Backstage with M.I.A. at Meltdown

Go behind the scenes at Meltdown, with an exclusive video of M.I.A. as the curator of this year’s festival gets ready to perform her own headline set. 

M.I.A. backstage at Meltdown

M.I.A. closes her own-curated Meltdown Festival with a tightly executed, gapless run of career hits that is quite simply incredible.
Stuart Stubbs, Loud and Quiet

Meltdown was the perfect festival for M.I.A.’ wrote Sam Wolfson in The Guardian, and it’s easy to see why. An artist who has always sought to push limits and test boundaries, she has, over the course of Meltdown’s ten days, pushed queer-rap and French afro-trap from music’s margins into Southbank Centre’s sizable spotlights, and brought Grime to a stage more familiar with Grieg.


Performing in front, behind and occasionally on top of a giant set of prison bars, the show encompassed MIA’s decade of agit-pop, with images of unrest and incarceration flashing behind her.
Sam Wolfson, The Guardian

On Sunday 18 June, M.I.A. brought Meltdown to a spectacular end with a show that, like the festival, was distinctly hers. This video takes you backstage at Southbank Centre ahead of that performance, into the corridors and dressing rooms of Royal Festival Hall, as M.I.A. and her dancers get ready to perform their set.

Her lyrics are a direct confrontation to the matters she cares about most, whether it be the Syrian refugee crisis, or the recent tragedy of the fire in Grenfell Tower in London, and is felt clearly. MIA is relevant as much today as she was with her ground-breaking debut, Arular.
Selina Begum, The Upcoming

An artist who has often been caricatured as feisty, testy even, by interviewers and media commentators, this exclusive footage gives a welcome chance to break that down and see M.I.A. straight-up. The artist at ease in her own space as she jokes with her support crew before taking to the Southbank Centre stage.

If ‘AIM’ really is the end, M.I.A. leaves more than Meltdown in better shape than she found it… We’re going to miss her more than we probably think.
Stuart Stubbs, Loud and Quiet

Video courtesy of Adriano Vilanova Smith and George Cullen