U.S Highest Record-Selling All Girls Music Group Of All Time The Best Song From All Three of the MIA Albums

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The Best Song From All Three of the MIA Albums

MIA has a lot of interesting songs and is an amazing electronic artist. What’s also interesting is that she went all the way from a small war-torn island, Sri Lanka, to a top ten artist in the US and Europe.

And although she has a lot of videos with great production and interesting sounds and all, and also great songs from all of MIA’s albums combined, there is one in particular that reaches out to her people, goes back to her homeland and shows the true spirit of what she is about. This song is “bird flu”.

On multiple levels, she went back to her roots in this one. First, she went to India to a place near where Sri Lankan Tamil refugees live to shoot it, as Sri Lanka was quite dangerous at the time with the war going on. Next, she borrowed elements from a famous Tamil song, “Thirvizha Na Vantha”, from the movie Jayam. She went to the temples of Chennai and found musicians to record in an Orum Malam ensemble, which in itself is quite a statement, as the Orumi drums are usually played only by the Dalits (better known as the “Untouchables”). What is amazing about this is that she is a famous recording star who is respected in the West, and of all the elements she could have used in her music from India and Sri Lanka, she chose to use Dalit ritual music. It was the political statement that she is with her peoples without looking at caste, and rightly so.

The Orum Malam ensemble consists of the Nagaswaram (the world’s loudest non-wind acoustic instrument, considered very auspicious, and used in South Indian Hindu ceremonies), the Pampai (a pair of double-headed drums), one to three Orumi drums, and a melodic instrument. What is ironic here is that the Orumi Malam ensemble is usually played at funerals and other inauspicious occasions, while the Nagaswaram is considered a very auspicious instrument. The combination! I’m sure MIA did it on purpose.

She also used the Gaana format in her songwriting. Gana are fast Tamil songs sung in celebrations. Again it was most fitting because the video definitely features these people all celebrating with singing and dancing. What’s also interesting is that it’s definitely a nod to her homeland Sri Lanka, as both Ghana and Sri Lanka’s popular baila music are in 6/8 meter.

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