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"Paper Planes" was certified gold in New Zealand and three times platinum in Canada and the US where, as of November 2011, it is ranked the seventh best-selling song by a British artist in the digital era. A.'s third album Maya was released in 2010 soon after the controversial song-film short "Born Free". has embarked on five global headlining tours and is the founder of her own multimedia label, N. Her later work marked an evolution in her sound with rare instruments, electronics and unusual sound samples. experimented further with her established sound and drew from a range of genres, creating layered textures of instruments, electronics and sounds outside the traditional studio environment. In the book Downloading Music (2007), Linda Aksomitis notes the various aspects of peer-to-peer file sharing of music in the rise in popularity of M. A., including the advantages and disadvantages of the internet and platforms such as My Space in the launch of her career. alongside musicians such as Sway and Dizzee Rascal created music that explored new soundscapes with new technologies, with lyrics expressing anger at Britain's "racialized subordination of minority groups" and that the innovation that generates new musical forms like grime and dubstep are, inevitably, politically engaged. is heralded as a signal in the way that white Britons adapted to a new multicultural and plural musical mix in contrast to bands of the Britpop genre. Camille Dodero, writing in The Village Voice opined that M. I-D magazine described the "bleeding cacophany of graphics" on her website during this time as evoking the "noisy amateurism" of the early web, but also embodying a rejection of today's "glossy, professional site design" which was felt to "efface the medium rather than celebrate it." Jeff Chang, writing for The Nation, described a "Kala for the Nation" and the album's music, lyrics and imagery as encompassing "everywhere – or, to be specific, everywhere but the First World's self-regarding 'here'," stating that against a media flow that suppresses the "ugliness" of reality and fixes beauty to consumption, M. He felt that Kala explored poverty, violence and globalization through the eyes of "children left behind." Her third album, Maya, tackled information politics in the digital age, loaded with technological references and love songs, and deemed by Kitty Empire writing in The Observer to be her most melancholic and mainstream effort. Critic Simon Reynolds, writing in The Village Voice in 2005 saw this as a lack of authenticity and felt M. He continued that while swayed by her chutzpah and ability to deliver live, he "was also turned off by the stencil-sprayed projection imagery of grenades, tanks, and so forth (redolent of the Clash with their strife-torn Belfast stage backdrops and Sandinista cred by association)" while the "99 percent white audience punched the air", admonishing what he perceived as a "lack of local character" to her debut album. A.'s 2001 Alternative Turner Prize nominated images of pastel-washed tigers, soldiers, guns, armored vehicles, and fleeing civilians that bedeck M. A.'s albums and videos were now assumed or analyzed as being incendiary propaganda, suggesting that unlike art buyers, rock and roll fans were "assumed to be stupid". People reckon that I need a political degree in order to go, 'My school got bombed and I remember it cos I was 10-years-old'. The EMP Museum's 2008 Pop Conference featured paper submissions and discussions on M. And they use me as a puppet to explain that to you, that only people who, you know, have a Ph D in this shit are allowed to talk about this.

