M.I.A: Activism With A DIY Hip-Hop Beat

Maya Arulpragasam, aka M.I.A, tells NPR she had an idyllic childhood until the civil war intervened in Sri Lanka. Then, her father joined the Tamil fighters, and she and the rest of her family relocated to Britain, settling in a housing project in the south end of London. She blossomed in art school as a teen, and developed her own unique style of music — a “do-it-yourself” aesthetic inspired by the British club scene, with stripped-down bass and drum rhythms driving catchy melodies. Listen to a profile of the artist via NPR.org below.

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