M.I.A. will release her new, incredibly in-depth documentar MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. in theaters this Friday, September 28th. On Tuesday night, she spoke about the film and other topics during an appearance on The Daily Show.
The film covers M.I.A.’s entire life and career, and she explained how using the names she’s gone by as the title reflects that journey. “It’s kind of weird because it’s backwards, because I discovered the meaning of Matangi later on. But the first 10 years I spent in Sri Lanka, that’s what I was called. The next 10 years my name was Maya, but it was made up — it’s a fake name — but it’s nice because it means ‘illusion,’ so it kind of worked out. And then I became M.I.A., which is when people knew me in the world.”
(Read: The 25 Greatest Hip-Hop Debut Albums of All Time)
“I think you can say conflict is, like, the subject matter there,” M.I.A said when asked how her journey informed her art. “People say it’s chaos but it’s not. It’s conflict and contradictions.”
See what else she had to say about her experiences and the upcoming movie below.