In 2001, she received an "Alternative" Turner Prize nomination for her visual art. There, her father adopted the name Arular and became a political activist and founding member of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS), a political Tamil group affiliated with the LTTE. art that spans across three LPs: Arular, Kala, and Maya." The book contains artwork as well as a foreword by frequent collaborator Steve Loveridge and various essays by M. Matangi received generally positive reviews from music critics. The music is sampled from Yo Yo Honey Singh's Manali Trance. The track mocks first world problems and shares her views on the escalating global refugee crisis serving as both a rallying cry and a call for compassion. When my radio was burgled, I started listening to hip hop". Neda Ulaby of NPR described the video as intended for "shock value" in the service of nudging people into considering real issues that can be hard to talk about. I wanted to see if I could write songs about something important and make it sound like nothing. as hypocritical, citing the Internet channel's streaming of real-life killings. Clothes from her limited-edition "Okley Run" line — Mexican and Afrika line jackets and leggings, Islamic-inspired and water melon-print hoodies, and tour-inspired designs – were sold in 2008 during New York fashion week. built on this during the Kala era with a "playful" combination of baggy T-shirts, leggings and short-shorts. has been the muse of designers Donatella Versace and Bartley and photographers Rankin and David Bailey, whose spread documents the British musicians who defined the sound and style of rock 'n' roll. You have to follow this bureaucratic bullshit to get any sort of action, and it's all part of this cycle.The first eleven years of Arulpragasam's life were marked by displacement caused by the Sri Lankan Civil War. In its first week of release, the album sold 15,000 copies and peaked at number 23 on the Billboard 200, falling to number 90 in its second week. The video was filmed in India and West Africa and shows different forms of dancing in those regions. In late February 2016, she released "Boom ADD", an expanded version of the "Boom Skit", which appeared on M. A.'s fourth studio album Matangi; it is a diss-track to the NFL's lawsuit of her performance at the 2012 Superbowl. And it kind of worked." You Tube's block and subsequent age gating/obscuring of the video for "Born Free" from Maya due to its graphic violence/political subtext was criticized by M. She went on to state, "It's just fake blood and ketchup and people are more offended by that than the execution videos", referring to clips of Sri Lankan troops extrajudicially shooting unarmed, blindfolded, naked men that she had previously tweeted. pointed out in her music how immigrants, refugees and persons of the third world can and do resist through economic, political and cultural discursive practices. cites guerrilla art and fashion as major influences. An early interest in fashion and textiles – designing confections of "bright fluorescent fishnet fabrics" — was a hallmark of her time at Central Saint Martins College. She commented, "I wanted to tie all my work together. She incorporated eccentric accessories in bold patterns, sparkle and "over-saturated" neon colour to fashion her signature style which inspired flocks of "garishly-clothed all-too-sassy" new-rave girls with bright red tights, cheetah-skin smock and faded 1980s T- shirts. A.'s use and subversion of her refugee and migrant experiences, through the weaving of musical creativity, artwork and fashion with her personal life as having dispelled stereotypical notions of the immigrant experience. Like back in the day, we had ideals of revolution and fighting back, and most of the time that shit starts with individual people having personal relationships, these experiences. criticised the UK Government's response to the rioters as failing to address the root causes of them.Her family went into hiding from the Sri Lankan army, and Arulpragasam had little contact with her father during this period. On 12 July, 2016, she announced the title of her upcoming fifth studio album was AIM, and on July 15, 2016, she released "Go Off" as the first single. Lisa Weems writes in the book Postcolonial challenges in education how M. In light of her influence in modern culture and the historical and political significance embedded in both the instrumental music and lyrics of her songs, J. When I make an album, I make a number of artworks that go with it, and now I make some clothes that go with it too. A.'s Arular era style has been described as "tattered hand me downs and patched T-shirts of indigents", embodying the "uniform of the refugee" but modified with cuts, alterations and colours to fashion a distinctly new style and apparel line. Her commodifying and performance of this refugee image has been noted to "reposition" perceptions of it in the wider public. has been praised for dictating such a subcultural trend worldwide, combining "adolescent" frustrations of race and class with a strong desire to dance. A.'s status as a style icon, trendsetter and trailblazer is globally affirmed, with her distinct identity, style, and music illuminating social issues of gender, the third world, and popular music. This gives her a unique place in popular music, while demanding new responses within popular music, media and fashion culture. And now it's so disconnected and the media can paint a picture for you..make so much bureaucracy and politics, and I think taking away the personal aspects, the human aspects of these political issues is really wrong. endorsed candidate Jan Jananayagam at the 2009 European Parliament election, a last-minute candidate standing on a platform of anti-genocide, civil liberties, financial transparency, the environment and women's rights, who became one of the most successful independent election candidates ever despite her loss in the general election. She recalled the importance of a council funded youth worker she had in her school years and the use of tax money to incentivise a new business job creation program amongst the working class. wrote regarding Wikileaks, "So obviously I love Wikileaks because, after I’d gone through the whole backlash, they were the first news information site to confirm any news on the Sri Lankan war in the truest form; they were the first to release information stating the truth about what had happened to the Tamils as I knew it and to reveal that the United Nations was aware that the Sri Lankan government was lying—war crimes had been committed but their hands were tied because any time anyone tried to impose sanctions, governments would walk out.Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (born 18 July 1975), better known by her stage name M. A., is an English rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, director, visual artist, activist, photographer, fashion designer and model. Her compositions combine elements of alternative, dance, electronic, hip hop and world music. She released her debut album Arular in 2005 and second album Kala in 2007 both to universal critical acclaim. A.'s composition and production skills were a major attraction for him. A." is a play on her own name and a reference to the acronym of Missing in Action. Since rising to prominence in early 2004 for her singles "Sunshowers" and "Galang", charting in Canada and the UK and reaching number 11 on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales in the US, she has been nominated for an Academy Award, three Grammy Awards and the Mercury Prize.

began her career in 2000 as a visual artist, filmmaker and designer in west London before beginning her recording career in 2002.

