/\/\/\Y/\ finally drops today, although with the amount of tracks leaked by M.I.A.’s camp over the last few weeks, you’d think it had been released ages ago. (Check out a write-up and pics of the chaotic album release party, which included drink specials like a “M.I.A.rgarita”, here.) Maya Arulpragasam sat down with MTV to rap about the making of her third studio LP, which she calls “a 3-D album,” and reveals her love for one tween pop sensation in particular. Check it out below.
“I tried to make a 3-D, three-dimensional version of who I was,” M.I.A. says. “Maybe that’s because I was making it in the year where everything was fucking 3-D! The world cup in 3-D! And it’s like, toothpaste adverts in 3-D. Fine, I’ll make an M.I.A album in 3-D.”
“Sonically, it’s a 3-D album,” she continues. “It’s not a one dimensional shiny pop album… it’s a 3-D person. You’re not always, like, high all the time, ‘Oh my god, life is so great, skibbidy dippity dee, and it’s like at the beach.’ It’s not like that.”
We guess some people really want beach-ready tunes, as reviews for /\/\/\Y/\ are a mixed bag so far. Though we weren’t totally on board in the beginning, the agit-prop artist’s third studio album is definitely growing on us. (We certainly like her songs more than her various single cover art sleeves, and it appears you agree with us.)
“Everyone keeps asking why doesn’t it sound like the last one [2007's critically acclaimed Kala],” she says. “But I think… life experience as an artist, it wouldn’t have been truthful for me to make a worldly-sounding album when I was in America. To me, it sounds really American.”
Not everybody is so critical of M.I.A.’s new musical direction. As far Maya’s son, baby Ikhyd, is concerned, “when we stop making music, he starts crying.”
The most interesting part of the interview is where Maya finds it impossible to answer a question regarding a love song on the album, obviously hesitant to share that part of her personal life to the media. When the MTV reporter presses for an answer to “what does M.I.A. love,” she gives her best response yet: “M.I.A. loves… I dunno what to say… Justin Bieber?”
Obviously, she’s referencing her non-beef with Bieber that the media took way out of context, but we think it would have been funnier if she proclaimed her love for New York Times reporter Lynn Hirschberg. Or truffle fries.
We’ll have to wait and see how well /\/\/\Y/\ does on the charts, and unfortunately M.I.A. has already lost an opportunity to promote it—her headlining gig at HARD LA music festival this Saturday was cancelled due to safety concerns. On the bright side, at least now she can celebrate her 35th birthday doing something other than performing for tweaked out ravers.