M.I.A. Kala


Guess who’s back?

M.I.A. (Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam), the Sri-Lankan-born Brit electro-indie-rap singer who took the internet world by storm a couple of years ago with her indie-smash hit “Galang” from her debut album Arular, is back with her follow-up album, Kala. (Related post: Galang galang galanga… [sashi-isms, 2005])

(The title of this second album, “Kala”, is named after her mother while her first, “Arular” was named after her father. “Kala” is also the Sanskrit word for “art”. Maybe just a coincidence, especially when you look at the album artwork.)

M.I.A. Kala album cover

Unlike Arular, which had generous doses of the raw electro-beat-box sounds which made it an internet phenomenon, Kala blends more international sounds and influences (including her Tamil origins) to develop what seems to be a more mature and edgier end-product.

The first two singles released from Kala are “Boyz“, which was recorded in Chennai, India and Trinidad while the video was shot in Jamaica, and “Jimmy“, which used samples from the Hindi song “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja” from the 1982 Bollywood movie Disco Dancer. The video for Jimmy, by the way, is suitably dolled-up in a cheeky nod to classic Bollywood glitz and glam.

Another song, “Bird Flu” was released earlier as a single on iTunes (and the video on Youtube), but is not an official single from the album.


However, my favourite songs from Kala are “Come Around” (featuring Timbaland), and the really awesome “Paper Planes“, with it’s killer gunshots-and-cash-register hook:

All I wanna do is *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* and a *GUN COCKING* *KA-CHING* and take your money..

You gotta listen to it to understand what I just wrote there, I guess. ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, you can listen to the streaming of all the songs on Kala on MIA’s MySpace page. If you’d like me to email you the songs (for evaluation purposes, of course, not that I’m encouraging piracy in any way, ahem), just drop a comment or email me (address on sidebar).

Here are a selection of songs from the album:
Come Around (feat. Timbaland):
Paper Planes:
Hussel (feat. Afrikan Boy):
Mango Pickle Down River (with The Wilcannia Mob):

Here are some more links for ya:

And here’s the video for Jimmy:


3 thoughts on “M.I.A. Kala”

  1. So I was actually searching for that song from Heroes and your site was the first hit. Saw this in the sidebar though and thought I’d check it out – M.I.A. = so unbelievably good! I can’t decide whether I like Kala more than Arular or not, but either way I like both a lot. ๐Ÿ˜€
    I just wish she was playing in England sometime soon. Damn it!

    SASHI: I like both albums, especially since both seem to be quite different, so I can’t really compare them side-by-side.

  2. Salam from Karachi, Pakistan. Spent this morning listening to mia after rolling all night. A friend had her on his ipod. She made our morning.

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