Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2
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In the male dominated world of hip hop, M.I.A. is something of a revelation: A woman who's brash, fearless and unapologetic.
M.I.A.'s life has been a crazy, unique journey... kinda like her music. Born in London, her family moved to Sri Lanka when she was a baby. M.I.A.'s father, a Tamil militant, fought against the government, and as the country fell into civil war, M.I.A.'s family was on the run: first to India, then back to Sri Lanka, back to India again; finally, at 11, M.I.A. returned to London, this time as a refugee.
Despite the chaos, M.I.A. always did well in school, and showed promise as a visual artist. In 2001, she designed artwork for the band "Elastica" and got to follow them on tour. There, she met Canadian electro-pop artist, "Peaches", who encouraged MIA to make music of her own.
And make it she did. In 2005, she dropped "Arular" - a mix of rap and electronica, with a global perspective; no one had heard anything quite like it. In 2007, she released "Kala" - a huge critical success - and, thanks in part to a Judd Apatow movie trailer, her song 'Paper Planes' was inescapable.
Her latest album is called "/\/\/\Y/\" (Maya), named after herself. And she's got plenty to talk about: A new fiancée, a new son, a controversial New York Times article, and the dangers of pushing boundaries.