M.I.A. brings the noize to South Africa

Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam, better known by her stage name M.I.A., uses her music to explore politics, including the civil war in Sri Lanka. (Brian Ach/Getty Images for New York Magazine/AFP)

Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam, better known by her stage name M.I.A., uses her music to explore politics, including the civil war in Sri Lanka. (Brian Ach/Getty Images for New York Magazine/AFP)

M.I.A stans wait no more!

The lauded musician, artist and documentary filmmaker is coming to South Africa for two intimate performances in Cape Town and Johannesburg which coincide with the African premiere of Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., a documentary about the life and times of the artist, at the Encounters Film Festival.

“She is a friend of a friend, which is how we got talking to her in the first place,” said Black Major, explaining how the organisers got to facilitating her inaugural South African trip.

“We saw an opportunity to partner with the Encounters Film Festival and to offer Maya a deal which we thought she would laugh at and turn down. Instead, she talked her manager and agents into making it happen. She insisted on working with South African musicians and dancers for the show.”

To that end, some of South Africa’s best musicians will be collaborating with the artist. The first live show takes place in Cape Town and features the smooth synthy-pop of Angel-Ho, cutting-edge electronica from Jakinda and “DJ-cum-internet-sensation-cum-cultural-figurehead” K-$ said Black Major.

READ MORE: M.I.A.’s collage clarifies the cause

The second show will take place in Jo’burg and will see Phatstoki — who the Kitchener’s crowd know of as one of the co-founders of Pussy Party — DJ Doowap, Buli and Dear Ribane take the stage alongside M.I.A.

“Her whole mindset fits perfectly with what we do creatively and the direction we continue to push the music landscape in South Africa,” concert organisers Black Major noted.

Genuine inclusivity, true interaction and honest collaboration are the cornerstones of both Black Major’s and M.I.A.’s vision, and to that end “this project will not be based around the entrenched model of large venues and high-priced ticketing that artists of M.I.A.’s standing can command — particularly when visiting a country for the first time,” Black Major said. Instead, only 1 000 tickets will be sold for each venue.

Concert details:

Cape Town

Date: Thursday, June 7

Venue: Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock

Johannesburg

Date: Friday, June 8

Venue: Newtown Music Factory, 10 Henry Nxumalo Street, Newtown

Information for M.I.A.’s live shows is available at blackmajor.co.za and tickets on Quicket.

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