M.I.A. Releases New Track and Short Film, “‘Matahdatah Scroll 01 ‘Broader Than a Border'”

Today, M.I.A. released a new track that’ll appear on her follow-up to 2013’s Matangi. She also shared a video that joins the new song, “Swords,” with  “Warriors” (a track that first appeared on the 2013 album). This video pairing is titled “Matahdatah Scroll 01 ‘Broader Than A Border.'”

Notably, M.I.A.’s description of the video perfectly fits that of a previously rumored project of hers that’d stirred controversy before even being released, with M.I.A. tweeting that she couldn’t “put out a video because it’s shot in Africa,” and that whoever was precluding its release thought it was appropriative for its use of a dancer from Ivory Coast. She’d said, “If the music industry allows an African artist to come through this year on intnl level, I would gladly give him this video for free.”  In the press release that came with today’s news, M.I.A. stated:

“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.

M.I.A. described in the statement, however, that she directed and edited the video for “Warriors,” but “held it back until now, because it inspired [her] to make a whole series of songs and videos on the concept of borders.” But “holding it back” could also be a result of the aforementioned struggle to release it.

Specifically, the “Warriors” section of the video was shot in Ivory Coast, while the “Swords” portion was shot in India. M.I.A. plans to make ten more videos, in ten different countries, but doesn’t know which ones yet. “Who knows where this project will take me?” she said.

Swords will appear on her upcoming LP Matahdatah which will be released on Interscope Records. It was co-produced by Spanker and M.I.A. Watch the video, via Apple Music: