By Hayden Wright
M.I.A. will curate the 2017 Meltdown Festival and she’s got a familiar (and topical) theme in mind: the world’s borders. The globetrotting provocateur has been rapping about refugees and migrant crises since the Bush Administration and released her single “Borders” last year. The June 9-18 festival will take place at London’s Southbank Centre and M.I.A. shared her vision for the event.
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“For me, this Meltdown will be about putting on a musical week that shows different types of music which have inspired each other to exist,” the artist said in a statement. “Genres that support other genres, redefining the concept of a melting pot. Respect the history, don’t live in it. I plan to bring together music’s best forward thinkers who have contributed to all our lives. When music acts as inspiration, it’s boundary-less.”
The Centre’s director Jude Kelly praised M.I.A.’s “unbridled creative force” and commended her as a “citizen of the world.” In the past, visionaries like David Bowie, Morrissey, Yoko Ono, Massive Attack and Patti Smith have curated the festival. Southbank’s Senior Contemporary Music Programmer Bengi Unsal also saluted M.I.A.’s take on global issues.
“Her ever-evolving, yet readily identifiable musical style inspires people to dance, whilst giving a voice to the voiceless, from refugee camps in Africa through to London’s streets,” he said. “M.I.A. is a trend setter and social critic, but most importantly, an internationally loved and acclaimed musical star.”