Need a factoid to make you feel positively ancient? Consider, M.I.A.’s debut single “Galang” from Arular turns 20 next year. True story, and almost impossible to comprehend.
Before the anniversary signs flash up, M.I.A. should make a long overdue return with MATA, her forthcoming sixth studio album. It’s expected to drop “any day now,” according to reps from Island Records, which will release the set through a recently-announced global deal.
Before that happens, M.I.A. gives us “Beep,” a confident self-inspection and a exotic deep-dive exploration of percussion, on which she sings and raps, “Yeah I’m bringing someone new/There’s no limit/I’m tryna feel it/Every time I see you/When I gonna break through it/Got to just be it/No one can stop it/If they want they can try.”
“Beep” follows the MATA cuts “Popular,” produced by Diplo and Boaz van de Beatz; and “The One,” produced by Rex Kudo and T-Minus.
The followup to 2016’s AIM, MATA is years in the making, its compositions recorded in London, Los Angeles, Italy, Bali, Jakarta, and St Vincent.
M.I.A. (real name Mathangi Arulpragasam) lit the fuse with Arular, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize, and its followup Kala from 2007 was a commercial and critical success. In the United States, she has landed a string of top 10 hits including “Paper Planes,” “Give Me All Your Luvin’”, on which she appeared with Madonna; and Travis Scott’s Billboard Hot 100 leader “Franchise” with Young Thug.
Among her honors are a nomination for British female solo artist at the 2009 Brit Awards and an MBE for services to music in 2019.
Stream “Beep” below.