Southbank Centre have announced that M.I.A. will curate the 24th Meltdown festival from 9-18 June 2017. Launched 25 years ago, the festival is famed for bringing to life the world of its curator, counting Patti Smith, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, David Byrne, Ray Davies, Morrissey and Ornette Coleman amongst those that have held the position.
Having been nominated for an Academy Award, two Grammy Awards and a Mercury Prize, M.I.A.’s accolade-studded musical career spans thirteen years, five albums and has defied stylistic genres, with influences ranging from Nu Rave and Dancehall to Hip Hop from around the world. M.I.A.’s vast list of collaborators includes Diplo, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Jay Z and Lil Wayne.
Named in 2009 as a defining artist of the decade by Rolling Stone Magazine and an influential person by both Time Magazine and Esquire Magazine, M.I.A.’s artistic projects aim to challenge convention. Her Top 20 track Paper Planes, questions immigrant stereotypes and was featured on the soundtrack of Danny Boyle’s hit film Slumdog Millionaire, and her later music videos for Bad Girls and Born Free, directed by Romain Gavras, were critically acclaimed and politically polarising.
Speaking about the announcement M.I.A. said: “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. 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.”
Jude Kelly, Artistic Director at Southbank Centre went on to say: “It’s not often that we encounter such an unbridled creative force, excelling in whichever field they try their hand. M.I.A. has not just broken barriers as a musician, creating music that is embraced the world over, but she has made art her rallying cry – and has stayed true to her conviction, as an artist, woman and citizen of the world.”
The full line up for Meltdown will be announced in the coming months.