Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Born Free - MIA

For those that haven't heard of M.I.A, you seriously have catching up to do!

She has a new song out, Born Free. Since Paper Planes, everything seems to have gone quiet, but with this new release, she's suddenly getting a lot of attention. It's a very controversial video, and one that you can watch the full nine minutes of at her website. I will warn you, it's not for the faint-hearted. As a film it would be rated 18. You can't see it on Youtube.

As a song, I really like it. It's got a 'Born Slippy' feel to it, and maybe that was the intention, the title is a bit coincidental! But anyway, Born Free has attitude. I love M.I.A's voice, especially in this. It's got a spirit of passion and rebellion that's infectious. It's something I can imagine people going mad over at clubs and something that would be fun to listen to while driving. Initially it sounds like a load of noise that's been thrown together randomly but after a while you start to like it!

Getting back to the video, I'm not sure what to make of it. Obviously intended to be controversial, it's a political statement against ethnic cleansing, but the use of ginger-haired boys as victims has left me with mixed feelings. A lot of people don't seem to like ginger hair and find it funny to say things like 'ginger-haired people should be shot'. This always gets to me because I've always thought of myself as having a bit of ginger in my hair. So it's good that she's tackling the issue. On the other hand, it does seem a bit silly to have a source of humour for so many in a serious context.

As usual, a M.I.A. song provokes debate! What do you think about it?

Saturday, 15 May 2010


Hem are an alternative folk group that I am just getting into. They have been going since 1999 and are fronted by Sally Ellyson who I must say has a beautiful voice. Here is the song that got me interested: