Producers So Japan Talk Working With M.I.A. on ‘Matangi’
M.I.A. performs in Sydney, Australia, January 2013. Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage

M.I.A. performs in Sydney, Australia, January 2013. Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage

Earlier this year, M.I.A. dropped a preview mix of her fourth studio album Matangi. Unfortunately, the album’s intended April release date came and passed without the full-lengther coming to fruition. In the meantime, it seems she’s been busy tweaking the project, whose list of collaborators now includes the Los Angeles-based electronic-production duo So Japan. Speaking to Kyle Edwards, one half of the unit, he revealed to Hive, “All the stuff we’re doing for Matangi, we’re working on that with Switch.”

Having been courted to work with M.I.A. after her brother, Sugu, scouted a beat on a MySpace page, Edwards contributed to her ViCKi LEEKZ project. Now he’s part of Matangi‘s inner-circle of producers and confirmed to Hive that So Japan will have one song on the album with some others “pending right now.” Addressing the musical direction of Matangi, he revealed, “It’s got a lot of bounce to it, put it that way. It’s not necessarily happier, but hard. It’s still traditional M.I.A., it still has that vibe, but it’s got a lot more bounce to it.”

Giving an insight into M.I.A.’s approach to crafting songs, Edwards added, “She gets a lot of beats and she picks out the ones she likes and starts to write to them. I love seeing how she works, it’s pretty rad. In the studio she’s very active. She knows exactly how she wants things to sound and she’s a producer herself so she always knows what she wants. As far as writing goes, she’ll take time and she’ll head into the writing booth by herself and come back the next day and she’ll have the lyrics. She’ll do things like mashing things up, switching beats up and vocals.”

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