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My Coachella: M.I.A. Gets the Bodies Moving

April 28, 2008 4:22 PM ET

M.I.A. wasn't trying to top her career-making Coachella 2005 gig when she hit the stage Saturday night, but the Sri Lankan-born Maya Arulpragasam managed to outdo herself, delivering one of this weekend's most buzzed about performances. "For me, Coachella's different from other festivals," she told Rock Daily earlier in the day from her backstage trailer. "When I played three years ago, it was such a crazy moment. It was my first festival and I had only done about five shows in my entire life. But after that show, they said that in the history of Coachella it was the first time they got an encore in a tent. They dismantled the stage and had to put it back together because all the people started going, 'M.I.A! M.I.A!' I don't think I'd ever be able to do something like that again, because it was my moment." Saturday's gig had plenty of its own stirring moments: During a set that included hits such as "Galang," "Boys" and "Paper Planes," the agit-pop singer whipped the packed Sahara tent into a frenzy, with fans climbing the girders to get a view of her in her platinum wig and then cramming onto the stage to dance alongside her. Though the fans may have been more interested in her beats than her politics that night, M.I.A. doesn't mind if her revolutionary messages don't sink in right away. "I've given my life to music for now," she explains, "and I'm not going to do it forever. For now, I think what matters is for me to keep whatever my message is consistent and then to tell my fans, 'Look, I made you some music, then I made you a jacket, then I made you a piece of art, then I made you some curtains, then I made you a film.' If you're down with me, then you're down with me and I'll give you the best of whatever I find, through the way I live, and you can follow me. I'm trying to make sense of my life and that's the point. I don't think any one song is my perfect moment."

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