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Saturday, January 9, 2010


M.I.A.When she was little, Maya Arulpragasam, aka M.I.A., probably had no idea she'd grow up to become an underground dancehall sensation. Her father was a resistance figure in the Sri Lankan independence struggle, and Arulpragasam's family was forced to leave Sri Lanka -- for their safety -- when she was nine years old. But after growing up in a London housing estate and studying film, Arulpragasam's life changed when she picked up a Roland MC-505 for the first time and started composing songs. Skillfully weaving street slang with geo-politics, nonsense rhymes with low-tech dancehall riddims, Arulpragasam's angular, low-tech sound has struck a chord. Her debut, Arular, was released in 2005.
- Sarah Bardeen

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