M.I.A. has had a very special journey to stardom. As a Tamil refugee, the artist faced many challenges before and during her music career. She has documented her life throughout these moments, resulting in a trove of personal footage taken over the course of 22 years. Parts of this documentation is being released to the public in the form of a film.

The documentary called MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. was crafted by Steve Loveridge, a long-time friend from school and filmmaker. The film is already available in the United States.

M.I.A opened up during an interview about how difficult it was to navigate her particular journey. No star had ever been in her position before.

“It never sort of existed before, where a musician comes from where they come from, and becomes a pop star in that timeline within 15 years of landing as a refugee. And then having to also speak about a war, a civil war, that was coming to an end in real time, at the moment you get nominated for a Grammy. And because that’s never happened, it was really difficult for the media or the public to get their head around. And I had to constantly make choices.”