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London, UK – It’s been years since M.I.A. has released a new project. Her last album, AIM, arrived in 2016 and she’s been, well, pretty much musically M.I.A. ever since. In fact, she insinuated she was quitting music altogether shortly after AIM, blaming censorship.

In a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, she was asked if she was indeed retired.

” I don’t know how to answer that question,” she said. “I want to [retire], and I have said I am. And, yes, that is as much as I have to say. And it’s time for new people to come through, but that’s very difficult. It’s a very difficult thing. Because actually I think it’s harder now than it was for me 15 years ago, which is crazy. It’s really nuts.”

But on Tuesday (January 28), the London-born artist — real name Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam — teased a comeback Instagram while delivering a snippet of new music in the process.

“NEW DECADE, NEW MIA, EXPLORING PLANETS AND PLATFORMS,” she captioned the post. “JOIN ME JAN 31ST 2020.”

The post also includes footage of M.I.A. herself, rocking pink hair, a pink jacket and pink nails while appearing to mouth the words, “Own me” or “Owe me” (it’s unclear).

Earlier this month, M.I.A. revealed she lost her father Arulappu Richard Arulpragasam, a Tamil activist and former revolutionary. She penned a lengthy Instagram post about the loss, while celebrating her 2005 debut album Arular, which was named after her father.

“The events over the last month have been about my parents,” she wrote. “Life is full of highs and lows. The loss of my father ARULAR last month was hard but I’m grateful that he influenced me to the point I was able to show him that. I was awarded the Medal for making political activist music which was the influence of my father ARULAR. However I accepted it in honor of KALA my mother, because it was her life’s work to sew them.

“ARULAR is what lit the spark that got me here. This medal belongs to #ARULAR and #KALA. Arular will always be part of me and what I go on to create or achieve as its the foundation and the beginning to my journey as an artist.”

The medal M.I.A. is referring to is the MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to music, which she received at Buckingham Palace on January 16. Her mother Kala has spent the last 33 years making the medals that are then presented to honorees by members of the Royal Family.

Established in 1917, the MBE is a British order of chivalry and rewards the contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organizations and public service outside the civil service.

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