper Planes' was me singing, but I guess everyone seems to think I'm singing more on this album. I'm just singing louder."
Is M.I.A. really a Justin Bieber fan at heart? Tell us what you think in the comments!