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M.I.A. previews new song ‘Babylon’ that’s up for NFT auction

The soloist is selling the work in support of a press freedom institute

By Charlotte Krol

M.I.A. posing front-on in a portrait photo
M.I.A. (Picture: Wikimedia commons/Interscope Records)

M.I.A. has previewed a new song called ‘Babylon’ that’s going on auction as an NFT later today (November 12).

The soloist will share the single as a non-fungible token alongside her 2010 mixtape ‘Vicki Leekx’ through a Foundation NFT auction.

According to Consequence, winning bidders will receive mastered audio of songs and exclusive high-resolution, M.I.A.-directed videos. The auction starts at 3pm ET (8pm GMT).

For now, fans can hear ‘Babylon’ and watch its video here. There’s also a preview on M.I.A.’s Instagram.

Prior to ‘Babylon’, M.I.A. shared two songs, ‘CTRL’ and ‘OHMNI 202091’, via her O H M N I site last year. Her last studio album was 2016’s ‘AIM’.

In April the artist said that she was entering the NFT market to launch her ‘NFT GARAGE DANCE’ series. ‘GIFTY 1’ was described as “bookending [M.I.A.’s] 25-year tenure as a digital artist and collected as a GIF”. That was followed by her first-ever digital artwork ‘KALA COYN’, which she made in 1996.

“KALA COYN and the GARAGE DANCE series is a living, breathing, psycho-spectral canvas that crystalizes this moment in time for me,” M.I.A. said in a press release. “Visually, it’s a mind fuck and embodies everything I’ve loved about the digital art arena. It’s only now that the appropriate gallery for my work finally exists.”

Elsewhere, in April the rapper launched a crowdfunding campaign in support of people affected by volcanic eruptions on the island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The GoFundMe page had a target of £100,000, and at present funds stand at £71,793. M.I.A. announced the initiative after saying that the island country “has been very close to [her] heart”.

“I wrote my first song there. Since going to Sri Lanka is out of the question for political reasons it’s been my island away from my island for the last 20 years,” the artist wrote on Instagram.

“There are shelters set up, and we need short-term supplies, food water, blankets, generators, rooms set up for ventilation, masks, goggles, hygiene kits, sanitary products etc.”

Meanwhile, although there hasn’t been much talk of a follow-up to ‘AIM’, M.I.A. is set to headline the second edition of Just Like Heaven festival next year.

Interpol, Modest Mouse and The Shins are also booked for the festival, which takes place on May 21, 2022 at Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.