M.I.A. unveiled a new audiovisual project titled “Matahdatah Scroll 01 ‘Broader Than A Border'” Monday on Apple Music, and the five-minute clip features a pair of the rapper’s songs: Matangi‘s “Warriors” and a new track called “Swords,” which is set for her upcoming album Matahdatah. The video, filmed by M.I.A. in India and West Africa, shows different forms of dance in these regions – including a group of young girls making music by swirling metal poles like swords – juxtaposed with footage of the rapper lighting an Om symbol outside an Indian temple.
M.I.A.’s latest track picks up where Matangi left off: With thumping bass, worldly polyrhythmic beats and a hypnotic chorus. At around the two-minute mark, “Swords” swirls with a distinctly Indian melody before breaking back towards its anthemic chanting.
“My new song ‘Swords’ was filmed in a Temple in India and we recorded the clang of the metal to make the beat at the same time as shooting these incredible girls,” M.I.A said in a statement of the single, which was co-produced by Spanker. “There’s 10 more of these countries coming and I haven’t chased where to go yet, so who knows where this project will take me.”
As for the Matangi half of “Scroll 01,” M.I.A. said, “‘Warriors’ was shot in Cote d’Ivoire with a guy I saw in a YouTube video doing the most incredible dancing. I tracked down that exact guy, flew out there and played him the ‘Warriors’ track. He did his thing for me. He is a spiritual warrior and communicates through dancing. It’s a lifelong commitment for him to be the designated spiritual body that channels that dance.”
M.I.A. also discussed how her upcoming album differs from 2013’s Matangi. “The concept for this LP is ‘broader then a border’ and Matahdatah is the journal of Matangi. Sometimes I move vertical and sometimes I move horizontal.” No release date for Matahdatah has been announced. “Matahdatah Scroll 01” is the first in a series of videos the musician will release in the lead up to her new LP, with each video filmed in a different country. (M.I.A. already tweeted that she’s in the process of making Scroll 02.)
“I directed and edited my first music video for “Warriors” for my last album, Matangi, and I held it back until now, because it inspired me to make a whole series of songs and videos on the concept of borders,” says M.I.A. “Making songs and videos at the same time out of a suitcase on location is something I did on my album Kala, but it’s video, as well as music, made by me in a very Arular way.”