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M.I.A. stands for Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam, a British rapper, singer-songwriter, and producer of Sri Lankan Tamil heritage. She began her career as a visual artist, then moved on to documentary filmmaking and fashion design before pursuing a music career. She has received 49 award nominations for her compositions that incorporate elements of dance, alternative, hip-hop, and world music. M.I.A. is the first artist of Asian origin to be nominated for both the Academy and Grammy Awards in the same year. She is also the first artist of Asian descent to be nominated for both the Academy and Grammy Awards in the same year. While her early compositions largely relied on the Roland MC-505 sequencer and drum machine, her later works used uncommon instruments, electronics, and noises from all over the world. Her views and comments on the oppression of Sri Lankan Tamils, African Americans, and Palestinians have elicited both admiration and criticism, prompting the US to prohibit her immigration. Her CDs display her strong political beliefs as well. She donates to a number of charities and raises donations to assist young people in war-torn Africa who are fleeing violence and poverty. She supported school construction initiatives and the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Liberia. In 2009, ‘Time’ magazine named her one of the world’s 100 most influential individuals, while ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine named her one of the defining artists of the 2000s.

Childhood and Adolescence

Arul Pragasam, an engineer, writer, and activist, and Kala, a seamstress, gave birth to Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam on July 18, 1975, in Hounslow, West London. Sugu is her younger brother.Her family relocated to Jaffna, Sri Lanka, when she was six months old, where her father became a political activist and created the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS), which is associated with the LTTE.During her childhood, she moved from one location to another due to the Sri Lankan Civil War, when her family fled the Sri Lankan army.

During this period, they had no touch with her father.M.I.A. attended the Jaffna Catholic school Holy Family Convent, where she honed her painting skills. Her mother and the children relocated to Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, during the height of the civil war. When the civil war worsened in 1986, her mother and the children fled to London, where they were offered sanctuary as refugees.Her first introduction to hip-hop music was from radio broadcasts she heard at her neighbors’ houses in the 1980s, which sparked her interest in hip-hop and dancehall.

She developed a natural fondness for punk in college, influenced by Malcolm McLaren, The Slits, and The Clash.In 1986, she enrolled in a primary school in southwest London. She also went to Wimbledon’s Ricards Lodge High School. With a scholarship from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, she earned a bachelor’s degree in visual art, film, and video in 2000. She designed the cover art for Elastica’s album ‘The Menace’ and documented their American tour in 1999.

Career of M.I.A

Maya Arulpragasam received a film proposal as a student, which she turned down. She began making a documentary film about Tamil youngsters in Jaffna in 2001, but was unable to finish it due to harassment. She also designed the cover for Elastica’s single “The Bitch Don’t Work” in the same year.Her debut painting exhibition, which depicted Tamil political street art and London life, took place in London in 2001.She went on tour with Elastica in 2001, when she met singer Peaches, who encouraged her to pursue a career in music. ‘M.I.A.’ became her stage moniker once she began experimenting with the Roland MC-505 (Missing in Action).

She began with a modest set-up consisting of a second-hand 4-track tape machine, Roland MC-505, and a radio microphone, and composed and recorded a six-song demo tape that contained songs like ‘M.I.A.,’ ‘Lady Killa,’ and ‘Galang.’XL Recordings, a British label, signed her and released her first single, ‘Galang,’ in 2004, which reached No. 11 on the US dance charts. The same year, another single, ‘Sunshowers,’ was published.Her debut album, ‘Arular,’ was released on March 22, 2005, and was named after her father.

Her London bedroom was used to record and create the album. She highlighted global concerns and oppression in the album.’Kala,’ her second album, was released in 2007 and was named after her mother. It included live instrumentation, traditional dance and folk forms such as soca and gaana, as well as elements of rave music and bootleg Tamil music soundtracks. The album’s lead single, ‘Paper Planes,’ was a major hit, reaching the top 10 and peaking at No. 1 on the UK R&B chart. ‘Boyz’ also charted at No. 3 in the dance charts.

She released the ‘How Many Votes Fix Mix’ EP in 2008. M.I.A. had began collaborating with Timbaland, an American singer and musician, and Jay-Z, an American rapper, as well as Hollywood directors Spike Jonze and Danny Boyle, around this time.She collaborated with Spike Jonze on a documentary and co-wrote the song “O…Saya” for the Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire.” It was M.I.A.’s debut album on her own label, N.E.E.T., which she founded in 2008. She joined N.E.E.T. and signed rapper Rye Rye, guitarist Blaqstarr, and indie rock band Sleigh Bells.

‘XXXO,’ the first single from her upcoming album ‘Maya,’ was released in May 2010, and it entered the top 40 in Spain, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. N.E.E.T. released ‘Maya’ in July 2010, and it became her highest-charting album worldwide.She released her autobiographical book ‘M.I.A.’ in October 2012, which chronicled her five-year musical career. On November 1, 2013, N.E.E.T. released her fourth studio album, ‘Matangi.’

On September 9, 2016, her fifth studio album, ‘AIM,’ was released. Critics gave it mediocre reviews, with some claiming that it lacked concentration. It was her first album to fail to chart in the Billboard 200’s top 40. On February 8, 2017, an unreleased song from ‘AIM’ was released, accompanied with a music video for ‘P.O.W.A.’

Her Major Projects

M.I.A’s debut album, ‘Arular,’ debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart in the United States. It was the seventh best-reviewed album of 2005, and the ninth best-reviewed electronic/dance album of the 2000–09 decade, according to Metacritic.

Her album ‘Kala’ debuted at number 18 on the Billboard 200 and was voted one of the year’s greatest albums. It was included in the book ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,’ which was nominated for the 2007 Shortlist Music Prize.

Achievements & Awards

M.I.A. is the first artist to be nominated for all five major awards: the Grammy Award, the Academy Award, the Brit Award, the Mercury Prize, and the Alternative Turner Prize. She is also the first Asian singer to receive Academy and Grammy Award nominations in the same year.

In 2009, she received the BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist.She won two MTV Video Music Awards in 2012 for ‘Bad Girls,’ in the categories of Best Direction and Best Cinematography.

Personal Experiences of M.I.A

For five years, M.I.A. was in a relationship with American DJ Diplo. She then married environmentalist Benjamin Bronfman and gave birth to their son, Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman, on February 13, 2009. Bronfman and she divorced in February 2012.She attributes her achievement to her early life of “homelessness and rootlessness.”

She uses social networking sites like Twitter and MySpace to draw attention to Sri Lanka’s human rights violations. She considers it her duty to represent the Tamil minority. She was accused of sympathizing with terrorists and supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). She and her son have also been threatened with death.

Estimated Net Worth

M.I.A. is a British singer, songwriter, visual artist, and director who has a net worth of $14 million dollars. She is perhaps best known for her breakthrough hit single “Paper Planes” from her second album, 2007’s “Kala.” M.I.A has gotten widespread critical acclaim for her experimentation with hip hop and electronic fusion, as well as her evocative politically charged lyrics.


Following the publication of her debut record, the United States barred her entry into the nation.