M.I.A. No One Has Swagger Like Her

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Mathangi Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A has been making waves in the music industry since 2004 with the popular single “Galang” and her debut album Arular in early 2005. The 31 year-old London-born, Sri Lanka-raised musician/graphic artist created international buzz with her unique style, cross-genre infusions and political content.

M.I.A’s politically charged & satirical music style is greatly influenced by her militant upbringing, life in war-torn Sri Lanka and everyday issues. No one genre describes M.I.A’s music. She blends rock, electronica, hiphop, banghra, dancehall and other styles into her musical repertoire. Rolling Stone described her debut as “weird, playful, unclassifiable, sexy, brilliantly addictive.” Although catchy hooks, prominent basslines &v ideo game sound effects are part of M.I.A’s winning concoction of critically acclaimed music, being “unclassifiable” is hard for any artist in the very structured, category-dependent music industry.

However, M.I.A received the U.S. mainstream stamp of “approval” this summer with Paper Planes” from her 2007 release Kala. The single has been on heavy rotation on major radio stations from coast to coast. Popular artists like The Beastie Boys, Jim Jones, 50 Cent and others are jumping at the chance to [un]officially remix the breakout hit of the summer. The cross-over hit is currently #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Also, the “Paper Planes” line “no one on the corner has swagger like us” is sampled on the #5 song in the country –“Swagga Like Us” – a track on the upcoming albums of T.I. & Jay-Z (Paper Trail & The Blueprint 3 – respectively) featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne.

And as she proclaims “no one on the corner has swagger like us,” M.I.A definitely has the kind of swagger that lets her pull of her trademark outfits. Just like her music, her fashion sense is a quirky blend of styles that work – oddly enough. M.I.A – the face of Marc Jacobs S/S 08 – recently released her own clothing line that truly reflects her unique flair. The collection features M.I.A.-esque tank tops, t-shirts, hoodies, rompers and leggings. Bold prints, bright hues, amalgamated flag prints and glow-in-the-dark pieces are rampant in the M.I.A line. The new line is available on the MIA-UK site.

This past spring, M.I.A announced that she would stop performing and planned an early retirement. With the great summer she has had, that decision may need to be reevaluated. Since everyone’s a winner we’re making our fame/bona fide hustler making my name,” O So Chic is definitely looking forward to M.I.A’s future endeavors!

“Paper Planes
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  1. I love M.I.A to def!

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