M.I.A. and Zayn Premiere New Collaboration “Freedun”

M.I.A. and Zayn Premiere New Collaboration “Freedun”

The unlikely duo released their first collaboration

The unlikely duo released their first collaboration

Text: Jake Viswanath

The worlds of politically-charged electronic music and seductive R’n’B for teenagers collided when M.I.A. announced that Zayn will be one of the featured guests on her upcoming album AIM, out on September 9th. Today, the forward-thinking musician premiered her track, "Freedun," with the former One Direction heartthrob on Radio 1 with Annie Mac, and it sounds like a collaboration in the truest sense.

M.I.A. takes some cues from her collaborator and opts for a more subdued sound rather than her signature bombastic drops on the track, lathered with soft whirling synths and simple drum beats. But this is still an M.I.A. song, and her effortless flow and twisted political lyrics ensure it doesn’t lose that identity. Zayn’s decadent vocals slide over the track ever so smoothly, perfectly contrasting with her no-holds-barred verses and making for a true meeting of great minds.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, M.I.A. talked about how the collaboration came to be. “Before I started writing properly my own stuff, I was thinking maybe I’ll write for other people instead,” she said. “I really wanted to write a song for Zayn. We had a couple people in common. And that’s how it came about. I didn’t really approach him for my own record until later on.” The track was later finalized while she was in India, with an unusual method. “We just basically did it while I was here, because I’ve been here for a week-and-a-half,” she said. “We’ve just been going back and forth on, you know, WhatsApp.” Listen to the track below.

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