M.I.A. described the yet-untitled album as "really odd" and "more musical" than her previous efforts and said that, unlike the quick-cut pastiches of Kala and Arular, she's aiming for permanence this time around.
"I wanted it to be, like, no gimmicks," she said. "It's my third album, and I have to kind of confront whether I am a musician or not. ... I wanted to make something that you could play that isn't, like, trendy just for three months or the length of a DJ's attention span."
She added that the new album features production work from Baltimore's DJ Blaqstarr, as well as longtime collaborators Diplo and Switch.
In February, a very pregnant M.I.A. appeared onstage at the Grammy Awards, where she joined Jay-Z, Kanye West, T.I. and Lil Wayne for a performance of "Swagga Like Us." A few weeks later, she gave birth to her son — don't call him Ickitt — and headlined both Coachella and Outside Lands. She also released a remix of "Rock Off Shake Off" by Baltimore rapper Rye Rye, who is signed to her Neet Recordings, and is reportedly working with Christina Aguilera on her new album.
But M.I.A. has yet to preview any of her new material, and despite her insistence, it's not exactly clear when her third album will see the light of day. A spokesperson for her label, Interscope, did not respond to MTV News' request for comment by press time.