Arular charted in Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Japan and the US, where it reached number 16 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and number three on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart. She has adopted different singing styles on her songs, from aggressive raps, to semi-spoken and melodic vocals. has become known for integrating her imagery of political violence into her music videos and her cover art. voiced her fears of the influence of video game violence on her son and his generation, saying, "I don't know which is worse.

Kala was certified silver in the UK and gold in Canada and the US, where it topped the Dance/Electronic Albums chart. It doesn’t always happen, but it should and it could." Richard Russell, head of XL Recordings, states, "You've got to bend culture around to suit you, and I think M. She has said of the sometimes "unaffected" vocals and delivery of her lyrics, "It is what it is. Her politically inspired art became recognized while she exhibited and published several of her brightly coloured stencils and paintings portraying the tiger, a symbol of Tamil nationalism, ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and urban Britain in the early 2000s. filmed from her Bed Stuy apartment window and posted on You Tube an incident involving a black man being apprehended by white policemen, which in light of the Sean Bell shooting incident, elicited commentary debating the force used for the arrest. The fact that I saw it in my life has maybe given me lots of issues, but there's a whole generation of American kids seeing violence on their computer screens and then getting shipped off to Afghanistan. has also been outspoken about the police killings of citizens in the United States.

It also charted in several countries across Europe, in Japan and Australia. Most people would just put it down to me being lazy. A baile funk/pop pioneer before CSS and Bonde do Rolê emerged. as one of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st century, describing her as the first and only major artist in world music, and in 2009 she was cited in Time magazine's Time 100 as one of the world's most influential people for her global influence across many genres. Lyrics on Arular regarding her experiences of identity politics, poverty, revolution, gender and sexual stereotypes, war, and the conditions of working class in London were hailed as new and unorthodox, setting her apart from previous artists. A.'s songs explored immigration politics and her personal relationships. has also used a great deal of tiger print and imagery, a symbol for the Tamil Tigers in both album artwork and music videos, such as seen in "Galang". stated that international governments were privy to Sri Lanka's use of widespread censorship and propaganda on the rebellion during the island's civil war to aid its impunity in numerous atrocities on civilians, but had no will to end it. was "misinformed" and that "it's best she stays with what she's good at, which is music, not politics." even by public figures such as Oprah Winfrey, as was stated in a Rolling Stone magazine article, where the singer recalled their exchange: "She shut me down. was that the world "doesn't really care." In 2008, M. She has spoken of the combined effects that news corporations and search engine Google have on news and data collection, while stressing the need for alternative news sources that she felt her son's generation would need in order to ascertain truth. They feel like they know the violence when they don't. appeared on The Colbert Report and was asked by host Stephen Colbert what she thought of America. On 12 July 2016 she posted an article to Twitter showing that more US citizens have been killed by police than military personnel since September 11, 2001.

The album's first single "Boyz" reached the Top 10 in Canada and on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales in 2007, becoming her first Top 10 charting single. Her fourth studio album, Matangi, was released in 2013. to Reed and punk rock songwriter Patti Smith, and recalled, "She's gonna do what she's gonna do, I can't tell her shit." "The really left-of-center artists, you really wonder about them. But at the same time, I don’t want [that perfection]," saying some of the "raw and difficult" vocal styles she used reflected what was happening to her during recording. achieves with her Roland MC-505 drum machine and keyboard unit, noting that many people had tried to copy the style since. A quirky female singer/rapper before the Mini Allens had worked out how to log on to My Space. The album references the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Tamil independence movements and features culture jamming, multi-lingual slang, strident and subtle imagery. a travel visa coupled with her brief presence on the US Homeland Security Risk List in 2006 due to her politically charged lyrics led to her second album Kala being recorded in a variety of locations around the world. Many related her experiences during recording sessions in Madras, Angola, Trinidad shantytowns, Liberia and London, and were well acclaimed. "played with them" creating an uncategorizable and hence unsettling result. Telling TIME that she didn't see anything wrong in sticking up for 300,000 trapped and dying people, M. Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary denied that his country perpetrated genocide, responding that he felt M. She took that photo of me, but she was just like, ‘I can’t talk to you because you’re crazy and you’re a terrorist. I’m a Tamil and there are people dying in my country and you have to like look at it because you’re fucking Oprah and every American told me you’re going to save the world." Two weeks before his death, the Tigers' Political Head B. was emotional and that this could be limiting her, stating that while she was well informed, "you're not meant to get involved when giving information out about war", and that the difficulty for M. Not having a proper understanding of violence, especially what it's like on the receiving end of it, just makes you interpret it wrong and makes inflicting violence easier." On 20 November 2013 M. Trying to be gentle, Maya ultimately responded with, "Well you know, in my mind, there's no countries, you know it's like; we're all one, we all live on this planet." On 8 July 2016 Maya tweeted a You Tube video of an episode of Edward Snowden on the HBO show "VICE" entitled "State of Surveillance" which discusses abilities of governments to hack into cellular phones. "I'm not coming at it as a politician, it's my own personal experience.

