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Wednesday, December 16, 2015 6:00am ET by  
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M.I.A. says the English music scene is known for its diverse cultures

M.I.A. has spoken about her own experience of migrating from Sri Lanka to London as well as the current migrant crises in the Middle East and North Africa during an interview with NPR.

Born in Sri Lanka, M.I.A.’s father was a separatist rebel who migrated during a 25 year civil war. Thanks to her own British passport, the ‘Paper Planes’ star was later able to transfer her family to the UK.

Reflecting on the effect living in London had on her, M.I.A. recalled:

“One of the reasons I loved being British at the time – the music scene at the time was really diverse… hip hop and Jamaican dancehall and house music and drum and bass – these kinds of things which were all born out of mixing different cultures. That’s kind of what England represented to me.”

Talking about the effect Western pop culture has had on attracting people to their shores, M.I.A. argued:

“As a musician, I feel like we are part of promoting ideas to people… Ultimately we fight to get what we do in the West into the homes and screens of every single person on the planet. We want to make money off it, and you want to sell 50 million Taylor Swift records to people in Africa.

“Obviously some of the kids are gonna say, ‘Okay, yeah, I want the dream,’ and you’ve got migrants who believed in the aggressiveness of our sale of democracy.”

She concluded: “We can’t really blame people when they are ready to embrace it.”

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Watch M.I.A.’s latest video, ‘Borders’, below:


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