Saturday, February 16, 2013

M.I.A. – Paper Planes

11" x 8.5"
ink on paper, 2013
M.I.A.'s biggest hit, without a doubt, is Paper Planes. The inclusion of it in the movie Slumdog Millionaire propelled M.I.A.'s status from starlet to megastar. The song too, together with Born Free (see Top 100 2013, #2), made M.I.A. now enter the list of my favorite 200 musicians counted over 30 years of Top 100 history. Besides being on the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, Paper Planes appeared on M.I.A.'s second album, Grammy winning Kala of 2007. It should not come as a surprise then, that on YouTube a score of live recordings are posted. One night I had myself a little Paper Planes marathon and watched six of these in a row. Some are fan videos recorded from within the audience, others are more official ones recorded properly on stage, and then there are still other versions that were recorded for a live TV audience, such as her appearances on Letterman and the Grammy's. And they're all different. My favorite one is labelled the "official live video". On it there are tons of people on stage dancing, another large group of kids providing the chorus, and a special guest appearance by Rye Rye. The small little ink drawing above almost didn't make it. I'm getting way to meticulous in my sketchbook. Out of frustration I almost tore out the page and threw it away (or folded it neatly to let the wind carry it away.

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