Entertainment behind the scenes
M.I.A. on Lady Gaga: Not as “weird” as she wants to be
Back in 2008, visual artist turned rap star M.I.A. was blowing up in everyone’s faces as the year’s hot new star, with her mix of killer hooks and political outrage. Then came 2009 and the rise of Lady Gaga, weird outfits, killer stage antics and all. Now in 2010, M.I.A., aka Maya Arulpragasam, is squaring off against Lady Gaga, aka Stefani Germanotta, in an interview with the British magazine NME.
“None of her music’s reflective of how weird she wants to be or thinks she is,” M.I.A. said in the interview. “She models herself on Grace Jones and Madonna, but the music sounds like 20-year-old Ibiza music, you know? She’s not progressive, but she’s a good mimic.”
M.I.A. went on to label the artist — about whom she obviously hasn’t gone gaga — the music industry’s “last stab at making itself important — saying, ‘You need our money behind you, the endorsements, the stadiums.’ Respect to her, she’s keeping a hundred thousand people in work, but my belief is: Do it yourself.”
Aside from M.I.A.’s assertion that Lady Gaga is keeping 100,000 people employed, there’s an argument here about the direction that the music industry is headed, with just about any artist being able to distribute their own music as major stars Prince and Radiohead have done.
But what about the rather personal attacks on Lady Gaga?
A spokesman for Lady Gaga declined to offer any immediate comment on M.I.A.’s broadside.
Both M.I.A., whose hits include “Paper Planes,” and Lady Gaga, who has a current hit with “Telephone,” are with Interscope.
So will M.I.A. spark a war of words? If so, she can say she “did it herself.”