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M.I.A. slams music industry

M.I.A. has bemoaned how "narrow and corporate" the music industry has become.

The rapper, real name Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasam, began her recording career in 2002 and has since had hits with songs such as Born Free and Paper Planes. However, the 42-year-old isn't impressed with how the industry has changed over the years, explaining her dissatisfaction in an interview with BBC News.

"Music has become so narrow and corporate," she vented. "To be a famous singer, you can go to Brit School, you can go on X-Factor, or maybe you are born into it.

"It's not like bands often meet at school now and have a community spirit. I think music has become catalogue fodder, a corporate thing that when we bring Artificial Intelligence into it, for example, using holograms for tours, the human aspect is going to disappear even further."

M.I.A. added that while she has been trying to find the magic formula for success since first trying her luck as a musician, she has now come to the conclusion that she "just likes working".

"When I came as a refugee to England everyone said 'become a pop star, that's the best thing you can do, that's 'it', so I did that," she said. "Then they said, 'move to Beverly Hills and marry a prince and be Cinderella' and I did that too. I have been constantly trying to find what 'it' is in my life and I think now it's just making work.

"I just like working. That's always what I've done. All the consequences of that - all the flak I've taken over the years - they've taught me about society and that feeds into the work I make."

She has also had her rise to fame documented in Steve Loveridge's new documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., which will be released later this year. The movie tackles some of the more controversial aspects of her life, including the lawsuit filed against her by the National Football League following her Super Bowl performance in 2012, and watching it was tough for her.

"I'm going to have to treat it as free therapy," she added.

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