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Zayn Shows His Soft Side On M.I.A.’s New Song ‘Freedun’

Hear their starry-eyed collab

The rollout for M.I.A.’s upcoming fifth (and possibly final) album, A.I.M., continues with “Freedun,” a dreamy new song featuring Zayn.

After teasing the unexpected collab earlier this week, M.I.A. debuted it on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show on Thursday, adding that she just shot the song’s video in the Himalayas. “Freedun” is surprisingly poppy, and features the Sri Linkan rapper dropping boastful bars like “the world is mine, so bring it on” over a swirling electronic beat. Zayn, meanwhile, swoops in with a soft Auto-Tuned chorus: “All the stars are still shining / But you’re the only one I see, I can feel when your heart beats, yeah / But you can’t keep your eyes off me.”

Speaking to Mac after the track’s premiere, M.I.A. said, “I made this song a long time ago, and it was too mainstream sounding for me. If I was going to have a collaboration and have someone like Zayn, this was the perfect song. It sort of takes me out of my comfort zone, and it kind of takes him out of his a little bit as well.”

A.I.M. drops September 9 and includes the already released “Borders,” the Diplo-assisted “Bird Song,” and the Skrillex-produced “Go Off.”