Tech by VICE

New M.I.A. Tracks Debut Swordfighting Indian Girls and African Street Dancers

Listen to “Swords" for the first time, and see the music video for “Warriors” premiere today on Apple Music.

by Beckett Mufson
Jul 13 2015, 8:30pm

Screencaps via

Today, M.I.A. releases two music videos at once combining "Warriors" from her most recent album, Matangi, and a brand new track called "Swords" into one cohesive work of art which debuts today on Apple Music. It's called, “Matahdatah Scroll 01 Broader Than A Border.” 

“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,” says M.I.A. in a press release. Both the video and the song were created spontaneously, with neither the budget nor months of planning that generally come with a major release. Her collaboration with GENER8ION, "The New International Sound Pt. II," also tells the story of a group of badass sword-savvy girls—perhaps an M.I.A. motif in the making—but the lo-fi attitude behind the self-directed "Swords," brings her back to her pre-"Paper Planes" days. “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.

"Warriors," which was also produced on a spontaneous shoot in Africa's Ivory Coast, stars a man whose dance videos the Sri Lankan pop star found on YouTube. "I tracked down that exact guy, flew out there and played him the ‘Warriors’ track," she recalls."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.” She held out on releasing the video because it tied her existing body of work to the ongoing MATAHDATAH project, which she has big plans for.

"The concept for This LP is 'broader than a border' and MATAHDATAH is the journal of MATANGI," she says. Over the coming months, she will produce more new songs and direct and edit more DIY music videos all over the world to accompany them. "There's ten more of these countries coming and I haven't chased where to go yet, so who knows where this project will take me."

M.I.A. tells some stories from the set and explans the concept behind “Matahdatah Scroll 01 Broader Than A Border,” in an interview with Beats 1's Zane Lowe, which you can hear below:

Watch and listen to “Swords" and “Warriors” below, and on Apple Music.


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music video
Apple Music
Matahdatah Scroll 01: Broader Than a Border
Ivory Coast
broader than a border