“I built a room under the house that was kind of like a cave; you had to go down into it. And then I just sort of made it as creative as possible for me — I was just sort of making the furniture and making the pictures, covered all the walls with stuff that I made, so it feels like every step of the way, I was working on the layers of this sort of environment.”
-International indie dance anarchist M.I.A., commenting on the environment in which she constructed ///Y/, her third album that just hit the streets today. The new album contains the bracing new single “XXXO” and the sharp, frosty “Born Free,” which drew some controversy because of its violent video.
M.I.A. — neé Maya Arulpragasam — is coming off her biggest success, as she saw her single “Paper Planes” become a big hit and a cultural phenomenon. To follow that up, M.I.A. said she wanted to create her most personal work yet. “I wanted to make something more personal, and more organic, and real, and that connected to my life. And when you’re in L.A., it’s set up for you to move on up and go into these big studios and do crazy sh–,” she told MTV News. She also said her new family life greatly informed the way ///Y/ was made. “It was made at home in a commune environment, just because at the moment, that’s what was possible to me. I had a child, and the baby monitor only goes for 200 meters or whatever, so I couldn’t go further than that.”