MIA launches crowdfunding drive to avoid platforms that 'sell data to Cambridge Analytica'

The musician has promised music and videos to her Patreon supporters, and the possibility of recipes and dating advice

MIA has launched a crowdfunding page to support her future work – which may encompass therapy sessions, dating advice and recipes in addition to the music for which she is best known.

MIA, AKA Maya Arulpragasam, said that she had joined the site Patreon because her work was too broad to fit on other sites. “I’ve tried all the other platforms and it’s like: this one is too mean and hateful, this one is too fake and self-obsessed and this one just sells all your data to Cambridge Analytica. Hopefully, this one is going to be just right.”

MIA’s newly launched page features behind-the-scenes footage of her working with producer Skrillex and the promise of new music, outtakes from her documentary Matangi / Maya / MIA, fan Q&As and access to live streams. She said she is spending the year travelling to countries including Bali, Mali, Chile and Malawi to make art and music, and would share the fruits of her trips with her supporters.

The trailer for Matangi / Maya / Mia

She is currently offering two tiers of fan support named after her first albums: Arular ($5/month) and Kala ($10/month). Supporters of the latter option will receive “random surprise content”.

MIA wrote: “It might be a song, a recipe, a manifesto, maybe I could help you with your homework, you guys could be my manager for a day, tell me what to do with my career, therapy sessions, dating advice, we’ll see what happens.”

Patreon’s Kerri Pollard said the company was proud to support MIA’s work: “When artists invite their fans to become active participants in their creative process, they’re able to create more meaningful connections and place creativity over everything.”

MIA’s plans to release new music may come as a surprise. She has previously said that her 2016 album AIM would be her last, and mooted her retirement in a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone.

She had also expressed her discontent at being vindicated over her long-held suspicion that countries were spying on private citizens and social media companies had connections with various governments.

In 2018, she told Dazed: “Everyone pressurises me now, like: ‘You need to make another record now, it’s the perfect time. Talk about Donald Trump, or be angry about this – it’s OK, we’re happy with you being angry this time, we get it.’

“But I’m already over it, you know? I don’t feel so mad any more. I used to feel a bit lonely in it, but now everybody feels the same. But before you can have that change, you have to address what happened and be real about it.”

MIA was recently made an MBE. Her criticism of Britain’s colonial history left some surprised by her decision to accept the award. She explained that she did so in honour of her mother, who she said was one of two women in England who hand-stitched the medals given by the crown.

“After receiving asylum my mum and cousin took this job in 1986, because it was the only non-English-speaking manual labour she could find,” MIA posted on Instagram. “She spent her life in England hand-sewing 1,000s of medals for the Queen. No matter how I feel or what I think, my mother was extremely proud of the job she had.”


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

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