M.I.A. unveiled her new song "Freedun" featuring Zayn Malik on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show on Thursday. The tune will appear on her forthcoming album, AIM.
"I just got my own little mission/ A crew bigger than a politician/ Yeah, history is just a competition/ Do you wanna sign my petition/ It's for the people with dedication," she delivers in a laidback, rap-sung style on the pop-tipped, politically-tinged tune. The end of the track highlights M.I.A.'s straight-ahead singing voice in favor of rapping.
The singer described the song as "floaty" to Mac during an interview following the song's premiere. "I had to put my aggressive brain to bed on this one," she said.
M.I.A. explained that she penned the tune "a long time ago" and Malik's contributions were added to the track later.
Malik ethereally sings on the hook, "All the stars are still shining/ But you're the only one I see/ I can feel when your heart beats, yeah/ But you can't can't keep your eyes off me." Later on the track, his wordless falsetto trills add another dimension to the song's melody.
"It was always sort of like too mainstream sounding for me," M.I.A. continued. "And it just seems like it's perfect to have that - if I was going to have a collaboration and have someone like Zayn, this is like the perfect song. You know, it sort of takes me out of my comfort zone, but kind of takes him out of his a little bit as well."
AIM will be released on September 9th. Hear M.I.A.'s "Freedun" along with her interview with Mac below.