The single "Paper Planes" peaked in the Top 20 worldwide and reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Arulpragasam's early compositions relied heavily on the Roland MC-505 music sequencer and drum machine. A.'s American distribution label Interscope, compares M. Sasha Frere-Jones, critic of The New Yorker praised the self made "unpretentious, stuck together with Scotch tape" style that M. Her considerable influence on American hip hop music as an international artist is described by Adam Bradley and Andrew Du Bois in The Anthology of Rap as making her an "unlikely hip hop" celebrity, given that the genre was one of several influences behind M. A.'s "eccentric and energizing" music and that the musician's unclassifiable sound was one example of how hip hop was changing as it came into contact with other cultures. Wallenfeldt writes in The Black experience in America : from civil rights to the present that no single artist may have personified hip hop in the 21st century better than M. A., in her "politically radical lyrics drawing from widely diverse sources around the world". Missing In Action (or Acton, as she sometimes calls herself) has always been several miles ahead of the pack." The twisting of western modalities in her music style using multilingual, multiethnic soundscapes to make electroclash-pop albums is noted by Derek Beres in Global beat fusion: the history of the future of music (2005) to defy world music categorization. is perhaps the preeminent global musical artist of the 2000s, a truly kick-ass singer and New York-Londony fashion icon, not to mention a vocal supporter of Sri Lanka's embattled Tamil minority, of which she's a member." M. A.'s stage performances are described as "highly energetic" and multimedia showcases, often with scenes of what Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield describes as "jovial chaos, with dancers and toasters and random characters roaming the stage," bringing various crowds with interests in art, music and fashion. "works hard to manifest the chaos of her music in an actual environment, and, more than that, to actively create discomfort, energy, and anger through sensory overload." USA Today included her on its list of the 100 Most Interesting People of 2007 and she was named one of Time Out 's 40th Birthday London Heroes in 2008. Her albums' social commentary and storytelling have incited debate on the "invigoratingly complex" politics of the issues she highlighted in the album, breaking taboos while the West was engaged in the 2003 Iraq War in the Middle East during the Presidency of George W. Government visits to her official website following her debut album's release in 2005, and a US refusal to grant M. The album's artwork was inspired by African art, "from dictator fashion to old stickers on the back of cars," which like her clothing range, she hoped would capture "a 3-D sense, the shapes, the prints, the sound, film, technology, politics, economics" of a certain time. forces a conversation about how the majority live, closing the distance "between 'here' and everywhere else". subverted the "abstract, organized, refined" distilling of violence in Western popular music and imagination and made her work represent much of the developing world's decades-long experiences of "arbitrary, unannounced, and spectacular" slaughter, deeming her work an "assault" with realism. was "a veritable vortex of discourse, around most likely irresolvable questions concerning authenticity, postcolonialism, and dilettantism". A.'s record imagery, lyrical booklets, homepages and videos supported the "image of provocation yet also avoidance of, or inability to use consistent images and messages." Instead of catering to stereotypes, he felt that M. "Sometimes I repeat my story again and again because it's interesting to see how many times it gets edited, and how much the right to tell your story doesn't exist. presented on the theme of "Shake, Rattle: Music, Conflict, and Change." She has used networking sites such as Twitter and My Space to discuss and highlight the human rights abuses and war crimes that Sri Lanka is accused of perpetrating against Tamils, citing news articles, human rights group reports, government reports, her own experiences as a child and on her return to the island in 2001 to support calls for a ceasefire. Nadesan told Indian magazine, The Week, that he felt that M. A.'s humanitarianism had been a source of strength to Eelam Tamils and fearless, knowingly amidst the "all-powerful Sri Lankan propaganda machinery that demonises any one who speaks for the Tamils." Miranda Sawyer of The Observer highlighted that M. And I just think that that's just what people want to put out there, you know, 'You don't have the right to talk about this'.