Maya Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A., spent her early years in her parents' native Sri Lanka, while a civil war was claiming the lives of friends and family members, before having to relocate the family to London. Having seen such events amidst the massive rebellion in her home country, M.I.A. is an artist with no boundaries, confronting such topics as terrorism, racism and consumerism head-on.
Beginning as a graphic artist, heavily influenced by the Tamil rebellion, M.I.A. later connected with the band Elastica, providing photography and graphics for the group's second album and US tour. It was through the connections she met while working with Elastica that she began a career of her own bold, upfront messages through the means of hip-hop, electro and funk. Media stirred prior to the release of her debut Arular in 2005 resulting from her Piracy Funds Terrorism mixtape collaboration with DJ Diplo.
Her second album, Kala, released in 2007, was recorded in numerous countries and included contributions from African musicians and children and production work from Blaqstarr, Diplo, and Timbaland. The surprise hit "Paper Planes," became the summer 2008 anthem after it was used in trailers for Pineapple Express, even reaching the Top Ten. Her music was also featured in the Grammy-winning Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack the release. The latest, /\/\ /\ Y /\ (2010) (spelling Maya in computer lingo) is the third M.I.A. album and has already made headlines with the graphic music video for the single â€œBorn Freeâ€. M.I.A. will be on a brief world tour, coming to Bostonâ€™s Bank of America Pavilion on September 23rd.