M.I.A. takes on influencer culture with the release of her new single “Popular,” the latest preview of her upcoming album MATA. The track arrives with a creepy music video starring an “influencer-bot-in-training” fittingly named M.A.I.
Over an uptempo dance beat propelled forward by tribal drums and celebratory horns, the British-Tamil artist sarcastically regurgitates empty phrases that often pour out of the mouths of influencers. “Love me like I love me,” she sings on the chorus. “Suddenly it’s about me/ You wanna be around me/ ‘Cause I love myself/ I’m living my best life.”
In the music video, M.I.A. trains her robot counterpart by showing M.A.I. how to dance more fluidly and rap along to “Popular.” At one point, that means reducing the influencer bot’s screen time. By the end of the clip, the fed-up musician decides it’s all an exercise in futility. Watch the Arnaud Bresson-directed clip below.
Though MATA doesn’t have a proper release date as of yet, M.I.A. released the first taste of the album, “The One,” in May. It marks her first full-length since 2016’s AIM and is also the beginning of a freshly-inked global deal with Island Records.
In 2020, M.I.A. released the loosie “OHMNI 202091” before teaming up with Travis Scott and Young Thug on “FRANCHISE.” That same year, she was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Prince William for her “services to music” in Great Britain. Last year, she entered the world of NFTs by selling her digital artwork.