Listen to new M.I.A: ‘Swords’

Yesterday, we told you M.I.A was about to release an exclusive audio-visual project. The six-minute video has now been released through Apple Music and it’s epic, to say the very least. It contains extraordinary visuals, as well as a new song Swords that will be featured on her new album Matahdatah.

In her self-directed short film, M.I.A allows us to take a trip to both West Africa and India for a colourful, thrilling adventure in Matahdatah Scroll 01 Broader Than a Border. It opens with a group of young girls holding their swords in a circle, balancing some flowers in the middle. The sounds of slashing swords harmonise in the background as they lift their swords in union, causing flower petals to launch into the air and fall on the floor. The badass vibe continues as the song begins and they start to dance, yielding their swords. The video contains pole twirling atop of horses, M.I.A meditating, symbols made of fire, beautiful landscapes and so much more.

The amazing new song has an incredible India-inspired medley that sets the scene for what we are about to see. “My new song ‘Swords’ was filmed in a Temple in India and we recorded the clang of the metal to make the beat at the same time as shooting these incredible girls,” M.I.A says in a statement.

One of her songs from her previous album Matangi is also featured for the part of the video that was shot in Africa. “‘Warriors’ was shot in Cote d’Ivoire with a guy I saw in a YouTube video doing the most incredible dancing. I tracked down that exact guy, flew out there and played him the ‘Warriors’ track. He did his thing for me. He is a spiritual warrior and communicates through dancing. It’s a lifelong commitment for him to be the designated spiritual body that channels that dance.”

She previously voiced concerns about the issue of cultural appropriation, which is something she has had to deal with after it featured Muslim women in Bad Girls who were described as “video decor”. Azealia Banks told her the choice was all hers.

The good news is, it sounds like there’s more to come. “There’s 10 more of these countries coming and I haven’t chased where to go yet, so who knows where this project will take me.”

This video is a must-see, so please check it out. You can also re-watch Bad Girls down below.