M.I.A. admires Zayn Malik
M.I.A. has praised Zayn Malik for flying the flag for Muslim musicians.
The 41-year-old hip-hop star recently teamed up with the former One Direction on their track 'Freedun' and says she admires Zayn because of his bravery in going solo and the fact he stands up for himself as a half Pakistani.
She told the Daily Star newspaper: "I like Zayn because he's going through something really weird.
"He's going solo in a time where the world is getting more and more divisive.
"The pressure on him is more and more, because of the fact that he's half Pakistani., and he tweets s*** like #FreePalestine.
"He's gone from not talking about something to having to carry all the pressures of somebody who embodies all these things .
"Even if he's not playing that card, we project all that s*** on to him."
Talking about how they came to collaborate, M.I.A. - whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam - previously said: "We just basically did it while I was here, because I've been here for a week-and-a-half.
"We've just been going back and forth on, you know, WhatsApp."
The 'Sunshowers' hitmaker also previously revealed she had worked with the 23-year-old R&B singer before she decided to focus on her upcoming EP.
She explained: "We have the same publishers and they wanted me to demo some songs for Zayn.
"Before I started writing properly my own stuff [for 'AIM'], I was thinking maybe I'll write for other people instead. I really wanted to write a song for Zayn ... We had a couple people in common. And that's how it came about.
"I didn't really approach him for my own record until later on. First, I thought I wanted to try writing a song for him."
'Freedun' features on M.I.A.'s latest LP 'AIM', which she has said will be her last.
She recently admitted: "It's the cleanest album I have. It's my last record so I just want it to be happy. There's no complaints on it.
"I'm sure I'll put music out and make music, but as an album, this just came together after 'Borders' and it just seemed like it wrote itself very quickly. I had to just go with it."