Pitchfork posted an interesting, rambling interview with M.I.A. today. In particular she wanted to set the record on who should be credited for her work.
Pitchfork: So tell me a bit about Kala. I just heard it for the first time today, and–
M.I.A.: Diplo didn’t make it.
Pitchfork: Uh, what?
M.I.A.: He never made Arular, but you guys keep writing it.
Pitchfork: ‘He’ being Diplo?
M.I.A.: You’re not listening to me at all, are you?
Pitchfork: Well, it’s hard to say where it originated. We certainly have made reference to Diplo playing a part on your records, but it seems like everyone plays that up.
M.I.A.: If you read the credits, he sent me a loop for “Bucky Done Gun”, and I made a song in London, and it became “Bucky Done Gun”. But that was the only song he was actually involved in on Arular. So the whole time I’ve had immigration problems and not been able to get in the country, what I am or what I do has got a life of its own, and is becoming less and less to do with me. And I just find it a bit upsetting and kind of insulting that I can’t have any ideas on my own because I’m a female or that people from undeveloped countries can’t have ideas of their own unless it’s backed up by someone who’s blond-haired and blue-eyed. After the first time it’s cool, the second time it’s cool, but after like the third, fourth, fifth time, maybe it’s an issue that we need to talk about, maybe that’s something important, you know.
Pitchfork: I’m a little surprised by what you’re saying, not because I don’t agree with it, but because, in a way, you seem to be ceding or maybe even resigning the marquee to Switch out of frustration. All of this attention has been put on someone else in helping you make this record, and I completely understand why that would be upsetting, but at the end of the day, no matter who produced the tracks, it still says M.I.A. on the spine of the record packaging.
M.I.A.: That’s what I’m saying. There is an issue especially with what male journalists write about me and say “this MUST have come from a guy.” I can understand that, I can follow that, that’s fine. But when female journalists as well put your work and things down to it being all coming from a man, that really fucks me up. It’s bullshit. I mean, for me especially, I felt like this is the only thing I have, and if I can stick my neck out and go for the issues and go through my life as it is, the least I can have is my creativity. And I think that’s probably the stupidest thing about it. I wish somebody did conjure the spirit out so I can change that, and now I’m going to spit some politics, I was going to be like this… fucking… whatever, the thing that I was, I wish that somebody did conjure it out. But I’m not going to give that credit, whatever my life is and whatever my lifestyle and whatever people in Sri Lanka feel is right, like somebody masterminded it. You know what I mean? I think that’s bullshit.