M.I.A. debuted her Zayn collaboration, "Freedun," Thursday on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show and the track is another politically-influenced heater that calls attention to M.I.A.'s personal feelings about refugees. "Do you wanna sign my petition?/It's for the people with dedication," she raps before Zayn comes in with a swooning croon on the weightless, dreamy hook.
Speaking to Annie, M.I.A. revealed she just got back from the Himalayas filming the video for the song. "I don't know if I got one yet," M.I.A. said about her time filming. When asked exactly what she meant, M.I.A. clarified that she shot some film, but she's not sure if the material they gathered worked out the way she envisioned for the video yet or not. "This is like a floaty song, d'you know what I mean? I had to put my aggressive brain to bed for this one."
"It just kind of happened," M.I.A. said in reference to Zayn jumping on the record. "I sort of made this song a long time ago and it was just always sort of like too mainstream sounding for me. It just seems like it's perfect to have that…If I was going to have a collaboration and have someone like Zayn, this is sort of the perfect song. It sort of takes me out of my comfort zone, but kind of takes him out of his as well."
The conversation then shifted to M.I.A.'s forthcoming album, AIM, which she noted was inspired by an interesting time in her life. "I came out of a relationship and I had all of this time on my hands and nothing to do," explained M.I.A. She then realized the last time she was single was 2007 when she wrote her album, Kala. "This record kind of become that. It was just sort of me finding myself again and coming to terms with what your life is."
The release follows previous singles "Go Off," two versions of "Bird Song," "Borders," and "Foreign Friend" with assists from the Skrillex, Diplo, and Blaqstarr. You can listen to M.I.A.'s new "Freedun" featuring below and look for AIM to arrive September 9.