M.I.A.'s 'Matangi' Album Pushed to April

11:15 AM PST 01/07/2013 by Sarah Maloy, Billboard

"I've been told it's too positive," M.I.A. says of the upcoming release, which she finished "a couple of months ago."

M.I.A. has been teasing a new album for months, and now fans can finally know when to expect Matangi, the follow-up to 2010's Maya.

"I'm still working on it," M.I.A. told an Australian newspaper of her upcoming fourth studio album, which she says is scheduled to drop on "the Tamil new year -- April 15."

The British-Sri Lankan singer followed her July 2010 Maya album with a second mixtape, December 2010's Vicki Leekx, featuring a shortened version of single "Bad Girls." Her forthcoming album was at one point slated for a December 2012 release, but was pushed to April after M.I.A. submitted the tracks to her record label.

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"I thought I'd finished it. I finished it and then I handed the record in, like a couple of months ago," the "Paper Planes" singer told Australia's Gold Coast. "At the moment, I've been told it's too positive. So we're having a bit of an issue at the label. They're like, 'You need to darken it up a bit.'"

She's not necessarily making changes, but says she's taking her time to decide what is meant by "too positive." Adds M.I.A. -- who saw controversy last February after flipping the middle finger during Madonna's Super Bowl halftime show performance -- "It's like, 'We just built you up as the public enemy No. 1 and now you're coming out with all this positive stuff.'"

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In an August chat with fans on Twitter, M.I.A. revealed that her upcoming album will feature "no collabs," and producers "that don't act like fame whore coloniser," which may be construed as a shot at her estranged former collaborator, Diplo. She also clarified that "Bad Girls," her single released earlier this year and remixed alongside artists like Missy Elliott, Rye Rye and Azealia Banks, will appear on the forthcoming album.

The album title, Matangi, references both a Hindu goddess and M.I.A.'s birth name (Mathangi).

Additional reporting by Jason Lipshutz

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